And so it begins…again!

Showtime

Tuesday – 28 Feb. 2023 – 9:30am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 35 and the low this morning was 15 degrees. Humidity bottomed out at 40%. Winds gusted to 18 mph yesterday.

Precipitation summary…There was no precipitation yesterday, but snow started falling this morning around the time that most of us go out to record our snowfall totals. At 7:30am, when I measured mine about a mile north of Hatcher Lake, I found a half an inch. The snow totals below depend on what time the observers measured the snow…the earlier the person measured, the less snow they reported.

Wolf Creek Ski area reported 2 inches of snow overnight.

Screenshot 2023 02 28 083720
24hr Snowfall totals from our COCORAHS reporters ranged from zero to half an inch.
287243721 3153665951616296 694449370587585878 n
Thanks to the Springs Resort for sponsoring our upcoming storm.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4562/ 198610-23/ 1962
Screenshot 2023 02 28 071721
Winter Storm Watch for areas in blue. Winter Storm Warning and Avalanche Watches for areas in amber and a Winter Storm Warning for areas in pink.

Winter Storm Warning for Wolf Creek Pass:

WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO 5 AM MST THURSDAY… * WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 12 to 24 inches, with locally higher amounts on south and southwest facing slopes. Winds gusting as high as 55 mph. * WHERE…Eastern San Juan Mountains Above 10000 Feet. * WHEN…From 11 PM this evening to 5 AM MST Thursday. * IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Snow and blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility, with icy and snow packed roads expected. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

Winter Storm Warning, which includes Pagosa Springs:

San Juan River Basin- Including the city of Pagosa Springs 141 PM MST Tue Feb 28 2023 …WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM MST THURSDAY… * WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches with locally higher amounts possible. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph. * WHERE…San Juan River Basin. * WHEN…From 11 PM this evening to 11 AM MST Thursday.

Avalanche Watch:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED AVALANCHE WATCH COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CENTER RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER/BOULDER CO 754 PM MST MON FEB 27 2023 THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CENTER. …AVALANCHE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM MONDAY UNTIL 5 AM WEDNESDAY… *WHAT… Dangerous avalanche conditions are taking shape. Expect the Avalanche Danger to rise to HIGH (Level 4 of 5) by Tuesday night. *WHERE… Elk Mountains, West Elk Mountains and San Juan Mountains *WHEN… Expect dangerous avalanche conditions to begin on Tuesday by about 10:00 PM and last through Wednesday at 6:00 PM. *IMPACTS… Heavy snow and strong winds will create dangerous avalanche conditions by Tuesday night. Large and dangerous avalanches will be easy to trigger once the new snow accumulates. Avalanches will run naturally.

Forecast discussion…

As I write this post this morning, snow is coming down at a decent rate, with only 1/4 mile visibility at our place near Hatcher Lake. As a wave ahead of our next trough moves through today, we could see winds gusting to 40 mph, creating blowing snow conditions in town. In the mountains, winds could gust to 60mph, so traveling over Wolf Creek Pass will be very difficult. There should be a slight lull in the snow this afternoon.

As the main trough digs into the Pacific NW this afternoon, snow will start ramping up tonight, becoming heavy at times during the day on Wednesday, along with blowing snow, as winds gust to 40mph. Wolf Creek Pass will see another day of winds gusting to 60mph along with heavy snow. There is also a chance for some thunderstorms on Wednesday. The trough will produce an upper-level low, that will track to our south over NM on Wednesday night. This system moves through by Thursday morning, ushering in colder air and leading to partly cloudy skies, with only a slight chance for snow in the morning.

500wh.conus 1
A trough and upper-level low will be digging into Nevada and California Wednesday, putting us into a moist SW flow. Winds shown here are in the upper-levels. As this system moves our direction, there is a chance for some thunderstorms imbedded in the snow showers on Wednesday.

Travel Disclaimer: While we would love to help you make decisions on whether to drive over the pass, plan your trip or predict if planes will be able to take off in Durango on a particular date, we don’t have the resources to do so…plus it puts us in potential legal liability if you go flying off Wolf Creek Pass when we suggested it would be a good day to travel! Please use these two links: New Mexico Road Conditions and Colorado Road Conditions. And this one for Durango Airport flight information.

StormTotalSnow GJT
The latest snowfall forecast from today through Thursday morning from the Grand Junction NWS. Updated at 3pm.
NWS
The latest NWS 3-Day snowfall forecast is predicting 12 inches of snow for Pagosa Springs and 11 inches of snow for Chama, NM from now through Thursday.
Euro
The latest EURO snowfall forecast is predicting 9 inches of snow for Pagosa Springs and 7.6 inches of snow for Chama, NM from now through Thursday morning.
NBM 1
The latest NBM snowfall forecast is predicting 8.3 inches of snow for Pagosa Springs and 6.1 inches of snow for Chama, NM from now through Thursday morning.
GFS 3
The latest GFS snowfall forecast is predicting 9 inches of snow for Pagosa Springs and 8.3 inches of snow for Chama, NM from now through Thursday morning.

5-Day Forecast…

The rest of today: Mostly cloudy, windy, with snow showers. Snow becoming lighter in the afternoon. SW winds 15-25 with gusts to 40mph. Blowing snow will make traveling a real challenge at Wolf Creek Pass with winds gusting to 60mph up there. Highs in the low to mid 30’s and lows in the teens. 1-3 inches of snow for the valley and 5-10 inches of snow for the mountains.

Tonight–Wednesday Night: Cloudy with snow showers, heavy at times and blowing snow. Lows in the teens and highs in the upper 20’s to low 30’s. SW winds 15-25 mph with gusts to 40mph. 6-12 inches for the valley and 15-25 inches for the mountains.

Thursday-Morning snow showers. Becoming partly cloudy in the afternoon. Lows in the single digits and teens and highs in the mid to upper 30’s. SW winds 10-15 with gusts to 20mph. 0-1/2 inch of snow for the valley and 1-2 inches of snow for the mountains.

Friday-Saturday: Mostly sunny with lows in the low to upper single digits and highs in the mid to upper 30’s. SW winds 10-15 with gusts to 20mph.

Sunday: Mostly sunny with lows in the single digits to low teens and highs in the low to mid 40’s.

Check out my Pagosa Peak Cam (myearthcam.com) for watching hikers, bikers and of course, the weather.

-Mark Langford

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This website makes no guarantees about nor bears any responsibility or liability concerning the accuracy or timeliness of the weather information published on this website. All weather information published on this website is for educational and weather enthusiast purposes only. We do not issue Storm Watches, Warnings or Advisories as that ability falls with the National Weather Service, who is the only institution allowed to issue such warnings by law. We are not in any way linked nor affiliated with the National Weather Service, although we do share information and relay weather watches/ warnings, etc. Use of the information on page is at your own risk/discretion, and we are not responsible for any personal/property damages, injury or death associated with weather forecasts, reports or other information as well as communication exchanged in private messages and/or person.

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