Nasty tomorrow afternoon and evening…

Cimarrona Peak trying to pop through a snowshower this morning – Pic taken 2/13/2023

Cimarrona Peak trying to pop through a snowshower this morning – Pic taken 2/13/2023

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Monday – 13 Feb 2023 – 4:50pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp this afternoon was 47. The low this morning was 19. The peak wind at the airfield this afternoon has been 27mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4258 / 19577-29 / 1940

Precipitation summary… No measurable precip was reported this morning, but a few showers have moved through parts of the county today.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – The low is spinning over central AZ will move east-northeast (red arrows). The green arrows indicate the moisture fetch. Moisture is increasing as I type and should be pretty robust this evening.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – The low is spinning over central AZ will move east-northeast (red arrows). The green arrows indicate the moisture fetch. Moisture is increasing as I type and should be pretty robust this evening.
Radar this afternoon – Showers will be increasing from the south this evening.
Radar this afternoon – Showers will be increasing from the south this evening.

Rest of today through tomorrow morning… The first system is moving through.  Scattered showers and even one thunderstorm has already moved through today. A wintry mix of a few raindrops, a few snowflakes, and quite a bit of graupel have been observed. That trend will continue until the snow level starts coming down around sunset.

Periods of snow will fall until midnight and an isolated thunderstorm or two is also possible. We’ll have a brief break between midnight and tomorrow morning though scattered snowshowers will linger over the mountains.

*** The Pueblo NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the eastern San Juan Mountains, which includes Wolf Creek Pass. The advisory is for 6-12” of snow valid until 2am Tuesday. ***

Highs will range from the high 30s to low 40s and lows will range from the mid-teens to mid-20s.

Snow forecast…

Valley: 1-4”

Mountains: 6-12”

The NWS 12-hour snow forecast model valid from 5pm this evening to 5am tomorrow morning shows 2.6” for Pagosa and 6-12” in our mountains. I think we’ll see a little less accumulation in the valley because of the warm temps.
The NWS 12-hour snow forecast model valid from 5pm this evening to 5am tomorrow morning shows 2.6” for Pagosa and 6-12” in our mountains. I think we’ll see a little less accumulation in the valley because of the warm temps.

Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening… If you like snow and can watch it from the comfort of your cozy home, you’ll like this system!

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*** Tuesday afternoon and evening are going to be nasty with occasional heavy snow, gusty winds, blowing snow, and near white-out conditions. ***

Occasional moderate to heavy snow will continue into Wednesday morning but thankfully the winds will weaken. Snowfall will start tapering off late Wednesday morning and then scattered snow showers will persist into Wednesday evening, especially over the mountains.

Highs on Tuesday afternoon will be in the high 20s to mid-30s and lows will be range from the low teens to low 20s.

Temps will be colder Wednesday with highs in the low to high 20s. Low that night are tricky to forecast and highly dependent on cloud cover. I expect clouds to persist through most of the night which will keep temps a little warmer with lows -5 to 10.  If clouds clear out, those lows will be 10 degrees colder.

Winds Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday evening will gust into the 25-35mph range out of the southwest, and then drop to 10-20mph after midnight.

Patchy fog will form over low-lying areas Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the San Juan River Basin which includes Pagosa Springs. The warning is valid from noon on Tuesday to 6pm on Wednesday. 6-14” of snow is expected with locally higher amounts.  Winds to 35mph are also possible. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the southwest San Juan Mountains for 1-2 feet of snow with locally higher amounts and winds to 45mph valid from noon Tuesday to 6pm Wednesday. *** I’m confident that Wolf Creek will be at the top of that snow range and will see winds over 50mph along the ridge-line.

*** The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an AVALANCHE WATCH valid from 5pm this evening to 5pm Wednesday. Expect very dangerous avalanche conditions to develop. Large and dangerous avalanches will be very easy to trigger. ***

Snow forecast…

Valley: 8-14”

Mountains: 20-30”

The NWS 24-hour snow forecast model valid from 11am Tuesday to 11am Wednesday shows 13.1” for Pagosa and 20-30” in our mountains. I think 13” is on the high end for town but I like this for the surrounding area and the mountains.
The NWS 24-hour snow forecast model valid from 11am Tuesday to 11am Wednesday shows 13.1” for Pagosa and 20-30” in our mountains. I think 13” is on the high end for town but I like this for the surrounding area and the mountains.

Thursday and Friday… Ridging will build over the region, so we’ll be dry and see fewer clouds.

Temps on Thursday will still be chilly – 10-15 degrees below average. Highs will be in the mid-20s to low 30s and overnight lows will range from -10 to +10.

Temps will warm at least 10 degrees on Friday with highs in the mid-30s to low 40s. Overnight lows will range from -5 to 15.

Winds will peak in the 5-15mph range each afternoon.

Next week looks active… The forecast models are all over the place but indicating an active week.  Right now I don’t see anything that’s organized and I’m not getting a warm fuzzy. It looks like a pesky multi-day period of on off light precip, but I have very little confidence in how it plays out.

The Euro ensemble 4-day precip for next Monday morning to next Friday morning shows 0.84” for Pagosa Springs. This is mostly light precip that falls on and off during those four days.  Unfortunately I have very little confidence in the long range forecast models at this time.
The Euro ensemble 4-day precip for next Monday morning to next Friday morning shows 0.84” for Pagosa Springs. This is mostly light precip that falls on and off during those four days.  Unfortunately I have very little confidence in the long range forecast models at this time.

My next update will be tomorrow in the early afternoon.

– 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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One Response

  1. You folks are great, my wife and I live on lower hermosa rd, were the last ones on the rd (county rd 201). Along with the Durngo weather guy you are our go to forecasters. Thanks for all you do you get it right more often than the weather service.

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