Snowshowers and maybe thundersnow today!…

The snow-covered mountains made an appearance shortly before the sun set.  – Pic taken 11/18/2023

The snow-covered mountains made an appearance shortly before the sun set.  – Pic taken 11/18/2023

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Sunday – 19 Nov 2023 – 9:20am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 51. The low this morning was 32. Humidity bottomed out yesterday afternoon at 39%.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 22mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4665 / 194314-6 / 1969

Precipitation summary… Finally some measurable precip! It was a cool, damp Saturday afternoon.  That will help our fires.

Wolf Creek reported 2” of new snow this morning.

CoCoRaHS 24-hour precip reports range from 0.04” to 0.13”. Mike is the precip winner in Aspen Springs!
CoCoRaHS 24-hour precip reports range from 0.04” to 0.13”. Mike is the precip winner in Aspen Springs!
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports range from a trace to 0.2”.  It’s a start!  CoCoRaHS observers, please remember to report “0” for snowfall during the winter months.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports range from a trace to 0.2”.  It’s a start!  CoCoRaHS observers, please remember to report “0” for snowfall during the winter months.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – Low stratus clouds are trapped in our valley.  Clouds and showers will increase ahead of the trough this afternoon.  Satellite indicates that the atmosphere is unstable ahead of the trough so we could see thundersnow in a few spots.
Water vapor satellite this morning – Low stratus clouds are trapped in our valley.  Clouds and showers will increase ahead of the trough this afternoon.  Satellite indicates that the atmosphere is unstable ahead of the trough so we could see thundersnow in a few spots.
Radar this morning – Showers are moving west to east ahead of the trough.
Radar this morning – Showers are moving west to east ahead of the trough. As always, radar isn’t showing everything in the Four Corners area.

Forecast Highlights…

*** Many of us will see snowflakes today! ***

*** Driving conditions will be sketchy on Wolf Creek Pass Sunday through Monday morning. ***

*** Roads could be bad across the region late Thanksgiving night and Friday. ***

Sunday through Monday morning… The second trough will move through Monday morning.  It will have more moisture, more storm energy, and colder air. It’s unstable enough to trigger a thunderstorm or two – thundersnow! The best chance for precip is noon to 11pm Sunday.

Scattered snow showers will linger through Monday morning, mostly over the mountains.

Snow levels:

Sunday to late afternoon: 7,500ft to 8,000ft

Sunday after sunset: dropping to 6,500ft

Snow amounts Sunday morning to Monday morning:

Valley below 7,500ft: up to a half inch

Valley above 7,500ft: up to 1”

Mountains: 3-6”

Winds… Gusts will be in the 15-20mph range.

Temps… Highs Sunday will be in the high 30s to mid-40s and lows will be in the high teens to high 20s.

HRRR forecast radar loop starting at 10am on Sunday and ending at midnight – Spotty showers are possible in Archuleta County to 1pm. Then they increase 2:30 to 9pm. Showers move west to east until around 3pm and then start moving north to south. We could see a thundersnow shower or two noon to 5pm.
HRRR forecast radar loop starting at 10am on Sunday and ending at midnight – Spotty showers are possible in Archuleta County to 1pm. Then they increase 2:30 to 9pm. Showers move west to east until around 3pm and then start moving north to south. We could see a thundersnow shower or two noon to 5pm.
NWS snow forecast shows less than an inch above 7,500ft and 3-6” in our mountains.
NWS snow forecast shows less than an inch above 7,500ft and 3-6” in our mountains.

Monday afternoon through Thanksgiving afternoon… Ridging will rebound along the coast and dry, upper-level northwest flow will prevail. Monday afternoon through Wednesday we’ll see lots of blue sky, a warming trend, and no precip.

Clouds will increase Thanksgiving afternoon ahead of the next system. 

Winds… Gusts Monday morning and afternoon will be around 20mph. Peak winds Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon will be in the 10-15mph range.

Temps… Monday highs will be in the low to high 40s and lows will be in the low teens to low 20s. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thanksgiving highs will be in the high 40s to mid-50s and lows will be in the low 20 to  low 30s.

Thanksgiving night to Saturday afternoon… The next system is trying to line up. There is still a lot of uncertainty with the forecast models, so I don’t trust the details. However, with an influx of visitors and travelers for Thanksgiving, I want to provide a rough planning forecast.

One thing I’m confident about… Cold air will be in place and precip will be mostly snow.

Timing… The chance for snow will ramp up late Thursday night and remains high through Friday. Scattered snow showers could linger into Saturday morning.

Rough first guess snow amounts:

Valley: 2-4”

Mountains: 5-10”

Winds… Peak winds will be in the 15-20mph range.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-30s to low 40s. Lows Friday night will be in the mid-teens to low 20s.

Euro ensemble snowfall Thursday evening to Saturday evening shows 3-5” in the Pagosa area and 6-10” in our mountains. Right now this lines up pretty good with my expectations.
Euro ensemble snowfall Thursday evening to Saturday evening shows 3-5” in the Pagosa area and 6-10” in our mountains. Right now this lines up pretty good with my expectations.

Mark will take over tomorrow.

– 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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