Bumped up snow amounts above 7,500ft…

Standing lenticular clouds over the mountains yesterday afternoon. These clouds indicate strong flow across the mountains and severe turbulence for aircraft. – Pic taken 11/1/2022

Standing lenticular clouds over the mountains yesterday afternoon. These clouds indicate strong flow across the mountains and severe turbulence for aircraft. – Pic taken 11/1/2022

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Wednesday – 2 Nov 2022 – 4:00pm

Announcement: Tomorrow, Thursday, 3 Nov, at 6:45pm Arleen will be discussing the winter outlook at the PLPOA Clubhouse with the San Juan Outdoor Club. The presentation is open to the public.

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 56 and the low this morning was 31. Winds at the airfield hit 17mph yesterday. Winds so far to 3pm today have hit 54mph on the Wolf Creek/Lobo Overlook sensor and 23mph at Stevens Field.

Precip summary… There was no precip in the last 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

Tonight through Friday… A pretty strong system is expected to move through the Four Corners area. The latest track for the low pushes it nearly over our heads between midnight Thursday and sunrise Friday.

* Changes: Slightly colder air is expected which means some of us will get more snow! *

For travelers, keep a close eye on travel conditions, including the higher sections along I-40 through AZ and NM. In those areas 40-50mph winds and brief periods of poor visibility could be a problem.

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for 12” to 24” of snow above 8,000ft” and winds gusting to 45mph valid 6pm tonight to midnight tomorrow. *** We are NOT going to get 12” of snow below 8,600ft.  And winds on the Wolf Creek/Lobo Overlook sensor are already gusting consistently in the mid-40mph range and will be stronger tomorrow. Please read my forecast discussion below for details focused on Archuleta County.

Water vapor satellite this afternoon: Clouds will increase from the southwest. That band of thicker clouds over western UT will move into our area late this evening and we’ll start seeing scattered showers. The low is expected to move over our heads between midnight tomorrow and sunrise Friday.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon: Clouds will increase from the southwest. That band of thicker clouds over western UT will move into our area late this evening and we’ll start seeing scattered showers. The low is expected to move over our heads between midnight tomorrow and sunrise Friday.
Radar this afternoon: The first band of showers is across western UT and is moving east. There are scattered showers across much of the western states associated with the trough (see the satellite picture above). The system will get more organized as it moves our way.
Radar this afternoon: The first band of showers is across western UT and is moving east. There are scattered showers across much of the western states associated with the trough (see the satellite picture above). The system will get more organized as it moves our way.

This evening to tomorrow morning around 6am… The chance for precip will ramp up during the late evening. The snow level will start at 9,000ft and lower to 8,500ft 5-6am.

Snow forecast for this period…

Valley below 8,500ft… Mostly rain with a few occasional snowflakes – no snow accumulation

Mountains above 9,000ft… 6-10” of snow and winds to 55mph

Thursday morning at 6am to midnight… Precip will be heavy at times.  An isolated thunderstorm or two is possible. * In the mountains strong winds, heavy snow, and blowing snow will result in occasional white-out conditions. *

The snow level will be near 8,500ft 5-6am, and then lower to near 8,000ft 8-9am, and then 7,500ft around 11am, and then drop below 7,000ft 2-3pm. Temps will be at and slightly above freezing so initially snow will have trouble sticking in the valley.

Snow forecast for this period…

Below 7,500ft: 1-3”

7,500ft to 8,500ft: 3-7”

Valley 8,500ft to 9,000ft: 6-10”

Above 9,000ft in the mountains: 12-18” and winds to 60mph

Thursday at midnight to Friday at noon… As the low slides to our east, upper level flow will turn northwesterly, and moisture and precip will decrease. Snowshowers will become more scattered. Accumulating snow will be about done in the valley in the early morning hours and linger over the mountains into the late morning.

Snow forecast for this period…

Valley: Up to 1” but it will be spotty

Mountains: 1-3”

Total snowfall forecast

Below 7,500ft: 1-3”

7,500ft to 8,500ft: 3-7”

Valley 8,500ft to 9,000ft: 6-10”

Above 9,000ft in the mountains: 20-30”

My forecast…

See the forecast discussion above for more specific timing and snow amounts. * The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am. *
See the forecast discussion above for more specific timing and snow amounts.
* The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am. *
The NWS snowfall forecast through Friday at noon expects 2-3” for Pagosa and 24-30” for Wolf Creek.  Note that snow amounts increase pretty quickly above 8,000ft.
The NWS snowfall forecast expects 2-3” for Pagosa and 24-30” for Wolf Creek.  Note that snow amounts increase pretty quickly above 8,000ft.
The NWS 72-hour liquid equivalent through Friday at noon expects 1.2” for Pagosa and up to 2.9” in our mountains. IF this system was colder and we got 10:1 ratio snow, that would be 12” of snow for Pagosa.
The NWS 72-hour liquid equivalent through Friday at noon expects 1.2” for Pagosa and up to 2.9” in our mountains. IF this system was colder and we got 10:1 ratio snow, that would be 12” of snow for Pagosa.
HRRR forecast radar with precip type valid 9pm tonight to Friday at 10am – This is high resolution 3km data and does a good job with our complicated terrain. The first showers start over the mountains 10-11pm. Note the mixed precip indicated by purple and pink extends pretty high into the mountains, above 9,000ft. Rain switches to snow across the valley through the morning. Precip gets more spotty after midnight. Note the anti-clockwise spinning over Archuleta County that last few frames.  That’s the low moving over our heads.
HRRR forecast radar with precip type valid 9pm tonight to Friday at 10am – This is high resolution 3km data and does a good job with our complicated terrain.

The first showers start over the mountains 10-11pm. Note that tonight the mixed precip indicated by purple and pink extends pretty high into the mountains, above 9,000ft. Rain switches to snow across the valley through the morning. Precip gets more spotty after midnight. Note the counter-clockwise spinning over Archuleta County that last few frames.  That’s the low moving over our heads.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5475 / 1945204 / 1929

My 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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One Response

  1. I’m so thankful I found you this morning. I’m sorry it took me all year to even look. My husband and I just moved here from Kansas so we’re used to snow, but not mountain snow!!

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