8-12” of snow possible in town – up to two feet in the mountains!

Weather Warnings are out – Be careful tonight and tomorrow!

Weather Warnings are out – Be careful tonight and tomorrow!

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Saturday – 14 Jan 2023 – 5:00pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp this afternoon was 45. The low this morning was 19. The peak wind at the airfield was 6mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3853 / 19874-26 / 1963

Storm summary… There has been no recent precipitation.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this evening – The main low is sitting off the OR coast.  The tailing trough extends all the way down the CA coast. Lots of moisture over southern CA and AZ is moving our way.
Water vapor satellite this evening – The main low is sitting off the OR coast.  The tailing trough extends all the way down the CA coast. Lots of moisture over southern CA and AZ is moving our way.
Radar this evening – Showers have moved over the western half of AZ and are moving our way.
Radar this evening – Showers have moved over the western half of AZ and are moving our way.

This evening to Sunday night… System #1 will move through. It looks good – things are lining up for decent snow!

Brought-to-you-by-the-Springs-Resort-1

The first few scattered snowshowers have already started over the mountains. The best chance for snow is midnight to Sunday afternoon.  Scattered snowshowers will linger into Sunday evening, especially over the mountains and the eastern part of the county.

*** From early Sunday morning to Sunday afternoon, snow will fall heavily at times, gusty winds will create blowing snow, visibility will be poor, and driving conditions will be treacherous. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the San Juan and Animas River basins – this includes Pagosa Springs and Durango. Expect 6-12” of snow and winds up to 35mph from 11pm tonight to 5pm Sunday. ***

*** The Pueblo NWS has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the eastern San Juan Mountains for up to 22” with the highest amounts near Wolf Creek Pass valid from 5pm this evening to 11pm Sunday. Winds to 45mph are also likely. ***

My Snow amounts…

Near town: 8-12”

Closer to the mountains and the higher mesas south of Hwy 160: 10-16”

Mountains: 18-24”

The NWS snow forecast shows 8-12” for Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek in the 18-24” range. The trend has been up, and I agree.
The NWS snow forecast shows 8-12” for Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek in the 18-24” range. The trend has been up, and I agree.
The NBM through Sunday at 11pm shows 13” for Pagosa and 20-30” in our mountains.
The NBM through Sunday at 11pm shows 13” for Pagosa and 20-30” in our mountains.
What is “closer to the mountains”?  Roughly anything north and east of the blue line.
What is “closer to the mountains”?  Roughly anything north and east of the blue line.

Sunday night through Monday morning… We’ll have a lull between storms. Scattered snowshowers will still be possible, mostly over the mountains.

My Snow amounts…

Valley: Up to an inch for the lucky spots, especially the eastern part of the county

Mountains: 1-3”

Monday afternoon to Tuesday evening… The second system will move through and it’s looking pretty similar to the first one.  There’s a chance the bullseye misses us a little to the south, but right now it looks good!

Snowshowers will gradually increase during Monday afternoon, especially over the mountains. The best chance for snow is late Monday evening to Tuesday afternoon. Scattered snowshowers will linger into Tuesday night, especially over the mountains and the eastern part of the county.

My Snow amounts…

Valley: 5-10”

Mountains: 10-16”

The WPC 24-hour liquid equivalent precip valid from Monday evening to Tuesday evening shows 0.57” for Pagosa and up to 1” for our mountains. Temps will be a little cooler with this system so I’m leaning towards 12:1 ratio snow in town and I’ll be conservative with a 15:1 ratio in the mountains.  That would be 6.8” of snow in town and up to 15” in the mountains. Right now this looks like a good forecast.
The WPC 24-hour liquid equivalent precip valid from Monday evening to Tuesday evening shows 0.57” for Pagosa and up to 1” for our mountains. Temps will be a little cooler with this system so I’m leaning towards 12:1 ratio snow in town and I’ll be conservative with a 15:1 ratio in the mountains.  That would be 6.8” of snow in town and up to 15” in the mountains.
Right now this looks like a good forecast.
NBM total snowfall to Wednesday at 5am shows 24” for town and up to 45” for our mountains.  This includes all snow to this point, so we have to subtract the 13” on the NBM chart above from the first storm:  24” – 13” = 11” for the second storm.  However, I think this model is overdoing it and lean more towards the WPC forecast (the map above this one).
NBM total snowfall to Wednesday at 5am shows 24” for town and up to 45” for our mountains.  This includes all snow to this point, so we have to subtract the 13” on the NBM chart above from the first storm:  24” – 13” = 11” for the second storm. 
However, I think this model is overdoing it and lean more towards the WPC forecast (the map above this one).

Two Feet of Snow contest – We currently have 14” snow on the ground here at Pagosa Weather. System #1 could result in a contest winner by Sunday evening.  If that doesn’t happen, I’m confident we’ll have a winner Monday night or Tuesday morning.  Let’s hope we blow right trough 24” and keep going!

Thursday night and Friday?… We might see another system.  The track is more northwest to southeast which usually favors northern Colorado, while we just get scraps. There is still a lot of uncertainty with this one, and right now my expectations are low.

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 morning.  We’ll have new snow to measure!

– 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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