Wednesday will be nasty!…

Lovin’ our winter wonderland! – Pic taken 2/16/2023

Lovin’ our winter wonderland! – Pic taken 2/16/2023

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Saturday – 18 Feb 2023 – 10:30am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp in the last 24 hours was 39. The low this morning was 6. The peak wind at the airfield was 5mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4360 / 19588-26 / 1942

Precipitation summary… There has been no recent measurable precipitation.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – There are quite a few mid and upper level clouds moving into our area from the west. The low off the coast will stay to our south and won’t impact us. The trough to the northwest will give the Steamboat area a good round of snow, but our mountains will be lucky to get an inch.
Water vapor satellite this morning – There are quite a few mid and upper level clouds moving into our area from the west. The low off the coast will stay to our south and won’t impact us. The trough to the northwest will give the Steamboat area a good round of snow, but our mountains will be lucky to get an inch.

There is nothing significant on radar this morning.

Today… The ridge has moved to the east. Flow has switched to more westerly between a trough to the northwest and a low well off the southern CA coast. We’ll see quite a few mid and high level clouds but will stay dry.

Highs will be in the mid-30s to low 40s. Overnight lows will range from the mid-single digits to around 20.

Winds will peak in the 10-15mph range this afternoon.

Sunday and Monday… We’ll see more clouds and a slight chance for light scattered snowshowers Sunday afternoon through Monday, mostly over the mountains. The chance for snow will increase a little Monday night. We’ll be lucky to see a snowflake or two in the valley, but the lucky spots in the mountains could get up to 1”.

High temps will be in the high 30s to mid-40s and lows will range from the low teens to low 20s.

Winds will gust into the 20-25mph range Sunday afternoon and then 15-20mph Monday afternoon.

NWS snowfall for Colorado through Monday at 5am shows less than an inch in our mountains and nothing in the valley.  This looks good to me for this period.
NWS snowfall for Colorado through Monday at 5am shows less than an inch in our mountains and nothing in the valley.  This looks good to me for this period.

Tuesday and Wednesday… Storm 1… Things are lining up for another round of decent snow. Snow and winds will ramp up Tuesday evening. The heaviest snow is likely early Wednesday morning into Wednesday afternoon. The strongest winds will be late Wednesday morning to late Wednesday evening resulting in blowing snow and occasional white-out conditions. Scattered snowshowers will persist Wednesday night, especially over the mountains.

Winds… Tuesday afternoon winds will gust to around 20mph and then increase through Tuesday night.  By sunrise on Wednesday winds will be in the 25-35mph range. Winds will continue to increase through Wednesday morning and will gust 40-45mph late morning to late evening. Winds will decrease some Wednesday night but still gust into the 20-30mph range.  Winds in the mountains will gust 50-60mph from roughly 11am to 11pm Wednesday.

Temps… Highs Tuesday will be in the upper 30s to low 40s and lows will be in the mid-20s to low 30s.  Temps Wednesday will be colder with highs in the low to high 30s and lows in the mid-single digits to mid-teens.

*** Wednesday from early morning to early evening expect periods of heavy snow, winds gusting 35-45mph, blowing snow, and white-out conditions. ***

*** Weather and travel conditions will start out rough early Wednesday morning and get worse through the day! ***

My snow forecast…

Valley: 7-14”

Mountains: 20-30”

NBM snowfall to Wednesday at 11pm – The NBM blends other forecast models for a single solution. Lately it’s been doing pretty well so I’m going with it. It expects 8.5” in town and around 24” in the mountains.
NBM snowfall to Wednesday at 11pm – The NBM blends other forecast models for a single solution. Lately it’s been doing pretty well so I’m going with it. It expects 8.5” in town and around 24” in the mountains.
NBM 6-hour wind gust loop from Tuesday at 8pm to Wednesday at 11pm – The peak wind is 49mph at 2pm with a prolonged period of winds over 40mph. This model tends to slightly overestimate winds, so I think we’ll peak around 45mph. We could see winds gusting over 40mph from roughly 11am to 10pm – yuck!
NBM 6-hour wind gust loop from Tuesday at 8pm to Wednesday at 11pm – The peak wind is 49mph at 2pm with a prolonged period of winds over 40mph. This model tends to slightly overestimate winds, so I think we’ll peak around 45mph. We could see winds gusting over 40mph from roughly 11am to 10pm – yuck!

Thursday through Friday night… Storm 2… This storm won’t be as organized and will have less moisture. There will be a bit of a lull during the day Thursday, but clouds and scattered snowshowers will persist. Snow will ramp up again Thursday night and into Friday morning, and then get more showery Friday afternoon.

Winds will occasionally gust into the 20-30mph range.

Temps… Thursday highs will be in the mid-20s to low 30s and lows will be in the low teens to low 20s.  Friday will be a little warmer with highs in the low to high 30s and lows in the low teens to low 20s.

My snow forecast…

Valley: 3-7”

Mountains: 8-16”

NBM total snowfall to Friday at 11pm – This shows all snowfall to this point so we have to subtract snow from storm 1: 14” – 8.5” = 5.5” for town.  For the mountains: 36” – 24” = 12”. Forecast confidence is still weak for this system.  Timing and amounts could change as the data gets better.
NBM total snowfall to Friday at 11pm – This shows all snowfall to this point so we have to subtract snow from storm 1: 14” – 8.5” = 5.5” for town.  For the mountains: 36” – 24” = 12”. Forecast confidence is still weak for this system.  Timing and amounts could change as the data gets better.

*** We will have a prolonged period of winds gusting over 20mph Tuesday night to Friday evening. Blowing snow and periods of poor visibility will result in poor travel conditions. Don’t be surprised to see your driveways and the roads fill in with snow shortly after they’re cleared! ***

My next post will be on Monday unless I see a significant change to the forecast.

– 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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