Windy today!…

We love our morning walks! – Pic taken 3/30/2023

We love our morning walks! – Pic taken 3/30/2023

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Thursday – 30 Mar 2023 – 9:10am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature in the last 24 hours was 53 and the low this morning was 28. There is still no wind data for the airfield. Our peak wind was 20mph around 1pm yesterday.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5172 / 198619-5 / 1975

Precipitation summary… None in the last 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – It looks complicated this morning. A pre-frontal band of clouds is moving through this morning. Then there is a small dry slot with fewer clouds. The tail end of the cold front will move through our area this afternoon. The trough along the southern CA coast is weakening.
Water vapor satellite this morning – It looks complicated this morning. A pre-frontal band of clouds is moving through this morning. Then there is a small dry slot with fewer clouds. The tail end of the cold front will move through our area this afternoon. The trough along the southern CA coast is weakening.
Radar this morning – There isn’t much precip associated with those clouds in the satellite image. The precip over south-central UT will move through our area this afternoon as the cold front moves through.
Radar this morning – There isn’t much precip associated with those clouds in the satellite image. The precip over south-central UT will move through our area this afternoon as the cold front moves through.

Important highlights…

*** Winds will gust 40-50mph in the valley Thursday afternoon and 60-70mph in the mountains. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WIND ADVISORY for the San Juan River basin and much of southwest CO and southeast UT valid today from 9am to 6pm for winds up to 50mph. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has a issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for the southwest San Juan Mountains above 9,000ft valid 9am this morning to noon on Friday. 5-10” of snow and winds gusting to 60mph are expected. ***

Thursday and Friday… A fast moving cold front will move through late this afternoon and evening.  We’ll get a quick 1-2 hour burst of precip – rain, snow, graupel, small hail, and an isolated thunderstorm or two are possible. Unfortunately it will be mostly a wind-producer for us.

Temps… Highs will be in the high 30s to mid-40s and lows will be in the low teens to low 20s. ** Temps will drop 10 degrees 3-5pm as the cold front moves across the county. **

Winds… Thursday afternoon gusts in the valley will be in the 40-50mph range and gusts in the mountains will be in the 60-70mph range. Friday afternoon gusts in the valley will be in the 20-30mph range and gusts in the mountains will be in the 30-40mph range.

Precip timing… The first few showers will start over the mountains around noon and then over the valley later in the afternoon. The best chance for precip is late this afternoon to around midnight. An isolated thunderstorm or two is also possible this afternoon. Then scattered showers will linger until around sunrise, mostly over the mountains.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 0-1”

Mountains: 4-8”

NWS “official” snowfall shows up to an inch in the Pagosa area and 4-8” near Wolf Creek Pass.
NWS “official” snowfall shows up to an inch in the Pagosa area and 4-8” near Wolf Creek Pass.
NAM forecast radar from noon today to 10am tomorrow shows the first showers over the mountains 12-1pm and then over the valley 4-5pm as the cold front moves through. It’s a quick 1-2 hour burst and then bands of scattered showers continue to move through overnight.
NAM forecast radar from noon today to 10am tomorrow shows the first showers over the mountains 12-1pm and then over the valley 4-5pm as the cold front moves through. It’s a quick 1-2 hour burst and then bands of scattered showers continue to move through overnight.

Saturday and Sunday… Transient ridging will dry us out and give us lots of sun.

Temps… Highs will be in the high 40s to mid-50s and lows will in the mid-teens to mid-20s.

Winds… Gusts Saturday afternoon will be around 15mph. Sunday afternoon winds will peak in the 15-20mph range.

Monday and Tuesday… Another cold front will move through.  It looks like tonight’s system – mostly a wind producer.  The best chance for precip is Monday night into early Tuesday afternoon.

Temps… Monday highs will be in the high 40s to mid-50s and lows will in the 20-30 range.  Tuesday will be considerably cooler with highs in the 30-40 range and lows in the high single digits to mid-teens. 

This is what I call “yo-yo season”. One day it’s sunny with temps in the 50s and the next day it’s snowing with temps in the 30s.

Winds… Winds will pick up Monday around noon and then stay gusty through Monday night and into Tuesday afternoon. Gusts in the valley will be in the 30-40mph range and gusts in the mountains will be in the 45-55mph range.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 0-2” but it will be spotty

Mountains above 9,000ft: 5-10”

My forecast confidence in timing and precip amounts is still sketchy, especially for the mountains. Some models expect this storm to take a more favorable track, with more moisture, and produce more snow over the mountains. At this point, I’m leery.  As always, I’ll adjust the specifics as the data gets better.

30 Mar 2023 am WPC 24 hour precip
WPC 24-hour precip from Monday at 6pm to Tuesday at 6pm shows 0.19” near Pagosa and 0.50” to 0.75” in our mountains. This would result in 1-2” of snow in the valley and 5-10” for the mountains.

My next post will probably Friday afternoon. I’ll also do the March summary & April outlook on Saturday.

– Shawn

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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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