Active pattern but lots of uncertainty …

A sun pillar is created by the reflection of light from tiny ice crystals that are suspended in the atmosphere. They are formed in cold, stable conditions when the sun is low on the horizon.  – pic taken 11/10/2022

A sun pillar is created by the reflection of light from tiny ice crystals that are suspended in the atmosphere. They are formed in cold, stable conditions when the sun is low on the horizon.  – pic taken 11/10/2022

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Thursday – 10 Nov 2022 – 11:15am

HUGE thanks to Susan Beaird for inviting us to visit her first grade at the Lutheran School. We were so impressed with how smart these little people were.
HUGE thanks to Susan Beaird for inviting us to visit her first grade class at the Lutheran School. We were so impressed with how smart these little people were.

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday afternoon was 55. The low this morning was 21.  The cold spots dipped into the mid-teens. Winds at the airfield hit 41mph yesterday afternoon. We hit 45mph in O’Neal Park. The Wolf Creek/Lobo Overlook sensor hit 66mph.

The storm slowed to our west yesterday evening and then weakened as it moved through.  Light snow started falling around 7pm and never turned into the heavy burst that I expected. Cortez got an hour or two of heavy snow, but it didn’t make much farther east. We got the winds though!

Precip summary… Snow amounts were less than the 1-2” I expected in the valley but in line with the 3-6” I forecast for the mountains.  Wolf Creek reported 4” of new snow this morning.

CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports range from 0.2” to 1.5”. The snow lottery winner was Hillary near Chromo.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports range from 0.2” to 1.5”. The snow lottery winner was Hillary near Chromo.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The front was weakening as it moved through our area around 7pm.  This morning upper level flow is out of the northwest behind the front and bringing drier air into our area.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The front was weakening as it moved through our area around 7pm.  This morning upper level flow is out of the northwest behind the front and bringing drier air into our area.

There is nothing on radar this morning.

Today through Saturday… Ridging will take over and give us dry weather. Though temps will warm slightly, they’ll stay below average.

Late Sunday afternoon through Wednesday… The storm track will stay in our “neighborhood”. During this time we could see two fast-moving systems that will be weak and have limited moisture. The models are all over the place so forecast confidence in snow amounts and timing is very low. My expectations for snow amounts are low: 0-2” in the valley and 3-6” in the mountains. As always, I’ll nail down the details 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. *
The WPC through Wednesday at 11pm shows 0.14” liquid equivalent for Pagosa Springs and up to 0.40” in our mountains. This would equate to roughly 1.5” of snow for town and up to 4” in our mountains. The models vary considerably in amounts and timing.  Precip totals range from a trace for the Canadian model and NBM model to 0.79” for the GFS model.  The overall model average is around 0.20” so for now I’m going with the WPC.
The WPC through Wednesday at 11pm shows 0.14” liquid equivalent for Pagosa Springs and up to 0.40” in our mountains. This would equate to roughly 1.5” of snow for town and up to 4” in our mountains.

The models vary considerably in amounts and timing.  Precip totals range from a trace for the Canadian model and NBM model to 0.79” for the GFS model.  The overall model average is around 0.20” so for now I’m going with the WPC.
GFS model 500mb vorticity early Saturday morning to late next Saturday evening – 500mb is around 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern. Vorticity is the spinning of air and often indicates the most likely place for clouds and precip. The GFS is the most bullish and shows three different systems. All three systems are expected to move into the Four Corners region from the northwest, stay to our south, move quickly, and won’t have much moisture. Right now there are so many discrepancies between the models that I don’t buy any of them.
GFS model 500mb vorticity early Saturday morning to late next Saturday evening – 500mb is around 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern. Vorticity is the spinning of air and often indicates the most likely place for clouds and precip.

The GFS is the most bullish forecast model and shows three different systems. All three systems are expected to move into the Four Corners region from the northwest, stay to our south, move quickly, and won’t have much moisture. Right now there are so many discrepancies between the models that I don’t buy any of them. 
The CPC 6-10 day temperature outlook – One thing I can say confidently about the forecast is that we will have below average temps!
The CPC 6-10 day temperature outlook – One thing I can say confidently about the forecast is that we will have below average temps!

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5269 / 1980180 / 1948

Next post will be on Saturday.

– 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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