A little snow tonight & tomorrow…

A lone standing lenticular cloud at sunset last night… Pic taken 3/15/2022

A lone standing lenticular cloud at sunset last night… Pic taken 3/15/2022

Wednesday – 15 Mar 2022 – 10:15am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp yesterday afternoon was 53. Arboles hit 61 (thanks Martha and John!) and I saw temps near 60 in downtown Pagosa. The low this morning was 23. The peak wind at the airfield this afternoon was 8mph.

Precip summary… None in the last 24 hours

Forecast discussion…

Late this afternoon to tomorrow afternoon the next system will move through Colorado.  Upper level flow will be west to northwest which doesn’t favor us. Unfortunately the best moisture and storm energy will stay on other side of The Divide. The Palmer Divide and parts of the Front Range will get 8-12” of snow from this system.

Friday and Saturday clouds will try to clear and we’ll be dry as ridging builds back over the region.

Sunday and Monday the next system will move through, and it looks more promising.

Satellite this morning: The trough over western UT will move east through Colorado over the next 24-36 hours. The track and the flow don’t favor us.  The system will get more organized over eastern CO and drop 8-12” of snow over parts of the Front Range.
Satellite this morning: The trough over western UT will move east through Colorado over the next 24-36 hours. The track and the flow don’t favor us.  The system will get more organized over eastern CO and drop 8-12” of snow over parts of the Front Range.
Radar this morning: There isn’t much precip associated with those clouds on satellite. Scattered light showers are moving east-northeast.
Radar this morning: There isn’t much precip associated with those clouds on satellite. Scattered light showers are moving east-northeast.

My forecast…

Today – Spotty showers will start late afternoon mostly over the mountains with rain up to 8,500ft. Tonight after midnight – The snow level will drop to 6,500ft. Tomorrow – Scattered snowshowers are possible into the afternoon but temps will be above freezing, so snow will have trouble sticking. Sunday – Scattered showers will start in the afternoon and increase overnight.  The snow level will start at 8,500ft and gradually drop to 6,500ft overnight.
Today – Spotty showers will start late afternoon mostly over the mountains with rain up to 8,500ft.
Tonight after midnight – The snow level will drop to 6,500ft.
Tomorrow – Scattered snowshowers are possible into the afternoon but temps will be above freezing, so snow will have trouble sticking.
Sunday – Scattered showers will start in the afternoon and increase overnight.  The snow level will start at 8,500ft and gradually drop to 6,500ft overnight.
NWS snowfall to 6am on Friday shows Pagosa getting less than an inch of snow and our mountains mostly in the 3-5” range. Note that 8-12” is expected over parts of the Front Range.  3-4” is expected along southern I-25.  Raton Pass and LeVeta Pass will be in the 6-10” range.  Roads and visibility will be bad at times in the those areas.
NWS snowfall to 6am on Friday shows Pagosa getting less than an inch of snow and our mountains mostly in the 3-5” range. Note that 8-12” is expected over parts of the Front Range.  3-4” is expected along southern I-25.  Raton Pass and LeVeta Pass will be in the 6-10” range.  Roads and visibility will be bad at times in the those areas.
The University of Utah GFS and Canadian model ensemble snowfall for Wolf Creek: Until recently for system 1, the GFS model expected more snow than the Canadian and now that has reversed: 5” for the GFS vs ~7” for the Canadian. They’re both coming into line for system 2 but there is a considerable variance from 5-30”.  The GFS average is around 12” and the Canadian model average is around 8”.  System 2 precip falls mostly Sunday night and during the day on Monday.
The University of Utah GFS and Canadian model ensemble snowfall for Wolf Creek: Until recently for system 1, the GFS model expected more snow than the Canadian and now that has reversed: 5” for the GFS vs ~7” for the Canadian.
They’re both coming into line for system 2 but there is a considerable variance from 5-30”.  The GFS average is around 12” and the Canadian model average is around 8”.  System 2 precip falls mostly Sunday night and during the day on Monday.
System 2 - GFS ensemble 24-hour liquid equivalent precip Monday evening shows 0.35” for Pagosa and 0.43” for Chama.  Note the bullseye with over an inch in the Castle Rock area.
System 2 – GFS ensemble 24-hour liquid equivalent precip Monday evening shows 0.35” for Pagosa and 0.43” for Chama.  Note the bullseye with over an inch in the Castle Rock area.
System 2 - Euro ensemble 24-hour liquid equivalent precip Monday evening shows 0.12” for Pagosa and 0.16” for Chama.  Note that there is considerably less precip over eastern CO.
System 2 – Euro ensemble 24-hour liquid equivalent precip Monday evening shows 0.12” for Pagosa and 0.16” for Chama.  Note that there is considerably less precip over eastern CO.

This is a pretty big difference between the models.  My gut tells me this will be similar to the first system but with a little more moisture.  I’ll tackle precip amounts in tomorrow’s post.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5065 / 195715-13 / 1913

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

Next post will be tomorrow morning.

– Shawn

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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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