Scattered snowshowers this afternoon – Dry through Saturday…

Love those big ole snowflakes! – Pic taken 2/14/2023

Love those big ole snowflakes! – Pic taken 2/14/2023

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Wednesday – 15 Feb 2023 – 10:30am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp in the last 24 hours was 30 at noon yesterday. The current temp is 16 which is our low. We’ll be lucky to warm a few degrees this afternoon! The peak wind at the airfield in the last 24 hours was 36mph at 6:55pm.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4257 / 19818-27 / 1949

Precipitation summary… Steady snow fell nearly all afternoon yesterday and then bands of heavy snow moved through overnight. Snow totals in the valley are mostly in the lower end of my forecast range.  Wolf Creek reported 22” in the last 24 hours and 25” for the storm.

Schools were canceled today, and Wolf Creek Pass was closed for a good chunk of the morning.

CoCoRaHS 24-hour snow reports in Archuleta County range from 3.3” to 12.3”. Arleen was the snow winner in O’Neal Park!
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snow reports in Archuleta County range from 3.3” to 12.3”. Arleen was the snow winner in O’Neal Park!

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – As of 9:40am the low is still to our west and will move over our heads noon to 2pm. We are still on the edge of a snow band but that will move east with the low. As the low nears, we’ll see scattered showers – they could cause quick bursts of heavy snow but won’t amount to much. Once the low gets to our east this afternoon, flow will come from the northwest which favors the eastern part of the county for snowshowers.
Water vapor satellite this morning – As of 9:40am the low is still to our west and will move over our heads noon to 2pm. Red arrows indicate the track of the low and green arrows are wind flow around the low.
We are still on the edge of a snow band but that will move east with the low. As the low nears, we’ll see scattered showers – they could cause quick bursts of heavy snow but won’t amount to much. Once the low gets to our east this afternoon, flow will come from the northwest which favors the eastern part of the county for snowshowers.
Radar this morning – According to radar it isn’t snowing – yeah right! It is accurate that most of the precip is out ahead of the low but there are scattered showers near and behind the low.
Radar this morning – According to radar it isn’t snowing – yeah right! It is accurate that most of the precip is out ahead of the low but there are scattered showers near and behind the low.

Through this evening… As I type at 9:30am the low is to our west.  It will track over our heads noon to 2pm. We’ll see hit and miss showers into the evening, especially in the eastern part of the county and the mountains.

Storm sponsored The Springs Resort

Specifics…

I only expect another 1-4” of snow with the western part of the county on the low end of that range and the eastern part on the high end. Winds will be in the 10-20mph range.

Temps will be colder today with highs in the high teens to low 20s. Lows tonight 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.

Patchy fog will form over low-lying areas tonight into tomorrow morning.

*** There is a WINTER STORM WARNING for the San Juan River Basin which includes Pagosa Springs. The warning is valid until 6pm this evening. 1-4” of additional snow is expected. ***

*** There is a WINTER STORM WARNING for the eastern San Juan Mountains for an additional 4-8” of snow and winds to 40mph valid until 5pm this evening. ***

*** The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an AVALANCHE WARNING valid until 5pm Thursday. Heavy snow and strong winds have created dangerous avalanche conditions in the San Juan Mountains. Large and dangerous avalanches will be very easy to trigger. ***

My snow forecast…

Valley: 1-4”

Mountains: 4-8”

NWS snow forecast shows 2-3” for Pagosa but this product is from 5am this morning so some of that 2-3” has already fallen.
NWS snow forecast shows 2-3” for Pagosa but this product is from 5am this morning so some of that 2-3” has already fallen. Note that southeastern Colorado is expected to get decent snow from this system. That’s great because they need it!

Thursday through Saturday… 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 -15 to +5.

Friday and Saturday temps will warm at least 10 degrees 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.

Late Sunday through Thursday… I expect us to get another round of snow but have very little confidence in the details. I see a slight chance for light scattered showers, mostly over the mountains, Sunday night through Monday. Things look more interesting Tuesday night through Thursday night. I’ll nail down the details as the data gets better.

Euro ensemble 4-day precip from Monday through Friday evening shows 1.14” or around 11” of snow.
Euro ensemble 4-day precip from Monday through Friday evening shows 1.14” or around 11” of snow.
Euro ensemble 24-hour snow meteogram for Pagosa – This is one of my favorite products. It’s read left to right, and times are in Zulu. The top chart shows 24-hour snow amounts for 50 different versions of the Euro model.  I want to see consistency with times and amounts like storm 1. The bottom chart shows the results of the top chart.  I pay most attention to the mean.  Forecast confidence increases when the mean and the control are similar like with storm 1. Storm 2 is starting to come together but there is a lot of inconsistency with timing and amounts. Light snow could start falling Sunday night and Monday and then it ramps up Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday, and Thursday. Period 3 from 25 Feb to 1 Mar still looks active but timing and amounts are all over place, so I have no confidence in the outcome.
Euro ensemble 24-hour snow meteogram for Pagosa – This is one of my favorite products. It’s read left to right, and times are in Zulu.

The top chart shows 24-hour snow amounts for 50 different versions of the Euro model.  I want to see consistency with times and amounts like storm 1.

The bottom chart shows the results of the top chart.  I pay most attention to the mean.  Forecast confidence increases when the mean and the control are similar like with storm 1.

Storm 2 is starting to come together but there is a lot of inconsistency with timing and amounts. Light snow could start falling Sunday night and Monday and then it ramps up Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Period 3 from 25 Feb to 1 Mar still looks active but timing and amounts are all over place, so I have no confidence in the outcome.

A HUGE thanks for your snow reports!

I’ll do a post tomorrow morning with a full storm wrap-up.

– 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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