Snow totals and first guess snow amounts for next week’s system…

Love waking up to a winter wonderland! – pic taken 11/4/2022

Love waking up to a winter wonderland! – pic taken 11/4/2022

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Friday – 4 Nov 2022 – 10:15am

A big thanks to the San Juan Outdoor Club and the folks that attended Arleen’s presentation last night about the upcoming winter!
A big thanks to the San Juan Outdoor Club and the folks that attended Arleen’s presentation last night about the upcoming winter!

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 34 and the low this morning was 18. The upper Piedra had a low of 7 this morning, but most of us were in the low teens to low 20s. Winds at the airfield hit 24mph yesterday.

Precip summary… Precip came in waves yesterday and the snow level bounced around a bit.  Folks above around 7,500ft experienced all snow, but it was wet. Folks below about 7,500ft fluctuated back and forth between rain and snow. Finally between 3 and 5pm, everyone in the Pagosa area got a heavy burst of snow. Hillary, down near Chromo, even reported thundersnow!

Wolf Creek reported a total of 26” and should have a good opening today!

The storm moved through after midnight like expected, but had already weakened considerably, so we didn’t get the last burst of snow I expected.

Thanks so much for your reports!

CoCoRaHS 2-day snowfall totals across Archuleta County range from 2.3” to 8.3”. Val in Lost Valley and Lisa in San Juan River Village were the snow lottery winners! Our friends in Creede got 12.1”. 14.1” was reported near Electra Lake north of Durango and Silverton got 10.6”.
CoCoRaHS 2-day snowfall totals across Archuleta County range from 2.3” to 8.3”. Val in Lost Valley and Lisa in San Juan River Village were the snow lottery winners! Our friends in Creede got 12.1”. 14.1” was reported near Electra Lake north of Durango and Silverton got 10.6”.

Forecast discussion…

Today through Monday… The low has moved to our southeast.  Upper level flow has switched to the northwest and drier air has moved in. Ridging and dry air will stick with us through Monday.

Water vapor satellite this morning – The low slid to our south after midnight. It started weakening pretty quickly yesterday evening. Upper level flow has turned northwest behind the low and drier air is moving in.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The low slid to our south after midnight. It started weakening pretty quickly yesterday evening. Upper level flow has turned northwest behind the low and drier air is moving in.
Radar this morning – All of the precip has moved to the east.
Radar this morning – All of the precip has moved to the east.

Tuesday night through Thursday morning… The next system will move through.  The forecast models are all over the place with a wide range of outcomes so my forecast confidence in the details is very low. Right now, I think the best storm energy and moisture will stay to our north and we’ll get scraps. The best chance for precip is Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning.

My rough first guess snow forecast…

Valley below 7,500ft: 1-3”

Valley above 7,500ft: 2-4”

Mountains: 4-8”

As always, I’ll adjust the amounts and timing as the data gets better.

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. *
NBM forecast snowfall to Thursday at 11pm – It shows 2.6” in Pagosa and 6-8” in our mountains. Note the much higher amounts for northwest Colorado. Upper level flow and the track of the system will favor this area and we’ll get scraps. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty with this system.
NBM forecast snowfall to Thursday at 11pm – It shows 2.6” in Pagosa and 6-8” in our mountains. Note the much higher amounts for northwest Colorado. Upper level flow and the track of the system will favor this area and we’ll get scraps. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty with this system.
Euro ensemble meteogram for forecast snowfall for 24-hour periods – This is one of my favorite products and I track it closely all winter long. It’s read left to right with the most current time on the left.  Times are in Zulu. The top chart shows snowfall amounts for 24-hour periods for 50 model runs of the Euro. Similar amounts and similar times for the 50 versions results in higher forecast confidence. In this case, the time periods are quite inconsistent and amounts range from a dusting of snow to 9”. The bottom chart shows the range of the amounts. I focus on the little vertical light blue boxes, the blue “control” line, and the green “mean” line. In this case 1-4” is the likely range (light blue boxes) and 2.75” is the mean. Based on everything else I’ve looked at this morning, I agree with these amounts, and am not certain of the timing.  This data will get better as the storm gets closer and forecast confidence will improve.
Euro ensemble meteogram for forecast snowfall for 24-hour periods – This is one of my favorite products and I track it closely all winter long. It’s read left to right with the most current time on the left.  Times are in Zulu.

The top chart shows snowfall amounts for 24-hour periods for 50 model runs of the Euro. Similar amounts and similar times for the 50 versions results in higher forecast confidence. In this case, the time periods are quite inconsistent and amounts range from a dusting of snow to 9”.

The bottom chart shows the range of the amounts. I focus on the little vertical light blue boxes, the blue “control” line, and the green “mean” line. In this case 1-4” is the likely range (light blue boxes) and 2.75” is the mean. Based on everything else I’ve looked at this morning, I agree with these amounts, and am not certain of the timing.  This data will get better as the storm gets closer and forecast confidence will improve.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5472 / 191519-6 / 1991

My next post will be on Sunday.

– 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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