Dry until Saturday evening – Next storm looks pretty good…

Pagosa Peak emerging from the clouds this morning – Pic taken 1/11/2023

Pagosa Peak emerging from the clouds this morning – Pic taken 1/11/2023

If images fail to load in the email, please click the title of the post. Thanks!

Wednesday – 11 Jan 2023 – 4:30pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp this afternoon was 38. The low this morning was 27. The peak wind at the airfield was 30mph and we hit 31mph just north of Turkey Springs.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3759 / 19562-22 / 1962

Storm summary… The timing of the storm lined up pretty good with my forecast.  My wind forecast was also good. My snow amounts ended up being ok in the valley and too high for the mountains.  Starting about 5 days ago for the valley, I forecast 1-3”, then 2-4”, then 2-5”, then back to 1-3”. For the mountains I forecast: 4-6”, 6-10”, 8-12”, 8-12”. The forecast models were all over the place and I was chasing them. This storm fell apart quickly as it moved through the Four Corners region.  My initial forecast 5 days ago was the best.

Wolf Creek ended up with 5” for the storm.  Reports around 8am in the valley were mostly in the 0.5” to 2” range. By 8am accumulating snow was done for most of the county, but the eastern part of the county added a little more and are likely the snow lottery winners.

CoCoRaHS 24-hour snow reports from around 8am this morning range from 0.7” to 2.5”.  Hillary was the snow lottery winner near Chromo and might have added another 2” after 8am.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snow reports from around 8am this morning range from 0.7” to 2.5”.  Hillary was the snow lottery winner near Chromo and might have added another 2” after 8am.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Last night’s system moved quickly to our east. Now drier upper level northwest flow has taken over. The ridge, jagged blue line, will keep us dry from now to Saturday.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Last night’s system moved quickly to our east. Now drier upper level northwest flow has taken over. The ridge, jagged blue line, will keep us dry from now to Saturday.
Radar this afternoon – We are between storms. That precip along the West Coast won’t move into our area until Saturday evening.
Radar this afternoon – We are between storms. That precip along the West Coast won’t move into our area until Saturday evening.

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

Saturday night to Sunday night… The next system will move through, and things are lining up for decent snow.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 4-8”

Mountains: 10-16”

NBM snowfall to Sunday at 11pm indicates 8.7” for Pagosa Springs and 10-16” in our mountains. This is a blended model that uses data from multiple models. Right now it looks reasonable to me.  Here are forecast snow amounts for other models: 12Z GFS: 14”, 18Z GFS:12.2”, 12Z Euro: 8.4”, 12Z Canadian: 11.6”, 12Z GFS ensemble: ~9”, 12Z Euro ensemble: ~10.2”, 12Z Canadian ensemble: ~6.3”. So the range is 6.3” to 14”. Lately the forecast models have been overdoing our precip so for now I’m leaning towards the lower end of that range. Note: We look at lots of data like this every day. An important part of weather forecasting is verification.  By Monday morning when this storm is over, I can verify these forecast totals against what actually happened.  Then we can determine which model did best and lean on that model going forward.  Verifying our forecasts and verifying forecast models are a never-ending, important part of the forecast process.
NBM snowfall to Sunday at 11pm indicates 8.7” for Pagosa Springs and 10-16” in our mountains. This is a blended model that uses data from multiple models.

Here are forecast snow amounts for other models: 12Z GFS: 14”, 18Z GFS: 12.2”, 12Z Euro: 8.4”, 12Z Canadian: 11.6”, 12Z GFS ensemble: ~9”, 12Z Euro ensemble: ~10.2”, 12Z Canadian ensemble: ~6.3”. So the range is 6.3” to 14”. Lately the forecast models have been overdoing our precip so for now I’m leaning towards the lower end of that range.

Note: We look at lots of data like this every day. An important part of weather forecasting is verification.  By Monday morning when this storm is over, I can verify these forecast totals against what actually happened.  Then we can determine which model did best and lean on that model going forward.  Verifying our forecasts and verifying forecast models are a never-ending, important part of the forecast process.

Monday through Thursday… The long range models expect the weather pattern to stay active. It’s too early to trust the details, but I like it so far!

NBM total snowfall to next Friday at 5am has 21.3” for Pagosa and up to 3 feet in our mountains. These totals include the storm in the chart above so we have to subtract that to determine the total for the Monday through Thursday period: 21.3 – 8.7 = 12.6” in town. This is 8-9 days out so my forecast confidence is weak. All the models I listed above have similar amounts, so it is encouraging. If a military commander looked me in the eye and asked, “how much snow will we get between Saturday night and Friday morning?”.  I’d say town will get 10-15”, folks closer to the mountains 15-20”, and the mountains around 3 feet.
NBM total snowfall to next Friday at 5am has 21.3” for Pagosa and up to 3 feet in our mountains. These totals include the storm in the chart above so we have to subtract that to determine the total for the Monday through Thursday period: 21.3 – 8.7 = 12.6” in town. This is 8-9 days out so my forecast confidence is weak. All the models I listed above have similar amounts, so it is encouraging.

If a military commander looked me in the eye this afternoon and asked, “how much snow will we get between Saturday night and Friday morning?”.  I’d say town will get 10-15”, folks closer to the mountains 15-20”, and the mountains around 3 feet.

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 likely be Friday afternoon.

– Shawn

Pagosa Weather Blizzard Level Sponsor

Pagosa Weather Storm Sponsor

Picture of Shawn Pro

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!
Get Pagosa Weather Updates

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pagosa Weather Disclaimer and Release of Liability

This website makes no guarantees about nor bears any responsibility or liability concerning the accuracy or timeliness of the weather information published on this website. All weather information published on this website is for educational and weather enthusiast purposes only. We do not issue Storm Watches, Warnings or Advisories as that ability falls with the National Weather Service, who is the only institution allowed to issue such warnings by law. We are not in any way linked nor affiliated with the National Weather Service, although we do share information and relay weather watches/ warnings, etc. Use of the information on page is at your own risk/discretion, and we are not responsible for any personal/property damages, injury or death associated with weather forecasts, reports or other information as well as communication exchanged in private messages and/or person.

Terms of Use                  Privacy Policy

 

© 2024 Pagosa Weathe

Website Design by : Brandon