Your snow dances worked! More snow Wednesday night and Thursday…

Love this beautiful snow! – pic taken 1/7/2024

Love this beautiful snow! – pic taken 1/7/2024

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Sunday – 7 Jan 2024 – 2:00pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 28. The low this morning was 18.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 10mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3455 / 1958-2-35 / 1949

Precipitation summary… It started snowing over most of the Pagosa area around 2am and has been falling steadily since. Temps have been cold, high teens to mid-20s in the valley, and 5 along the Wolf Creek ridge.  These are ideal temps for dry, powdery snow that accumulates quickly!

Wolf Creek reported 8” of new snow this morning.

CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports this morning range from 1.3” to 5.3”. So far, the snow lottery winner is Arleen just north of Turkey Springs.  As of 1:00pm Arleen has measured 13”!
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports this morning range from 1.3” to 5.3”.
So far, the snow lottery winner is Arleen just north of Turkey Springs. 
As of 1:00pm Arleen has measured 13”!

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – The low is spinning over Lake Mead and will move almost due east (the red arrows). The low will move nearly over our heads around midnight. The green arrows indicate the southwest flow ahead of the system that will continue to pump moisture into our area.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – The low is spinning over Lake Mead and will move almost due east (the red arrows). The low will move nearly over our heads around midnight. The green arrows indicate the southwest flow ahead of the system that will continue to pump moisture into our area.
Radar this afternoon – According to radar, it isn’t snowing! The Four Corners donut hole is obvious today. Precip outside the donut hole is moving towards the northeast.
Radar this afternoon – According to radar, it isn’t snowing! The Four Corners donut hole is obvious today. Precip outside the donut hole is moving towards the northeast.

Forecast Highlights…

*** Moderate to heavy snow will continue into the evening. ***

*** Weather Warnings for heavy snow are valid until 5am Monday. ***

*** Avalanche danger is rated “considerable”. ***

*** More snow Wednesday evening to Thursday afternoon. ***

This winter storm is sponsored by The Springs Resort!

Rest of today … Steady snow will continue to fall into the late afternoon and then get more showery this evening as the low tracks nearly over our heads around midnight. Scattered snowshowers will gradually decrease after 11pm.

Additional snowfall…

Valley: 3-6”

Mountains: 8-12”

Winds… I’m very happy that winds haven’t picked up like I expected.  There’s still a chance for 20-25mph winds for a 2-3 hour period this afternoon. Winds up at Wolf Creek will continue to gust up to 35mph resulting in wind chills down to -15.

Temps… Highs this afternoon will be in the low to mid-20s. Lows tonight are a tricky forecast and dependent on cloud-cover. I think clouds will stick around into the early morning and prevent us from getting really cold.  I expect lows in the mid-single digits to low teens.  If the clouds clear out, many of us will drop below zero.

NBM forecast radar from 1pm today to 1am tonight – Steady snow starts getting more showery 4-5pm. By 11pm most of the snow is done, but a few lingering spotty showers persist over the mountains.
NBM forecast radar from 1pm today to 1am tonight – Steady snow starts getting more showery 4-5pm. By 11pm most of the snow is done, but a few lingering spotty showers persist over the mountains.
NBM 12-hour snow forecast from 1pm today to 1am tonight shows 4.8” for Pagosa, 3.9” for Chama, 3.5” for Bayfield, and 8.8” for Wolf Creek Pass. This looks reasonable to me.
NBM 12-hour snow forecast from 1pm today to 1am tonight shows 4.8” for Pagosa, 3.9” for Chama, 3.5” for Bayfield, and 8.8” for Wolf Creek Pass. This looks reasonable to me.

Monday through Wednesday morning… Transient ridging will give us a break so we can dig ourselves out. We’ll see quite a bit of sun with occasional patches of clouds. Temps will be 5 to 10 degrees below average.

Winds… Monday afternoon winds will peak in the 15-20mph range. *** We could see some drifting snow Monday afternoon. *** Tuesday afternoon wind will peak around 10mph.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-20s to low 30s. Lows will be 0 to -10.

Wednesday afternoon to Thursday evening… The next system will move through. It won’t be organized and will lack moisture so snow amounts will be low.

Timing… Scattered snowshowers will start over the mountains Wednesday afternoon and over the valley in the evening.  The best chance for snow is Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Snowshowers will taper off in the valley Thursday afternoon but will linger over the mountains into Thursday evening.

Snow amounts:

Valley: 2-4”

Mountains: 4-8”

Winds… Wednesday peaks will be 20-25mph. *** Watch for drifting snow Wednesday afternoon. *** Thursday peaks will be 10-15mph.

Temps… Wednesday highs will be in the mid-20s to around 30 and lows will be in the high single digits to high teens.  Thursday highs will be in the low to high 20s and lows Thursday night will be 0 to -10.

Euro 24-hour snow from Wednesday at 2pm to Thursday at 2pm has 2.8” for Pagosa, 4” for Chama, 2.4” for Bayfield, 5.3” for Wolf Creek Pass, and up to 7” in the south San Juans. This looks reasonable to me.
Euro 24-hour snow from Wednesday at 2pm to Thursday at 2pm has 2.8” for Pagosa, 4” for Chama, 2.4” for Bayfield, 5.3” for Wolf Creek Pass, and up to 7” in the south San Juans. This looks reasonable to me.

Thursday night to Friday night… We’ll get a brief break between storms.  Expect quite a few clouds and scattered snowshowers, mostly over the mountains.  Lucky spots in the valley could get an inch of new snow and 1-3” is possible in the mountains.

Saturday into Monday morning… The next storm is trying to get its act together.  There are currently a wide range of outcomes, so forecast confidence is low. I’ll tackle this one in Tuesday’s post.

I’ll do a quick Facebook post tomorrow morning and then a more thorough post tomorrow afternoon.

– 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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8 Responses

  1. Hello, Can you guys explain the “donut hole” effect? Why on the radar it showed no snow but clearly it snowed all day. Thanks

      1. Hi Arleen,

        Thank you so much for the information about “donut hole.” It was very interesting, Was that target of doppler up and running by summer of 2023 reached or is it behind schedule?

  2. Shawn how much did we get in Pagosa? I’m guessing 14 inches. My wife says 16. Please settle this debate?

    1. Randall, in town varied from 11 to 14”. The area varied from 7 to 20”. So you’re both right. 😉
      Shawn will have a map with the 2 day storm total in his post today.

  3. You have the most reliable and accurate weather forecast than any other source my wife and I utilize. With the realization of all of the many variables that are involved in attempting to produce an accurate forecast, you and your crew do a magnificent job.

    Now, please stop the snow. We are old, continually tired and grumpy and are starting to swear frequently. The mountains are lovely and beautiful to gaze upon in the winter months but my wife and I… not so much!

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