Winter Storm Watches are out!…

The weather was great yesterday for a snowshoeing adventure above Wolf Creek Pass… Pic taken 2/19/2022

The weather was great yesterday for a snowshoeing adventure above Wolf Creek Pass… Pic taken 2/19/2022

Sunday – 20 Feb 2022 – 4:55pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp yesterday afternoon was 45 and the low this morning was 12.  The peak wind at the airfield was 8mph.

Precip in the last 24 hours…  None

Forecast discussion…

The upper level ridge is moving through now and southwest flow will push more clouds into the area overnight.

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!

Brought to you by the Springs Resort 1
https://www.pagosahotsprings.com/
Water vapor satellite this afternoon: Mid and upper level clouds are moving into our area from the southwest.  The band of clouds across central CA, central NV, and northwest UT is also mostly mid and upper level clouds but those clouds are increasing with a good fetch over the ocean. The trough is getting its act together over the Pacific NW.  It will move slowly through the Great Basin and give us a multi-day storm.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon: Mid and upper level clouds are moving into our area from the southwest.  The band of clouds across central CA, central NV, and northwest UT is also mostly mid and upper level clouds but those clouds are increasing with a good fetch over the ocean. The trough is getting its act together over the Pacific NW.  It will move slowly through the Great Basin and give us a multi-day storm.
Radar this afternoon: So far it’s not impressive with scattered showers across the northern tier.
Radar this afternoon: So far it’s not impressive with just scattered showers across the northern tier.

My forecast…

Today… Clouds will gradually increase overnight. Lows tonight will be in the 10 to 25 range.

Monday at noon through Thursday afternoon… Initially snowshowers will be hit and miss and then ramp up Monday evening. Expect periods of heavy snow, blowing snow, poor visibility, and bad driving conditions Monday night through Wednesday night. The bulk of the snow will be done by early Thursday morning, though scattered showers will persist through the day, especially over the mountains.

Winds… At times winds will gust 20-30mph causing blowing and drifting snow, especially Monday night and Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Winds up at Wolf Creek will peak around 40mph Monday afternoon and then around 50mph Monday night to Wednesday evening.

Temps… On Monday highs will be in the upper 30s to mid-40s and lows will be in the mid-teens to mid-20s. Highs the rest of this period will be in the upper 20s to mid-30s and lows will be in the mid-teens to mid-20s.

My snowfall forecast…

Valley below 7,600ft: 8-14”

Valley above 7,600ft: 12-18”

Mountains: 40-50”

*** The Pueblo NWS has issued a Winter Weather Watch for the Eastern San Juan Mountains above 10,000ft valid from Monday afternoon to Thursday afternoon.  It’s for 1-3ft of snow and winds up to 60mph. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Southwest San Juan Mountains valid from 2pm Monday to 2pm Tuesday for 8-16” of snow with locally higher amounts, and winds to 45mph. ***

 *** As of Sunday at 4:30pm, nothing has been issued for the Upper San Juan Basin or Pagosa Springs. ***

*** Avalanche danger will increase through the storm.  Make sure to check the Colorado Avalanche Information Center for the latest conditions. ***

*** Expect temporary closures on Wolf Creek Pass. Follow COtrip for the latest travel conditions. ***

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.

NWS snowfall to Wednesday at 5pm shows 10-15” for Pagosa and 36-48” in our mountains.  More snow will fall after this period.
NWS snowfall to Wednesday at 5pm shows 10-15” for Pagosa and 36-48” in our mountains.  More snow will fall after this period.
Euro 10/1 ratio snowfall shows 14.8” in town and up to 26” in our mountains.  I agree with the 14.8” (10/1) in the valley but in the mountains, I think that 26” is way too low - it will be around 20/1 ratio snow.
Euro 10/1 ratio snowfall shows 14.8” in town and up to 26” in our mountains.  I agree with the 14.8” (10/1) in the valley but in the mountains, I think that 26” is way too low – it will be around 20/1 ratio snow.
Euro Kuchara snowfall takes temps into account and adjusts snow ratios accordingly.  However, it tends to adjust too far due to our higher elevations.  It says 27.1” in town and up to 62” in our mountains. Both of these amounts are too high, especially for town.  At a 20/1 ratio, snowfall in the mountains will end up between 40” and 50”.
Euro Kuchara snowfall takes temps into account and adjusts snow ratios accordingly.  However, it tends to adjust too far due to our higher elevations.  It says 27.1” in town and up to 62” in our mountains. Both of these amounts are too high, especially for town.  At a 20/1 ratio, snowfall in the mountains will end up between 40” and 50”.
For those of you traveling, here’s the Euro 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 Euro snowfall for the region through Thursday at 5pm.  Make sure to follow your favorite weather and road condition sources before you travel!

A HUGE thanks to The Springs Resort for sponsoring this much needed storm!

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4361 / 19959-20 / 1955

Last chance to make a guess in our latest contest: First Thunderstorm within 10 miles of downtown Pagosa Springs. Win a $50 gift certificate for Chow Down! Put your guess on the contest Facebook post or the contest web page post before midnight tonight.

Call 877-841-0247 for our “dial up and text” forecast.

I’ll do daily posts through the storm.

– Shawn

Pagosa Weather Blizzard Level Sponsor

Pagosa Weather Storm Sponsor

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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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3 Responses

  1. It is now 5:56a.m., Monday, February 21, 2022. My wife and I just reviewed your forecast extending through Thursday and have decided to remove you from our Christmas list… unless you are willing to clear our driveway and sidewalk of snow… and walk our dog when the wind is blowing.

    Other than the above, have a great day and keep up the good work! We love your forecasts… usually.

  2. Skied Wolfcreek with my nephew yesterday! Thanks for the perfect weather Shawn!! Looks like my wife’s snowblower is going a workout over the next several days!!

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