A Winter Weather Advisory is out for the mountains…

A colorful sunset over the Rio Grande Pyramid… Pic taken 3/27/2022

A colorful sunset over the Rio Grande Pyramid… Pic taken 3/27/2022

Monday – 27 Mar 2022 – 10:00am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp yesterday afternoon was 67 – just 2 degrees from tying the record of 69. The warm spots yesterday got into the low 70s. The low this morning was 30. The peak wind at the airfield yesterday afternoon was 28mph.

Precip summary… There was none in the last 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Southwest San Juan Mountains above 9,000ft valid from midnight tonight to noon on Wednesday.  Expect 5-10” of snow with locally higher amounts. *** Winds will also gust to 45mph in the mountains causing blowing snow, poor visibility, and bad driving conditions.

Upper level southwest flow and moisture will gradually increase as our next system moves east. Precip is likely tonight and tomorrow.  The snow level will start around 9,000ft and then lower to around 7,400ft by sunrise tomorrow. The atmosphere will also be unstable enough tomorrow to kick up an isolated thunderstorm or two.

A trough will move through Wednesday afternoon from the northwest.  Northwest isn’t a good trajectory for us, but the timing, during max heating, and instability caused by the trough, will lead to scattered showers and a thunderstorm or two, mostly over the mountains. The snow level will bounce around between 6,500ft and 8,500ft.  All types of precip are possible: rain, snow, graupel, and small hail.  If you don’t like the weather, just a wait a few minutes and it will change!

Thursday afternoon scattered showers will start over the mountains and then become more widespread during the evening.  We’ll see on and off showers until the trough moves through late afternoon Friday. The snow level will bounce around between 6,500ft and 8,500ft again.

Satellite this morning: Moisture will increase from the southwest ahead the system off the coast.
Satellite this morning: Moisture will increase from the southwest ahead the system off the coast.
Radar this morning: Precip over AZ is either light or it’s virga that’s not reaching the ground.  That will move into our area this evening causing the first few scattered showers over the mountains. The main band of precip currently over CA will move through our area tomorrow.
Radar this morning: Precip over AZ is either light or it’s virga that’s not reaching the ground.  That will move into our area this evening causing the first few scattered showers over the mountains. The main band of precip currently over CA will move through our area tomorrow.

My forecast…

Tonight and tomorrow – Scattered showers will start over the mountains this evening and become more widespread after midnight. The snow level will start around 9,000ft and drop to 7,400ft by sunrise tomorrow. An isolated thunderstorm is possible tomorrow. Showers will taper off tomorrow evening. Wet snow will have trouble sticking, especially on warm surfaces. Wednesday and Thursday afternoons – spotty showers and an isolated thunderstorm are possible, mainly over the mountains.  The snow level will bounce around between 6,500ft and 8,500ft.  All types of precip are possible and snow is unlikely to stick in the valley. Thursday night and Friday – There will be more showers.  Again the snow level will bounce around between 6,500ft and 8,500ft. * LE = liquid equivalent. * * The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am. *
Tonight and tomorrow – Scattered showers will start over the mountains this evening and become more widespread after midnight. The snow level will start around 9,000ft and drop to 7,400ft by sunrise tomorrow. An isolated thunderstorm is possible tomorrow. Showers will taper off tomorrow evening. Wet snow will have trouble sticking, especially on warm surfaces. ** Expect poor driving conditions on Wolf Creek Pass. **

Wednesday and Thursday afternoons – spotty showers and an isolated thunderstorm are possible, mainly over the mountains.  The snow level will bounce around between 6,500ft and 8,500ft.  All types of precip are possible and snow is unlikely to stick in the valley.

Thursday night and Friday – There will be more showers.  Again the snow level will bounce around between 6,500ft and 8,500ft.

* LE = liquid equivalent. * * The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am. *
The NWS snowfall shows less than an inch in Pagosa, 1-2” above 7,500ft, and 8-12” in our mountains.  This lines up well with what I expect.
The NWS snowfall shows less than an inch in Pagosa, 1-2” above 7,500ft, and 8-12” in our mountains.  This lines up well with what I expect.
The WPC 24-hour liquid equivalent precip valid Monday at midnight to Tuesday at midnight shows 0.43” in town and 0.70-1.1” in our mountains.  I expect a little less in the valley, but agree for the mountains.
The WPC 24-hour liquid equivalent precip valid Monday at midnight to Tuesday at midnight shows 0.43” in town and 0.70-1.1” in our mountains.  I expect a little less in the valley, but agree for the mountains.
The WPC 24-hour liquid equivalent precip valid Thursday at 6pm to Friday at 6pm shows around 0.10” near town and 0.20-0.40” in our mountains.  Forecast models are trending down for precip amounts for this system. I’m concerned that this will be a dud.
The WPC 24-hour liquid equivalent precip valid Thursday at 6pm to Friday at 6pm shows around 0.10” near town and 0.20-0.40” in our mountains.  Forecast models are trending down for precip amounts for this system. I’m concerned that this will be a dud.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5170 / 198619-8 / 1930

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

My next post will be tomorrow.

– Shawn

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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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