A little snow tomorrow and Tuesday…

Pretty sunset colors last night – Pic taken 1/28/2023

Pretty sunset colors last night – Pic taken 1/28/2023

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Sunday – 29 Jan 2023 – 9:50am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp yesterday afternoon was 32. The low was 11 at 9:55pm. The peak wind at the airfield yesterday afternoon was 18mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4054 / 19863-32 / 1939

Precipitation summary… No measurable snow fell in the valley.  Wolf Creek reported 2” of new snow in the last 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The low is over northern CA and will sink south.  It doesn’t have much moisture and will only pick up a little more moisture when it sits off the southern CA coast tomorrow evening. At the same time that trough will slowly push moisture towards the south. The trough will also be falling apart as it moves south.  This results in split flow over us which is often a dud for us.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The low is over northern CA and will sink south.  It doesn’t have much moisture and will only pick up a little more moisture when it sits off the southern CA coast tomorrow evening. At the same time that trough will slowly push moisture towards the south. The trough will also be falling apart as it moves south.  This results in split flow over us which is often a dud for us.

Radar is boring in our area this afternoon.

Rest of today… It will be similar to yesterday with clouds and occasional light snow over the mountains.

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

Monday and Tuesday… A complicated pattern has set up with a low expected to track to our south and a weakening trough to our north that will fall apart as it moves south. We’ll be in the middle in split flow which is not conducive to us getting precip. The limited moisture will get squeezed out over us, but my expectations are low.

Mostly light snow will fall on and off from early Monday morning to noon on Tuesday. The best chance for snow is mid-morning Monday to midnight.

My snowfall forecast…

Valley near town: 0-2”

Valley closer to the mountains 1-3”

Mountains: 6-12”

NWS snowfall forecast indicates 1-2” for Pagosa and 8-12” in our mountains.
NWS snowfall forecast indicates 1-2” for Pagosa and 8-12” in our mountains.

Wednesday through Sunday… Ridging will take over and give us lots of sun and dry weather. We’ll see a gradual warming trend with temps near average by Friday.

Monday and beyond… The weather pattern will get more active.

Euro ensemble 500mb height anomaly from 5 Feb at 5pm to 12 Feb at 5pm – 500mb is roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern. “Warm” colors yellow, orange, and red indicate ridging and boring weather. “Cool” colors blue, purple, and green indicate troughing and a more active pattern. We start off with ridging and then a system moves through the 6th and 7th. By the end of this period, a deeper trough develops over the southwest US. This is what we want to see!
Euro ensemble 500mb height anomaly from 5 Feb at 5pm to 12 Feb at 5pm – 500mb is roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern. “Warm” colors yellow, orange, and red indicate ridging and boring weather. “Cool” colors blue, purple, and green indicate troughing and a more active pattern.
We start off with ridging and then a system moves through the 6th and 7th. By the end of this period, a deeper trough develops over the southwest US. This is what we want to see!
Euro ensemble 4-day precip valid 9-13 Feb shows 0.42”. It’s too early to focus on amounts but it’s good to see a pattern with more potential for snow!
Euro ensemble 4-day precip valid 9-13 Feb shows 0.42”. It’s too early to focus on amounts but it’s good to see a pattern with more potential for snow!

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. *

I’ll do another post tomorrow morning.

– Shawn

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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!
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