Still expecting snow Monday and Tuesday…

Climbing high above the West Fork valley on Wolf Creek Pass – Pic taken 1/27/2023

Climbing high above the West Fork valley on Wolf Creek Pass – Pic taken 1/27/2023

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Friday – 27 Jan 2023 – 5:30pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp this afternoon was 28. The low this morning was -5. Most of us had lows in the -5 to -15 range but the cold spots dipped to around -20. The peak wind at the airfield this afternoon was 6mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4053 / 19824-26 / 1917
It’s been cold the last two mornings!  These are Weather Underground temps at 6:30am today.
It’s been cold the last two mornings!  These are Weather Underground temps at 6:30am yesterday.
Weather Underground temps at 6:30am yesterday.
Weather Underground temps at 6:30am today.

Precipitation summary… There was no measurable snow in the last 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – A trough will move through northern Colorado tonight. The second trough across eastern OR and central ID will dip just a little farther south and kick up mountain snowshowers tomorrow afternoon.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – A trough will move through northern Colorado tonight. The second trough across eastern OR and central ID will dip just a little farther south and kick up mountain snowshowers tomorrow afternoon.

Radar is boring in our area this afternoon.

Saturday and Sunday… We’ll see more clouds as upper level west and then southwest flow gradually push more moisture into the region. A weak trough will move through tomorrow afternoon, but it won’t have much moisture.

Saturday an inch of snow is possible in the mountains and two or three snowflakes are possible in the valley.

Late Sunday night snow will start increasing over the mountains.  I expect Wolf Creek to report 1-3” of new snow on their Monday morning report.

Monday and Tuesday… A low pressure system will move through. I don’t like the track. The low will be to our south, so we’ll just catch the northern edge. If it tracks farther south than expected, it will be a dud.

Snow will fall on and off from early Monday morning to noon on Tuesday.

My snowfall forecast…

Valley: 1-4”

Mountains: 8-14”

NBM snowfall to Tuesday at 11pm shows 2.9” for Pagosa and 8-14” in our mountains. The trend has been for less snow. Note the snow bullseye in the Steamboat area – the bums!
NBM snowfall to Tuesday at 11pm shows 2.9” for Pagosa and 8-14” in our mountains. The trend has been for less snow. Note the snow bullseye in the Steamboat area – the bums!
Euro 500mb vorticity from this afternoon to Wednesday at 11am – 500mb is roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern. Vorticity is the spinning of air and indicates upward or downward vertical motion. Upward vertical motion helps make clouds and precipitation. On these charts I look at the direction of flow and the colors.  The colors indicate the strength of positive vorticity/upward vertical motion. First, a trough moves through tomorrow afternoon. This is the trough on the satellite analysis above across eastern OR and central Idaho. See much moisture associated it?  Nope and it won’t pick much additional moisture on its way here either. So the first trough will kick up a few spotty snowshowers but it won’t amount to much. Second, by Monday afternoon a well formed low is off the southern CA coast. By Monday evening we’ll have southwest flow aloft and positive vorticity/upward vertical motion.  That’s what I want to see, but the best moisture and energy will stay closer to the low and remain to our south. Plus we end up in split flow which is not conducive for precip. Summary: I am not getting a warm fuzzy for this pattern.
Euro 500mb vorticity from this afternoon to Wednesday at 11am – 500mb is roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern. Vorticity is the spinning of air and indicates upward or downward vertical motion. Upward vertical motion helps make clouds and precipitation.

On these charts I look at the direction of flow and the colors.  The colors indicate the strength of positive vorticity/upward vertical motion.

First, a trough moves through tomorrow afternoon. This is the trough on the satellite analysis above across eastern OR and central Idaho. See much moisture associated it on the satellite analysis?  Nope and it won’t pick up much additional moisture on its way here either. So the first trough will kick up a few spotty snowshowers but it won’t amount to much.

Second, by Monday afternoon a well formed low is off the southern CA coast. By Monday evening we’ll have southwest flow aloft and positive vorticity/upward vertical motion.  That’s what I want to see, but the best moisture and energy will stay closer to the low and remain to our south. Plus we end up in split flow which is not conducive for precip.

Summary: I am not getting a warm fuzzy for this pattern.

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 on Sunday.

– 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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