Bad news and good news …

Slopes were empty and the snow was decent up at Wolf Creek yesterday – Pic taken 11/30/2022

Slopes were empty and the snow was decent up at Wolf Creek yesterday – Pic taken 11/30/2022

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Thursday – 1 Dec 2022 – 11:45am

The Past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday afternoon was 43. The low this morning was 17 and the cold spot was the upper Piedra at 4. Winds peaked at 6mph at the airfield yesterday.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4465 / 190610-12 / 1975

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

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The ridge will move through this morning.  Behind it upper level southwest flow will increase, and more clouds will stream into the region.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The ridge will move through this morning.  Behind it upper level southwest flow will increase, and more clouds will stream into the region.

There is nothing on radar in our region this morning.

Through this evening… Winds and clouds will increase but we’ll stay dry.

Tonight through tomorrow afternoon… The bad news: The low pressure system will take a similar track to the last one.  Again the best moisture and energy will stay to our north and we’ll get scraps as the tail-end of the trough moves through. This system has more moisture but my expectations are low for us.

The best chance for precip is 5am to 11am with spotty snowshowers a few hours on either side, especially over the mountains.

The easy forecast is the strong winds. They’ll pick up overnight and peak around 35mph around noon tomorrow when the system moves through.

My snow forecast…

Valley: 0.5” to 2”

Mountains: 3-6”

*** 5am-11am tomorrow there will be periods of moderate to heavy snow, blowing snow, bad visibility, and poor driving conditions. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the southwest San Juan Mountains for 3-6” of snow and winds to 60mph valid Friday 6am to 5pm. *** This advisory does not have an elevation. I expect less than 3” in the Pagosa Springs area and winds less than 60mph.

*** The Pueblo NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the eastern San Juan Mountains above 10,000ft for 3-6” and winds gusting to 70mph valid Friday 5am to 5pm.  *** This includes Wolf Creek and I agree with this advisory. 

NBM forecast radar from 2am tonight to 4pm tomorrow – Light snow starts falling over La Plata and Archuleta Counties 4-5am. The heaviest precip falls from roughly 7-9am and then turns into scattered showers.  Showers linger over the mountains into the late afternoon.
NBM forecast radar from 2am tonight to 4pm tomorrow – Light snow starts falling over La Plata and Archuleta Counties 4-5am. The heaviest precip falls from roughly 7-9am and then turns into scattered showers.  Showers linger over the mountains into the late afternoon.
NWS snowfall indicates 1-2” for Pagosa and up to 6” in our mountains.
NWS snowfall indicates 1-2” for Pagosa and up to 6” in our mountains.

Saturday… We’ll be between systems with a few scattered snowshowers, mainly over the mountains. “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes!”

Snow amounts:

Valley: Up to a half inch in a few lucky spots

Mountains: 1-2” but it will be spotty

Sunday through Monday… The bad news: This system is expected to split and is trending weaker for us. If it splits much more, it will be another dud for us. And sadly, it will be primarily a rain event in the valley.

Snow levels will pop above 8,500ft Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening resulting in rain for all of us. As snow levels lower below 8,000ft after midnight, moisture will be decreasing.

The best chance for precip is Sunday evening through Monday morning with scattered showers a few hours on either side, especially over the mountains.

Snow amounts:

Valley below 8,000ft: Up to an inch

Valley above 8,000ft: 1-2”

Mountains above 9,000ft: 3-6”

WPC 24-hour precip valid Sunday evening to Monday evening – It expects 0.21” of mostly rain for the valley and up to 0.45” in our mountains.
WPC 24-hour precip valid Sunday evening to Monday evening – It expects 0.21” of mostly rain for the valley and up to 0.45” in our mountains.

Beyond Monday… The good news: The weather pattern will stay active for a while.  Our luck is bound to change!

Euro, GFS, and Canadian ensemble total snowfall for the next two weeks all show a steady increase in snow amounts.  This means that the weather pattern is expected to stay active. I’ll take this trend over a “flat line” any day!
Euro, GFS, and Canadian ensemble total snowfall for the next two weeks all show a steady increase in snow amounts.  This means that the weather pattern is expected to stay active. I’ll take this trend over a “flat line” any day!

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. *

I’ll post the November summary and December outlook later today.

My next forecast post will be tomorrow.

– 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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