Two chances for snow between Wednesday and Sunday…

Love these wintry sunrises! – pic taken 1/8/2024

Love these wintry sunrises! – pic taken 1/8/2024

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Tuesday – 9 Jan 2024 – 11:50am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 30. The low this morning was -8. Check out the graphic and comments below for more details on our cold temps this morning.

Weather Underground temps at 7am this morning were mostly in the -5 to -15 range.  We got quite a few reports of temps in the low -20s.  The “Little Siberia” winners were -26 near the upper Piedra bridge and -27 from Leslie in Alpine Lakes, Coyote Park!  Thanks for your temp reports and pictures!
Weather Underground temps at 7am this morning were mostly in the -5 to -15 range.  We got quite a few reports of temps in the low -20s.  The “Little Siberia” winners were -26 near the upper Piedra bridge and -27 from Leslie in Alpine Lakes, Coyote Park

Thanks for your temp reports and pictures!

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 16mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3759 / 19560-21 / 1912

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

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The ridge will weaken and move to our east this afternoon. Northern Colorado will catch the tail-end of that trough tonight.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The ridge will weaken and move to our east this afternoon. Northern Colorado will catch the tail-end of that trough tonight.

There is nothing on radar in our region this afternoon.

Forecast Highlights…

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

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

*** Another chance for snow Saturday night and Sunday. ***

Tuesday through Wednesday morning… The ridge will weaken and move to our east this afternoon. A weak trough will miss us to the north tonight. Clouds will increase tonight, and our mountains could get a dusting of new snow. More clouds tonight will help us stay a little warmer than it was this morning.

Winds… Tuesday afternoon wind will peak around 10mph.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-20s to low 30s and lows will be in the negative single digits to positive single digits.

Wednesday afternoon to Thursday evening… The next system will move through. It’s looking a little better, but storm energy, moisture, upper-level winds, and trajectory could be lined up better.

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.

*** Driving conditions will deteriorate Wednesday night and likely be lousy by Thursday morning. ***

Snow amounts:

Valley: 3-7”

Mountains: 6-12”

Winds… Wednesday peaks will be 15-20mph. *** The windy spots could see drifting snow Wednesday afternoon. *** Thursday peaks will be around 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 -15.

NBM snowfall to Thursday at 5pm has 2.9” for Pagosa, 4” for Chama, 1.3” for Bayfield, and 6-12” in our mountains. This isn’t handling our cold temps too well so I think we’ll have dry, powdery snow again so amounts could be a little more.
NBM snowfall to Thursday at 5pm has 2.9” for Pagosa, 4” for Chama, 1.3” for Bayfield, and 6-12” in our mountains. This isn’t handling our cold temps too well so I think we’ll have dry, powdery snow again so amounts could be a little more.

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 a dusting of new snow and 1-2” is possible in the mountains.

Winds… Peaks will be around 15mph.

Temps… Highs Friday will be in the high teens to mid-20s. Clouds Friday night should prevent us from getting frigid. Lows will be -5 to +5.

Saturday into Monday morning… There is still a considerable range of outcomes with the next storm.  Here’s my best guess at this time:

This system will be moving through the region from the northwest.  The northern and central mountains will be favored. We’ll just get scraps.

The best storm energy and moisture will be Saturday night and Sunday morning. Unfortunately upper-level flow will be from west or northwest instead of our more favorable southwest flow. Unless this system dives a bit farther south, it has more potential to be a dud than a decent storm for us.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 3-6”

Mountains: 5-10”

Winds… Peaks will be around 15mph Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-20s to low 30s. Lows Saturday night will be in the low teens to low 20s and lows Sunday night will be in the low single digits to low teens.

NBM total snowfall to Monday at 5am. This includes all snowfall to this point, so we have to subtract the amount from the first storm in the image above.  For this storm that’s 3.8” for Pagosa, 4.2” for Chama, 2.3” for Bayfield, and 5-10” for our mountains. I mentioned a considerable range of outcomes… Forecast two-day storm totals range from a measly 0.3” from the GFS to a more encouraging 9.7” from the Canadian model. For now I’m sticking with the recently reliable NBM.  Light-hearted rant – I get frustrated when Steamboat is favored like this.  This is a typical La Nina pattern during a strong El Nino winter!?! Come on Mother Nature – play by the “rules”!
NBM total snowfall to Monday at 5am. This includes all snowfall to this point, so we have to subtract the amount from the first storm in the image above.  For this storm that’s 3.8” for Pagosa, 4.2” for Chama, 2.3” for Bayfield, and 5-10” for our mountains.

I mentioned a considerable range of outcomes… Forecast two-day storm totals range from a measly 0.3” from the GFS to a more encouraging 9.7” from the Canadian model. For now I’m sticking with the recently reliable NBM.  

Light-hearted rant – I get frustrated when Steamboat is favored like this.  This is a typical La Nina pattern during a strong El Nino winter!?! Come on Mother Nature – play by the “rules”!

My next post will be 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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