Happy Winterfest!

Ballon

This is an image I captured from the Hot Air Balloon Mass Ascension in 2020. The event was cancelled this morning due to low clouds, but planners hope to have better luck on Sunday. © 2020-Mark Langford

Saturday – 21 Jan. 2023 – 9:30am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 27 and the low this morning was 8 degrees. Humidity yesterday afternoon bottomed out at 80%. Winds at the airfield hit 8 mph yesterday.

Precipitation summary…snow from the low pressure moved into our area earlier than expected yesterday, giving me concern that our totals were going to be much higher than forecast! Fortunately, the snow tapered off earlier in the afternoon and our totals primarily hit the upper end of the 2-4 inch forecast. COCORAHS reports from this morning ranged from 3.1 inches to 6 inches, with most of us in the 3-4 inch range.

Wolf Creek reports another 10 inches over the past 24 hours and a whopping 66 inches over the past 7 days!

Screenshot 2023 01 21 084906
24-hr snowfall totals ranged from 3.1 inches to 6 inches.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3855/ 19443-26/ 1955

Roof Avalanche Watch: OK, this is not an official alert from the NWS, but watch out for roof avalanches over the next few days as all of the snow we have had, settles and potentially slides off our roofs…especially for those of you who have metal roofs. Not only can sliding snow do a lot of damage, it can actually kill you!

Travel Disclaimer: While we would love to help you make decisions on whether to drive over the pass, plan your trip or predict if planes will be able to take off in Durango on a particular date, we don’t have the resources to do so…plus it puts us in potential legal liability if you go flying off Wolf Creek Pass when we suggested it would be a good day to travel! Please use these two links: New Mexico Road Conditions and Colorado Road Conditions. And this one for Durango Airport flight information.

Forecast discussion…

Low clouds formed overnight due to an inversion as cold air settled in behind the exiting low pressure, now to our east. The clouds should break by mid-day allowing us to see the sun again. The next low pressure will start moving into the west tomorrow, increasing our cloud cover again by Sunday afternoon. This low will track SE into Arizona and eventually Mexico, putting us in the “moisture fringe” this time around. Despite sunshine, look for our temperatures to continue below normal this upcoming week, with lows in the single digits and below 0’s and highs only in the upper 20’s and low 30’s.

The rest of today: Cloudy this morning, becoming mostly clear by this afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 20’s to low 30’s…perfect for the Penguin Plunge at 1pm! Lows tonight will drop into the low single digits to upper single digits.

Sunday: Partly Cloudy in the morning, turning mostly cloudy in the afternoon with a chance for snow showers in the evening. Lows in the single digits to teens and highs in the upper 20’s to low 30’s

Monday: Mostly cloudy with a chance for snow showers, mainly in the morning. Lows in the single digits to teens and highs in the upper 20’s to low 30’s

Tuesday and Thursday: Partly cloudy with lows -0’s to single digits and highs in the upper 20’s to low 30’s

Snowfall forecast for Sunday night through Monday:

Valley: 1-2”

Mountains: 2-4”

Screenshot 2023 01 21 082038
Our next low pressure is expected to drop south into AZ, then move SE into Mexico, on Monday. We will be on the outer fringes of the moisture.
StormTotalSnow GJT 2
The NWS in Grand Junction is predicting 1-3 inches of snow for us from our next storm on Sunday night-Monday.
Screenshot 2023 01 21 080228 1
The latest NWS snowfall model is predicting 2 inches of snow for Pagosa Springs, 2 inches for Chama, NM and 4 inches for Wolf Creek Pass from our next storm.

Our 5-Day Forecast…

Pagosa 5 day 1 21 23
* The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am.

Check out my Pagosa Peak Cam (myearthcam.com) for watching hikers, bikers and of course, the weather.

-Mark Langford

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