Burst of heavy snow and gusty winds Wednesday morning…

Standing lenticular clouds over our mountains this afternoon – Pic taken 1/9/2023

Standing lenticular clouds over our mountains this afternoon – Pic taken 1/9/2023

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Monday – 9 Jan 2023 – 5:20pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp this afternoon was 41. The low this morning was 8. The peak wind at the airfield was 5mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3759 / 19561-21 / 1912

Precip summary… There has been no recent precipitation.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Clouds are increasing from the west. The trough off the CA coast will move through our area Wednesday morning.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Clouds are increasing from the west. The trough off the CA coast will move through our area Wednesday morning.
Radar this afternoon – Heavy precip is moving into southern CA. Light precip is falling up the I-15 corridor through Vegas and southeast UT. Precip will move east with the trough.
Radar this afternoon – Heavy precip is moving into southern CA. Light precip is falling up the I-15 corridor through Vegas and southeast UT. Precip will move east with the trough.

Tonight… The ridge will move over our heads this evening and then upper level southwest flow will gradually push more moisture into our area. Spotty snowshowers will develop tonight.  The lucky spots in the mountains could get an inch of snow by Tuesday morning. Lucky spots in the valley could get a dusting.

Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon… The next system will move through Wednesday morning.  During the day Tuesday scattered showers are possible, mostly over the mountains. The snow level will pop up to 7,500ft Tuesday afternoon but I think the valley will be mostly dry.

The best chance for snow is late Tuesday evening to around noon on Wednesday with scattered showers a few hours on either side.

Between 4am and 7am Wednesday morning, I expect a quick burst of heavy snow, winds gusting 30-35mph, and possible thundersnow as the cold front moves west to east across the county. Expect a brief period of white-out conditions and hazardous travel.

Snow amounts…

– Valley: 2-5”

– Mountains: 8-12”

*** Roads will get slick Tuesday night. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for the Southwest San Juan Mountains valid 6pm Tuesday to 6pm Wednesday for 8-12” of snow winds gusting to 45mph. *** This does not include Pagosa Springs.

NAM forecast radar from 8pm Tuesday to 5pm Wednesday – Snowshowers start over the mountains first and then gradually move across parts of the valley.  A heavy band of snow associated with the cold front will move west to east across the county 4-7am Wednesday morning.
NAM forecast radar from 8pm Tuesday to 5pm Wednesday – Snowshowers start over the mountains first and then gradually move across parts of the valley.  A heavy band of snow associated with the cold front will move west to east across the county 4-7am Wednesday morning.
The NWS snowfall forecast shows 4-6” for Pagosa and around 12” up at Wolf Creek.
The NWS snowfall forecast shows 4-6” for Pagosa and around 12” up at Wolf Creek.

Wednesday night through most of Saturday… We’ll see the next round of ridging, dry weather, and above average temps. Temps could be 10 degrees above average on Friday.

Long range… Another round of storms will move through 15-18 Jan but I have no confidence in the details.

Euro ensemble 4-day precip from 14 Jan at 11pm to 18 Jan at 11pm shows 0.81” of liquid equivalent for Pagosa.  10:1 ratio snow would equal 8.1” of snow. This is pretty consistent with the other models and looks reasonable at this time.
Euro ensemble 4-day precip from 14 Jan at 11pm to 18 Jan at 11pm shows 0.81” of liquid equivalent for Pagosa.  10:1 ratio snow would equal 8.1” of snow. This is pretty consistent with the other models and looks reasonable at this time.

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 tomorrow afternoon.

– 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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