A storm or two before Christmas …

Beautiful day for a fly-over honoring Archuleta County’s deceased veterans  – Pic taken 12/15/2023

Beautiful day for a fly-over honoring Archuleta County’s deceased veterans  – Pic taken 12/15/2023

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Sunday – 17 Dec 2023 – 11:30am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 46. The low this morning was 16.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 5mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4057 / 19804-21 / 1945

Precipitation summary… There was no measurable precip reported in the last 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The jet stream is well to our north. The ridge, jagged blue line, is giving us lots of sun and temps warmer than average. A weak trough will spin off that low and move through our area Wednesday evening. A secondary low will move to our south Saturday and Sunday.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The jet stream is well to our north. The ridge, jagged blue line, is giving us lots of sun and temps warmer than average. A weak trough will spin off that low and move through our area Wednesday evening. A secondary low will move to our south Saturday and Sunday.

There is nothing on radar this morning.

Forecast Highlights…

*** Lots of sun and warmer than average temps through Tuesday. ***

*** A weak system will move through late Wednesday. ***

*** A stronger system will move through next weekend. ***

Sunday through Wednesday morning… Ridging will remain in control and give us lots of sun and above average temps. Clouds will start increasing Tuesday ahead of the next system.

Winds… Afternoon peaks will be in the 5-10mph range.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-40s to low 50s and lows will be 10 to 20. Lows Tuesday night will be a little warmer due to more clouds, in the mid-teens to mid-20s.

Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning… The next system will move through. It won’t have much moisture or storm energy, so my expectations are low. In fact, this system could go “poof”.

Timing… Spotty showers will develop over the mountains after noon on Wednesday.  The best chance for precip is Wednesday evening. Spotty showers will linger over the mountains through Thursday morning.

Snow levels… Will jump to 8,400ft Wednesday afternoon and gradually drop to 7,600ft by sunrise on Thursday.

Snow amounts…

Below 7,600ft: a few “rainflakes” – no snow accumulation

7,600ft to 8,400ft: up to a half inch in a few lucky spots

Mountains: up to an inch, but it will be spotty

Winds… Peaks will be 10-15mph Wednesday afternoon.

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

NBM snowfall to Thursday at 11am shows nothing over most of the valley and up to 2” in our mountains. This looks reasonable to me.
NBM snowfall to Thursday at 11am shows nothing over most of the valley and up to 2” in our mountains. This looks reasonable to me.

Thursday afternoon through Friday evening… Transient ridging will give us a brief break.  We’ll see partly to mostly cloudy skies and few spotty snowshowers over the mountains. I don’t expect any snow accumulation.

Winds… Peaks Thursday afternoon will 5-10mph.

Temps…  Highs Thursday will be in the low to high 40s and lows will be in the low to high 20s.

Friday night through Sunday night… The next system will slide to our south. There is still a lot of uncertainty with this system, but it doesn’t look impressive.

*** The details will change as the data gets better. ***

Timing… The first few showers will develop over the mountains late Friday night. Wolf Creek Pass could be slick by sunrise on Saturday. The best chance for precip is Saturday morning to early Sunday morning. Spotty showers will linger over the mountains until Sunday evening.

Snow levels… They’ll be tricky. Friday evening snow levels will be around 7,800ft, drop to around 7,200ft by sunrise Saturday, rise back up to 7,800ft by Saturday afternoon, and then drop to 7,000ft Saturday night.

Snow amounts…

Below 7,800ft: 1-2”

Valley above 7,800ft: 2-4”

Mountains: 4-6”

Winds… Peaks will be 10-15mph

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

NBM snowfall to Sunday at 11pm shows 2.4” for Pagosa, 2.9” for Chama, and up to 18” in our mountains.  I think the NBM is overdoing precip, especially for our mountains.  I think the low track a little too far south of us to get these amounts.
NBM snowfall to Sunday at 11pm shows 2.4” for Pagosa, 2.9” for Chama, and up to 18” in our mountains. 
I think the NBM is overdoing precip, especially for our mountains.  I think the low will track a little too far south of us to get these amounts.

My next post will be on Tuesday.

– 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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2 Responses

  1. Hi Michele! Right now things are upside down. The polar front jet has stayed far to the north, keeping areas of low pressure, frontal systems & the snow north of us as well. But that is about to change. Around the 1st of the year, it will all sink further south bringing regular snow & cooler temps into our area. Thank you for following us!

  2. Hi Shawn…do you all have an idea if we will get more snow later in the season? And what about these warmer than average temps? It is kinda scary!! Thks for all you do!!

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