A little snow late tonight and tomorrow…

Wolf Creek was magical yesterday! – Pic taken 1/4/2023

Wolf Creek was magical yesterday! – Pic taken 1/4/2023

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Thursday – 5 Jan 2023 – 9:00am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp yesterday afternoon was 26. The low this morning was 6. The cold spots dipped below zero. The peak wind at the airfield was 6mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3455 / 1958-2-35 / 1949

Precip summary… Wolf Creek got a dusting yesterday.  No measurable snow fell in the valley.

5 Jan 2023 am CoCoRaHS multi day snowfall totatls
CoCoRaHS snow totals from 27 Dec to 4 Jan are pretty impressive!

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Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The main low is off the WA/OR coast and weaker, secondary low is off the CA coast. The trough associated with the secondary low will move through our area tomorrow afternoon.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The main low is off the WA/OR coast and a weaker, secondary low is off the CA coast. The trough associated with the secondary low will move through our area tomorrow afternoon.
Radar this morning – The precip over CA will move east with the trough. The first few scattered showers will start in our area after midnight in the mountains and then the early morning hours in the valley.
Radar this morning – The precip over CA will move east with the trough. The first few scattered showers will start in our area after midnight in the mountains and then the early morning hours in the valley.

Today… Patches of mid and upper level clouds will move through, and we’ll warm up to slightly above average.

Late tonight through Friday… The next system will move through.  It won’t have much moisture, so my expectations are low.

The first few scattered snowshowers will start over our mountains after midnight and in the early morning hours in the valley.  The best chance for snow is sunrise tomorrow to the early afternoon. Snowshowers will linger into the early evening over the mountains.

Snow forecast…

Valley: 0-2”

Mountains: 3-6”

*** Expect roads to be slick tomorrow. ***

NWS snowfall indicates 1-2” for Pagosa and 3-6” in the mountains. This looks good to me.
NWS snowfall indicates 1-2” for Pagosa and 3-6” in the mountains. This looks good to me.

Saturday through Monday… Ridging will be in control. We’ll see more sun and have dry weather. Temps will be near average.

Long range… Another weak system is possible Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then starting around the 15th, the pattern looks pretty active.

Euro ensemble 24-hour snowfall to the evening of 19 January – These charts are read left to right and times are in Zulu. The top chart shows 24-hour snowfall amounts for 50 different data runs of the Euro model. Forecast confidence increases when most of the 50 runs are consistent.  A good example is system number 1 where timing and amounts line up nicely. The bottom chart shows the 24-hour mean and control totals. I pay most attention to the mean. Forecast confidence increases when the mean and control agree.  Again, system number 1 is a good example. So system number 1 will impact us late tonight into early tomorrow afternoon resulting in around 2” of snow. System number 2 is less certain with the start time (top chart) but will impact us roughly late Tuesday through Wednesday with 2-3” of snow. Finally things get more active starting around the 15th. That far out there is a lot of uncertainty with a wide variance of outcomes so forecast confidence is low.
Euro ensemble 24-hour snowfall to the evening of 19 January – These charts are read left to right and times are in Zulu.

The top chart shows 24-hour snowfall amounts for 50 different data runs of the Euro model. Forecast confidence increases when most of the 50 runs are consistent.  A good example is system number 1 where timing and amounts line up nicely.

The bottom chart shows the 24-hour mean and control totals. I pay most attention to the mean. Forecast confidence increases when the mean and control agree.  Again, system number 1 is a good example.

So system number 1 will impact us late tonight into early tomorrow afternoon resulting in around 2” of snow. System number 2 is less certain with the start time (top chart) but will impact us roughly late Tuesday through Wednesday with 2-3” of snow. Finally things get more active starting around the 15th. That far out there is a lot of uncertainty with a wide variance of outcomes so forecast confidence is low.
The CPC 8-14 day precipitation outlook matches what I’m thinking.  This period is 12-18 Jan so I suspect that as the time period slides a few more days to the right, like 14-20 Jan, our chances for above average precip will increase.
The CPC 8-14 day precipitation outlook matches what I’m thinking.  This period is 12-18 Jan so I suspect that as the time period slides a few more days to the right, like 14-20 Jan, our chances for above average precip will increase.

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. *

My next post will be sometime tomorrow.

– 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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