Here we go…

Saturday – 22 Oct 2022 – 9am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 63 and the low this morning was 31 degrees. Humidity yesterday afternoon bottomed out at 21%. Winds at the airfield hit 22mph yesterday.

Precipitation summary… Once again, there was no precipitation to summarize from yesterday!

Winter Storm warnings have been issued for elevations above 8500 feet for Archuleta County (Grand Junction NWS) and above 10,000 feet for Wolf Creek Pass (Pueblo NWS). The town of Pagosa Springs is not included in a watch or warning.

Below are the details:

Archuletta County:

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM MDT MONDAY ABOVE 8500 FEET… * WHAT…Heavy snow expected above 8500 feet. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with locally higher amounts. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph. * WHERE…Grand and Battlement Mesas, Gore and Elk Mountains/Central Mountain Valleys, West Elk and Sawatch Mountains, Northwest San Juan Mountains and Southwest San Juan Mountains Counties. * WHEN…From midnight tonight to 6 AM MDT Monday. * IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility.

Wolf Creek Pass:

WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM MDT MONDAY… * WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 15 inches, highest over the eastern San Juan Mountains. Winds gusting as high as 65 mph. * WHERE…Eastern Sawatch Mountains Above 11000 Feet, La Garita Mountains Above 10000 Feet, and Eastern San Juan Mountains Above 10000 Feet. * WHEN…From midnight tonight to 6 AM MDT Monday. * IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Strong winds could cause tree damage. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

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Forecast discussion…

Today will be the last day for about a week that it will feel like fall, before a strong cold front ushers in some below normal temperatures on Sunday. It will be mostly sunny today with increasing clouds by this afternoon along with increasing winds that may gust over 30mph ahead of the trough that is moving our direction from the west.

By tonight, rain and some thunderstorms will begin in the valley and snow and some thundersnow will start in the mountains after sunset, ramping up on Sunday morning as the front and trough close in. While there could be some snow showers in the morning in the valley, the best odds for snow will be after noon on Sunday as the colder air arrives and snow levels drop to around 7000 feet. Highs will struggle to get out of the 30’s and with winds gusting to over 40mph, the wind chill will be in the 20’s. Snow in the mountains will be blowing around with gusts over 50mph, so travel is not recommended.

Speaking of travel, Pagosa Weather does not answer travel questions during storms due to liability risk and not knowing how well you drive in snow and ice. Please go to: https://www.cotrip.org for road updates.

Cold air will remain in place all week with lows in the teens and 20’s and highs in the 40’s. We have another chance for some snow showers on Wednesday night and Thursday, but totals at this point look to be light.

As of this morning’s model runs, liquid totals from this storm look a little drier than yesterday. I’m forecasting 1/2 inch to an inch for the valley and 1-2 inches for the mountains.

With the latest Winter Storm Warning issued for elevations above 8500 feet for Archuleta County, those of us living at 8000 feet might be in for more snow than originally thought as it would appear that Grand Junction NWS thinks snow levels may drop a little faster than originally forecast. With that in mind, I am increasing my snow forecast for 7500-8000 feet back to my original forecast of 2-4 inches, and even that could be a little low with just a small change in snow levels on Sunday.

For snow:

I am forecasting 12-18 inches of snow for Wolf Creek ski area from Saturday night through Monday morning with the heaviest snow during the day on Sunday.

2-4 inches for elevations of 7500-8000 feet from Sunday afternoon through Monday morning, with some snow showers during the day on Monday.

1/2-2 inches for elevations of 7000-7500 feet from Sunday afternoon through Monday morning, with some snow showers during the day on Monday

Screenshot 2022 10 22 082740
Our current mid-level atmosphere is dry under a zonal flow, but that will be changing to a SW flow later today as a huge trough moves our way from the Pacific NW.
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As I mentioned yesterday, while it will be cold enough for snow to start falling in the mountains as early as tonight, we will need to wait for the cold front to arrive around midday on Sunday to lower our snow levels in the valleyIf the front arrives earlier, then look for our snow to arrive earlier as well.
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The latest NWS 3-day precipitation total through noon on Sunday is predicting 0.70 inches of liquid for Pagosa, 1.4 inches for the mountains and 0.60 inches for Chama.
Screenshot 2022 10 22 075809
The latest NWS 3-day snowfall total through noon on Monday is only predicting around a 1/2 inch of snow for Pagosa Springs, 1 inch for Chama and 11 inches for Wolf Creek.
NBM 6
The latest NBM model is forecasting 0.52 inches of precipitation from this weekend through Monday of next week.
NBM Snow 4
The latest NBM model is forecasting only 0.3 inches of snow for Pagosa Springs and around 16 inches of snow for Wolf Creek from this weekend through Monday of next week.
Euro 5
The latest Euro model run is forecasting 0.92 inches of precipitation from this weekend through Monday of next week.
Euro snow 4
The latest Euro model run is forecasting 3.9 inches of snow for Pagosa Springs and around 16 inches of snow for Wolf Creek from this weekend through Monday of next week.
GFS 6
The latest GFS model is forecasting 0.55 inches of precipitation from this weekend through Monday of next week
GFS Snow 4
The latest GFS model is forecasting 2.9 inches of snow for Pagosa Springs and 12 inches for Wolf Creek through Monday of next week

My forecast…

Pagosa 5 day forecast 10 22 22
* The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
6078 / 1940230 / 1908

Check out my Pagosa Peak Cam (myearthcam.com) for watching hikers, bikers and of course, the weather.

-Mark Langford

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