Lots of sun through Tuesday…

Thanks to Jenny Lynn Heckmann for this wonderful picture from last night! – Pic taken 10/27/2022

Thanks to Jenny Lynn Heckmann for this wonderful picture from last night! – Pic taken 10/27/2022

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Friday – 28 Oct 2022 – 11:00am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 36 and the low this morning was 19. Winds at the airfield hit 18mph yesterday.

Precip summary… First snow of the season for most of us! Lisa was the snow lottery winner in San Juan River Village with 3.3”! Thanks so much for your reports and pictures on our Facebook page.

I estimate that Wolf Creek got 5” of new snow based on Snotel data.

CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports range from a trace to 3.3”.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports range from a trace to 3.3”.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour liquid equivalent reports range from zero to 0.24”.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour liquid equivalent reports range from zero to 0.24”.

Forecast discussion…

Today through Tuesday ridging will take over and give us lots of sun. We’ll see a gradual warming trend with temps near average by Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday night through next Friday… The next system will slowly move through the region. There is a lot of uncertainty with this system.

Things I’m confident about:

– We’ll get some precipitation.

– It will start as rain up to 9,000ft Wednesday night.

– Thursday morning to Thursday afternoon the snow level will bounce around between 7,000ft and 8,000ft with temps above freezing resulting in occasional wet snow that will have trouble sticking.

– Thursday evening the snow level will drop below 7,000ft and snow will accumulate.

– The best chance for precip is Wednesday night and Thursday.

Things I’m not confident amount:

– The system’s track – this drives everything!

– Precip amounts

– Timing

– Most precip done by Friday? Another round of precip on Saturday? Scattered showers through the weekend?

My initial snowfall forecast…

Below 8,000ft: 2-4”

Above 8,000ft in the valley: 3-6”

Above 9,000ft in the mountains: 14-20”

** I’ll adjust timing and amounts as the data gets better. **

GeoColor satellite this morning: That is nearly all snow over the mountains of northern NM, UT, and CO.
GeoColor satellite this morning: That is nearly all snow over the mountains of northern NM, UT, and CO.

There is nothing on radar this morning.

My forecast…

See above for snow forecast amounts. * The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am. *
See the forecast discussion above for snow forecast amounts.

* The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am. *
This is forecast liquid equivalent to next Saturday at midnight for four of the primary forecast models. NBM: 1.41” – Euro ensemble: 0.96” – GFS ensemble: 1.67” – Canadian ensemble: 0.42”. Normally I’d start with a 10:1 ratio for snow but some of this will be rain and some will be wet snow that will have trouble sticking. These models are updated every 6 hours.  They are varying considerably between each other and between themselves with each model run.  This results in no confidence in these amounts.
This is forecast liquid equivalent to next Saturday at midnight for four of the primary forecast models:

NBM: 1.41” – Euro ensemble: 0.96” – GFS ensemble: 1.67” – Canadian ensemble: 0.42”. Normally I’d start with a 10:1 ratio for snow but some of this will be rain and some will be wet snow that will have trouble sticking.

These models are updated every 6 hours.  They are varying considerably between each other and between themselves with each model run.  This results in no confidence in these amounts.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5873 / 1990225 / 1955

My next post will be on Sunday.

– 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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