Still on track for a little snow tomorrow – the long range forecast looks promising…

Happy National Weather Person’s Day! And a BIG thanks to our CoCoRaHS observers!

Happy National Weather Person’s Day! And a BIG thanks to our CoCoRaHS observers!

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Sunday – 5 Feb 2023 – 4:00pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp this afternoon was 47. The low this morning was 12. The peak wind at the airfield was 9mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4160 / 19633-32 / 1915

Precipitation summary… There has been no measurable precip in the last 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – It’s dry over the Four Corners area. The trough is along the NV/UT border and moving east.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – It’s dry over the Four Corners area. The trough is along the NV/UT border and moving east.
Radar this afternoon – The tail end of the trough is kicking up precip over southwest UT. Moist on-shore flow is kicking up showers over CA.
Radar this afternoon – The tail end of the trough is kicking up precip over southwest UT. Moist on-shore flow is kicking up showers over CA.

Rest of today… The ridge will move to our east and more mid and upper level clouds will move in this evening. Winds will gradually increase through the afternoon.

Lows tonight will range from the low teens to low 20s.

Tonight through Monday… The next low pressure system will move through. It will track west to east – a decent track for us.  However, it will be weakening and won’t have much moisture. My expectations for snow are low.

The first few snowshowers will start over the mountains after midnight and in the valley 5-6am – they’ll be spotty. The best chance for snow is sunrise to sunset tomorrow but it will continue to be spotty. Snowshowers will linger over the mountains until midnight.

Highs on Monday will be in the low to high 30s and lows will be mid-single digits to high teens.

Winds tonight will peak around 20mph out of the southwest, and then drop to 10-15mph during the day tomorrow, and increase again Monday evening into the 15-20mph range out of the north.

Snow forecast…

Valley: 0-2”

Mountains: 3-6”

NWS forecast snowfall shows 0-2” in town and 4-6” in our mountains. Hey that matches my forecast!
NWS forecast snowfall shows 0-2” in town and 4-6” in our mountains. Hey that matches my forecast!

Tuesday through Sunday… I expect the rest of the week to be dry in the valley with a slight chance for spotty snowshowers over the mountains Wednesday night and Thursday. I’d be surprised if an inch falls in the mountains.

Tuesday and Wednesday highs will range from the mid-30s to low 40s, and lows will range from the mid-single digits to high teens.

Thursday will be a little cooler with highs in the low to high 30s and lows will range from zero to the mid-teens.

Friday highs will range from the upper 30s to mid-40s and lows will range from the high single digits to high teens.

We’ll warm up a bit over the weekend with highs in the low to high 40s and lows in the low teens to low 20s.

Winds will peak in the 10-15mph range each afternoon, except for Thursday which will peak in the 15-20mph range.

Long range outlook… The long range models continue to expect the pattern to get more active starting around the 13th.

Euro ensemble precip on the left and GFS ensemble precip on the right to the morning of 20 Feb – The Euro shows 1.17” and the GFS has 1.15” – that’s amazingly close for a 15-day forecast. 10:1 ratio snow would result in around 11” of snow over the whole period.
Euro ensemble precip on the left and GFS ensemble precip on the right to the morning of 20 Feb –
The Euro shows 1.17” and the GFS has 1.15” – that’s amazingly close for a 15-day forecast. 10:1 ratio snow would result in around 11” of snow over the whole period.
Top to bottom and in order of my preference: Euro ensemble 15-day snowfall for Pagosa Springs, GFS, and Canadian forecast models – Let’s start with tomorrow’s system. Euro and GFS both have around 2.5” while the Canadian has around 1”.  Based on everything else I’ve looked at, I agree with the Canadian model on the first system. System #2 is roughly late the 12th through the 15th. Snow amounts range from 6-9”. This is more than 7 days out so I’m more concerned with model trends than exact amounts. So far, I like the trend.  System #3? All three models expect another system but vary considerably on timing and amounts. This is typical of forecast models this far out and a good example of why we call it “fantasyland”.
Top to bottom and in order of my preference: Euro ensemble 15-day snowfall for Pagosa Springs, GFS, and Canadian forecast models –

Let’s start with tomorrow’s system. Euro and GFS both have around 2.5” while the Canadian has around 1”.  Based on everything else I’ve looked at, I agree with the Canadian model on the first system.

System #2 is roughly late the 12th through the 15th. Snow amounts range from 6-9”. This is more than 7 days out so I’m more concerned with model trends than exact amounts. So far, I like the trend. 

System #3? All three models expect another system but vary considerably on timing and amounts. This is typical of forecast models this far out and a good example of why we call it “fantasyland”.
The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-16 day precip outlook for 13-19 Feb – They indicate a 40-50% chance for us to get above average precipitation. Based on everything I’ve looked at this afternoon, I’m more optimistic.  I’m in the 60-70% range for us to get above average precip for this period.
The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-16 day precip outlook for 13-19 Feb – They indicate a 40-50% chance for us to get above average precipitation. Based on everything I’ve looked at this afternoon, I’m more optimistic.  I’m in the 60-70% range for us to get above average precip for this period.

Mark will take over tomorrow.

– 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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