Snow amounts are trending up!…

Our mountains will get more than TWO FEET of snow!

Our mountains will get more than TWO FEET of snow!

Saturday – 19 Feb 2022 – 8:30am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp yesterday afternoon was 41 and the low this morning was 12.  The peak wind at the airfield was 7mph.

Precip in the last 24 hours…  None

Forecast discussion…

High pressure will keep us dry through the weekend. The upper level ridge will move through Sunday afternoon and then southwest flow will push more clouds into the area overnight.

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Monday afternoon through Thursday afternoon a low pressure system is expected to slowly move through the Great Basin.  Cold air, southwest flow causing orographic lift over our mountains, moisture, and storm energy are lined up to bring us a good round of snow!

GeoColor satellite this morning: Most of the western US is clear. The weak low spinning off the CA coast will continue to weaken as it moves southwest along the coast. It will help add moisture to the early part of our system Monday night and Tuesday.  The main system is just getting its act together over the Pacific NW.  It will be a slow mover and give us a multi-day storm.
GeoColor satellite this morning: Most of the western US is clear. The weak low spinning off the CA coast will continue to weaken as it moves southwest along the coast. It will help add moisture to the early part of our system Monday night and Tuesday.  The main system is just getting its act together over the Pacific NW.  It will be a slow mover and give us a multi-day storm.

My forecast…

Today and tomorrow… Today will be mostly clear. Tomorrow clouds will start increasing and winds will pick up in the afternoon and peak around 15mph.

Highs will be in the mid to upper 40s and lows will be in the 5 to 20 range.

Monday afternoon through Thursday afternoon… We’ll see more clouds and snow. Expect periods of heavy snow, poor visibility, and bad driving conditions. At times winds will gust 20-25mph causing blowing and drifting snow, especially during the afternoons. Winds up at Wolf Creek will peak around 35mph Monday afternoon and then around 45mph on Tuesday and Wednesday. Highs will be in the upper 20s to mid-30s and lows will be in the mid-teens to mid-20s.

My snowfall forecast…

Valley: 8-14”

Mountains: 30-40”

*** As of Saturday morning, there are no winter weather watches, warnings, or advisories, but I expect those to be issued as the storm gets closer. ***

We’ve got through Monday afternoon to stock up and run errands. Monday night through Thursday morning it would be wise to enjoy the snow from your comfy home!

As always, I’ll tweak the amounts and timing as the storm gets closer and the data gets better.

NBM snowfall through Thursday at 5pm indicates 17.6” in town and up to 30” in our mountains. However, look at the next chart…
NBM snowfall through Thursday at 5pm indicates 17.6” in town and up to 30” in our mountains. However, look at the next chart…
NBM liquid equivalent through Thursday at 5pm indicates 1.33” in town and up to 2.40” in our mountains.  In the valley some of the snow will fall with temps around freezing for a 10/1 ratio snow and some snow will fall with slightly lower temps resulting in periods of 15/1 ratio snow. Right now I like 12-14” near Pagosa Springs.  The mountains are another story.  Temps at mountain-top level will be in the upper single digits to mid-teens – ideal for light, powdery snow that accumulates efficiently.  So I expect snow in the mountains to be closer to a 20/1 ratio.  2.40” X 20 = 48”.
NBM liquid equivalent through Thursday at 5pm indicates 1.33” in town and up to 2.40” in our mountains.  In the valley some of the snow will fall with temps around freezing for a 10/1 ratio snow and some snow will fall with slightly lower temps resulting in periods of 15/1 ratio snow. Right now I like 12-14” near Pagosa Springs.  The mountains are another story.  Temps at mountain-top level will be in the upper single digits to mid-teens – ideal for light, powdery snow that accumulates efficiently.  So I expect snow in the mountains to be closer to a 20/1 ratio.  2.40” X 20 = 48”.

Summary… For town, forecast models are showing 1-1.4” of liquid equivalent which would result in 10-14” of snow.  For the mountains, models are showing 2-3.5” of liquid equivalent which would result in 40-70” of snow.  Right now I like 10-14” in the Pagosa area, but I’m being conservative with mountain totals. If the models continue to be consistent, I will increase snowfall amounts!

For those of you traveling, here’s the NBM snowfall for the region through Thursday at 5pm.  Make sure to follow your favorite weather and road condition sources before you travel!
For those of you traveling, here’s the NBM snowfall for the region through Thursday at 5pm.  Make sure to follow your favorite weather and road condition sources before you travel!
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Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4363 / 19819-25 / 1942

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Shawn Pro

I’ve been a “weather geek” since I was young child. I joined the military out of high school and was lucky to get my dream job in weather. I have 20 years of military weather experience which includes forecasting the weather all over the world. Highlights were six years in Alaska and making life and death weather decisions during deployments. I love mountains, I love snow, and I love summertime thunderstorms. I spend a bunch of time playing outdoors and found my paradise in Pagosa Springs. I do Pagosa Weather as a community service. Hopefully you find us helpful!
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