Snow Tuesday and Wednesday! …

West Fork Overlook – Pic taken 12/3/2022

West Fork Overlook – Pic taken 12/3/2022

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Saturday – 3 Dec 2022 – 4:15pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday afternoon was 48. The low last night was 20. The upper Piedra was the cold spot at 10. The peak wind at the airfield was 21mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4470 / 19069-12 / 1931

Precip summary… Wolf Creek ended up with 4” of new snow from yesterday’s storm.

CoCoRaHS snowfall reports ranged from a trace to 2”. The snow lottery winner was Arleen in O’Neal Park.
CoCoRaHS snowfall reports ranged from a trace to 2”. The snow lottery winner was Arleen in O’Neal Park.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Subtropical moisture is streaming into the area from the southwest.  In our area it’s thick clouds with no precip.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Subtropical moisture is streaming into the area from the southwest.  In our area it’s thick clouds with no precip.
Radar this afternoon – There is rain over southern AZ and southwestern NM, but it is expected to stay to our south. 
Radar this afternoon – There is rain over southern AZ and southwestern NM, but it is expected to stay to our south. 

The rest of today… The band of subtropical moisture will stick with us.  Very light precip is possible, mainly over the mountains.  The mountains could get a dusting of snow.

Sunday through Monday afternoon… This system has just about gone poof. Each model run has been warmer so this will be mostly a rain event for the valley.

Snow levels will rise to around 9,500ft Sunday afternoon and won’t drop below 8,000ft until possibly Monday evening.

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: none

Valley above 8,000ft: 0-1”

Mountains above 9,000ft: 2-4”

WPC 24-hour precip valid Sunday evening to Monday evening – It expects 0.10” of mostly rain for the valley and up to 0.30” in our mountains.
WPC 24-hour precip valid Sunday evening to Monday evening – It expects 0.10” of mostly rain for the valley and up to 0.30” in our mountains.

Monday night through Wednesday evening… Things are lining up for a decent snow event. The primary low will sink slowly south along the CA coast and then track across northern AZ/southern UT – a favorable route for us.

We’ll have a prolonged period of upper level southwest flow and waves of moisture.  The best storm energy and moisture will be late Tuesday through Wednesday.

Like most storms with a southwest fetch, forecasting the snow levels will be tricky. They could pop up to around 7,500ft Tuesday afternoon, drop Tuesday night, and then rise to around 7,000ft Wednesday afternoon.

My snow forecast for this period…

Valley below 7,500ft: 3-6”

Valley above 7,500ft: 5-10”

Mountains: 15-20”

The NBM snowfall to late Wednesday evening shows 5.8” for Pagosa and 15-20” in our mountains. Right now I agree with this model. Here are snow totals for Pagosa Springs for three of the other primary models: Euro 5.3”, GFS 8.9”, Canadian 11.4”. On Monday everyone needs to do your snow dances and wash your cars!
The NBM snowfall to late Wednesday evening shows 5.8” for Pagosa and 15-20” in our mountains. Right now I agree with this model.

Here are snow totals for Pagosa Springs for three of the other primary models: Euro 5.3”, GFS 8.9”, Canadian 11.4”.

On Monday everyone needs to do your snow dances and wash your cars!
The University of Utah GFS and Canadian model ensemble snowfall for Wolf Creek – Both models show around 19” with most of it falling Tuesday and Wednesday.
The University of Utah GFS and Canadian model ensemble snowfall for Wolf Creek – Both models show around 19” with most of it falling Tuesday and Wednesday.

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. *

Mark will take over 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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