Pagosa Weather DECEMBER SUMMARY & January Outlook

Snowpack for the state is currently at 68%.

Snowpack for the state is currently at 68%.

Wednesday – 3 Jan 2024 – 5:15pm

December Summary…

The average high for December is 39 and the average low is 5. The record high of 70 occurred on 3 December 1906. The record low of -35 occurred on 19 December 1909. Precip averages 1.89″ in December with 22.6″ of snow. Wolf Creek Pass averages 4.42″ of precip and 78.7″ of snow.

The high temperature at Stevens Field for December was 53 on 6 Dec and the low temperature was 6 on 10 and 26 Dec. The cold spots got down to the negative mid-single digits a couple of times.

How did we do?

December mean temperature anomaly for Archuleta County were 3-7 degrees above normal.
December mean temperature anomalies for Archuleta County were 3-7 degrees above normal.

December mean precip anomalies were 70-80% of average for most of Archuleta County
December mean precip anomalies were 70-80% of average for most of Archuleta County
Precip totals across Archuleta County ranged from 0.88″ to 1.64″– less than the average of 1.89″
Precip totals across Archuleta County ranged from 0.88″ to 1.64″– less than the average of 1.89″

Snowfall totals across Archuleta County range from 5″ to 11.9″ - much less than the average of 22.6"
Snowfall totals across Archuleta County ranged from 5″ to 11.9″much less than the average of 22.6″

We’ve received 15.3″ of snowfall so far this year - well below the average of 34.4"
We’ve received 15.3″ of snowfall so far this year well below the average of 34.4″

Wolf Creek Ski Area got 41″ of snow in December – 37.7″ less than average. So far this season 80″ has fallen – 79.9″ less than average
Wolf Creek Ski Area got 41″ of snow in December – 37.7″ less than average.
So far this season 80″ has fallen – 79.9″ less than average

Snowpack and Drought…

The Upper San Juan is 61% of normal. Most of the western US is well below average.
The Upper San Juan is 61% of normal. Most of the western US is well below average.

The Upper San Juan snotel is 55% of average and Wolf Creek Summit is 53% of average
The Upper San Juan snotel is 55% of average and Wolf Creek Summit is 53% of average
Archuleta County is currently under "severe drought" conditions.
Archuleta County is currently under “severe drought” conditions.

Precip total for 2023…

Precip in the Pagosa area totaled 18.34" in 2023 - 84% of the average of 21.92". January and March were the best months.
Precip in the Pagosa area totaled 18.34″ in 2023 – 84% of the average of 21.92″. January and March were the best months.

January Outlook…

The average high for January is 37 and the average low is 2. The record high of 59 occurred on 1 January 1951. The record low of -42 occurred on 13 January 1963. Precip averages 2.08″ in January with 26.4″ of snow. Wolf Creek Pass averages 3.67″ of precip and 76.1″ of snow.

The Climate Prediction Center temperature outlook for January on the left is "leaning towards" below average temps. The precip outlook on the right is "leaning towards" above average precip
The Climate Prediction Center temperature outlook for January on the left is “leaning towards” below average temps.
The precip outlook on the right is “leaning towards” above average precip.
1 Jan 2024 pm Outlook Euro and GFS ensembles
Euro ensemble precip to 31 Jan on the left expects 2.20″ and GFS ensemble precip to 31 Jan on the right expects 2.69″ – both are above the average of 2.08″

And what do we expect?

Arleen is the expert, and this is what she says…

Finally, the gate is opening! We will see a series of several storms move through during the first half of the month. It will slow down a little the third week in January but pick up again the last week. The Arctic Oscillation is going negative and allowing cold air to ooze into our area. It will be SNOW for everyone without a fear of rain. The MJO has also increased intensity for the 1st time in months. Towards the end of January or beginning of February, the MJO should help enhance systems as they move through the region. With the help of the El Nino, the moisture in the Pacific is open for business and we’ll see more than average snow this month.

A HUGE thanks for your precip reports and pictures! Reports help verify our forecasts and make us better forecasters.

Another HUGE thanks to our donors and sponsors! You help cover the cost of this web page and our weather subscriptions, necessary to provide you accurate weather reports!

And if you’re curious about us, check out this excellent video by Matt Martin. We are humbled and honored that he used his talent and time to spotlight Pagosa Weather!

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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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