A few mountain snowflakes Wednesday night and Friday …

A sherbet-colored sunrise – Pic taken 12/20/2022

A sherbet-colored sunrise – Pic taken 12/20/2022

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Tuesday – 20 Dec 2022 – 4:00pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday afternoon was 34. The low this morning was 7. The cold spots dipped to -5. The peak wind at the airfield was 5mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3956 / 19413-23 / 1908

Precip summary… There has been no recent precipitation.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – There are lots mid and upper level clouds the region.  There is no organized storm energy, just a large batch of moisture being pushed along by strong upper level winds. The low over BC doesn’t look like much now, but it will deepen rapidly over the northern plains and drag arctic air across much of the country. Our mountains will protect us from the cold air. On Thursday, Walsenburg will struggle to hit 10 while we bask in the lower to mid-30s!
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – There are lots mid and upper level clouds in the region.  There is no organized storm energy, just a large batch of moisture being pushed along by strong upper level winds.
The low over BC doesn’t look like much now, but it will deepen rapidly over the northern plains and drag arctic air across much of the country. Our mountains will protect us from the cold air. On Thursday, Walsenburg will struggle to hit 10 while we bask in the lower to mid-30s!
Radar this afternoon – Radar shows mostly light precip over some of the mountain ranges. None of that will impact us.
Radar this afternoon – Radar shows mostly light precip over some of the mountain ranges. None of that will impact us.

Today… Clouds will stick with us as the next system gets organized.

Wednesday… A system with little moisture will move through Wednesday night. The northwest to southeast track means we’ll get a few scraps while northern CO is favored. We could get a dusting of snow in the valley and our mountains could get up to an inch.

Winds will increase, especially in the mountains, as the jet stream dips south and cold air advection kicks in.

NWS snow forecast for Colorado – It shows a trace of snow near the mountains. This system will track northwest to southeast which favors the northern mountains.
NWS snow forecast for Colorado – It shows a trace of snow near the mountains. This system will track northwest to southeast which favors the northern mountains.

Thursday through the 28th During the day on Friday a weak, fast-moving trough with little moisture could kick up a few snowflakes over the mountains.

Otherwise, ridging will build off the West Coast and put us under a prolonged northwest flow pattern. Systems will stay north of us. Northern CO will continue to be favored while we could get a few scraps.

NBM forecast high temps on Thursday – I drew the black like between the 20s and 30s. In Colorado we’ll see a classic example of “cold air damming”. In this case, the cold air is not expected to make it west through the Sangre De Cristos.  Alamosa will have a high temp in the 30s while Walsenburg, on the other side of Le Veta Pass, probably won’t get out of the single digits!  I jokingly refer to this as a “granite front”.
NBM forecast high temps on Thursday – I drew the black line between the 20s and 30s. In Colorado we’ll see a classic example of “cold air damming”.
In this case, the cold air is not expected to make it west through the Sangre De Cristos.  Alamosa will have a high temp in the 30s while Walsenburg, on the other side of Le Veta Pass, probably won’t get out of the single digits!  I jokingly refer to this as a “granite front”.

The last few days of the month… The long range models indicate a more active weather pattern – YAY!

Euro ensemble 7-day snow 28 Dec to 4 Jan shows 11.12” of snow for Pagosa Springs.
Euro ensemble 7-day snow 28 Dec to 4 Jan shows 11.12” of snow for Pagosa Springs.
GFS ensemble 7-day snow 28 Dec to 4 Jan shows 8.48” of snow for Pagosa Springs.
GFS ensemble 7-day snow 28 Dec to 4 Jan shows 8.48” of snow for Pagosa Springs.
The CPC 8-16 day precip outlook expects above average precip for most of the country, including us. This lines up well with what I see in the long range forecast models.
The CPC 8-16 day precip outlook expects above average precip for most of the country, including us. This lines up well with what I see in the long range forecast models.

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. *

Unless something pops up, my next post will be on Thursday.

– 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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3 Responses

  1. Do you think there might be snow on Yellowjacket pass tonight (Wednesday) before midnight, say?

    ( worried mom with kids coming in from Durango Airport)
    Alice

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