Periods of heavy snow this afternoon …

Wolf Creek Pass, Durango, and Hesperus web cams this morning around 9:45am

Wolf Creek Pass, Durango, and Hesperus web cams this morning around 9:45am

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Monday – 12 Dec 2022 – 10:30am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday afternoon was 47. The low this morning was 30. The cold spots dipped into the high teens. The peak wind at the airfield was 9mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4055 / 19346-32 / 1961

Precip summary… It started snowing lightly up at Wolf Creek around 6am.  As I type at 9am, snow is starting to pick up at my house near Turkey Springs.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The cold front is moving through eastern UT.  Moderate to heavy snow is falling under that band of thick clouds ahead of it.  The front will move through Archuleta County 5-6pm today.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The cold front is moving through eastern UT.  Moderate to heavy snow is falling under that band of thick clouds ahead of it.  The front will move through Archuleta County 5-6pm today.
Radar this morning – Snowshowers are starting to increase in our area.  Based on CDOT web cams and surface observations from Cortez, it’s snowing heavily in parts of our radar donut hole.  That band of snow will move through our area this afternoon.
Radar this morning – Snowshowers are starting to increase in our area.  Based on CDOT web cams and surface observations from Cortez, it’s snowing heavily in parts of our radar donut hole.  That band of snow will move through our area this afternoon.

The rest of today… I expect the cold front to move west to east across Archuleta County 5-6pm.  We’ll see 2-4 hours of moderate to heavy snow this afternoon ahead of the front.  Scattered snowshowers will linger through the night, mostly over the mountains.

*** There will be periods of snow, blowing snow, poor visibility, and bad driving conditions. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for elevations above 6,500ft in the San Juan River basin for 2-5” of snow and winds gusting to 45mph valid on Monday from 5am to 5pm.  This includes Pagosa Springs. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER WEATHER WARNING for the southwest San Juan Mountains for 6-12” of snow and locally higher amounts, and winds gusting to 45mph valid on Monday from 5am to 11pm. ***

*** The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an AVALANCHE WATCH for our mountains, including the Wolf Creek Pass area, valid this evening through Tuesday night. Large and dangerous avalanches can be easily triggered. ***

My snow forecast:

Valley: 2-5”

Mountains: 8-12”

The NWS snowfall forecast shows 3-4” for Pagosa Springs and 12-18” in our mountains. I expect Wolf Creek to sneak into the bottom of that range.
The NWS snowfall forecast shows 3-4” for Pagosa Springs and 12-18” in our mountains. I expect Wolf Creek to sneak into the bottom of that range.
NAM forecast radar from 8am this morning to midnight tomorrow – This model is doing a decent job with the scattered showers this morning.  Snow picks up this afternoon for 2-4 hours ahead of the cold front. By 7pm snow becomes more scattered behind the cold front and lingers over the mountains until around midnight. There’s a lull overnight and then another band of weak snowshowers moves through tomorrow afternoon.
NAM forecast radar from 8am this morning to midnight tomorrow – This model is doing a decent job with the scattered showers this morning.  Snow picks up this afternoon for 2-4 hours ahead of the cold front. By 7pm snow becomes more scattered behind the cold front and lingers over the mountains until around midnight. There’s a lull overnight and then another band of weak snowshowers moves through tomorrow afternoon.
Brought-to-you-by-the-Springs-Resort

Tuesday… Hit and miss snowshowers are possible through Tuesday, especially in the afternoon and over the mountains.  Up to an inch of snow is possible in the mountains and parts of the valley could get a dusting.

 Wednesday through Friday… Ridging will build over the region and we’ll see a gradual clearing trend. Patchy fog is possible in low-lying areas Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Temps Tuesday and Wednesday will be 10-15 degrees below average – brrrr. Thursday and Friday will be a little warmer, but temps will still be 5-10 degrees below average.

Saturday and beyond… The forecast models are fluctuating considerably. A couple of forecast models show a weak system around the 21st/22nd but most expect us to go through a dry period. Unfortunately I’m leaning towards us being dry.

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 probably do a quick Facebook post later today, otherwise my next 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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