Snow is winding down – next storm Saturday night into Sunday…

Another fantastic Pagosa Country sunset last night! – pic taken 1/10/2024

Another fantastic Pagosa Country sunset last night! – pic taken 1/10/2024

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Thursday – 11 Jan 2024 – 12:30pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 27. The low this morning was 18.

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

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3759 / 19563-22 / 1962

Precipitation summary… It started to snow in the Pagosa area around 2am last night.  It’s been mostly light snow with occasional bursts of heavier snow.

It started snowing heavily up at Wolf Creek around 9pm last night.  They reported 16” of new snow this morning –  roughly 2” an hour!

CoCoRaHS 24-hour snow reports range from 0.9” to 2.8”
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snow reports range from 0.9” to 2.8”

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite around noon – The trough will move through our area this afternoon.  Unfortunately it is weakening and there won’t be much left of it. Clouds will clear tonight and we’ll get cold.
Water vapor satellite around noon – The trough will move through our area this afternoon.  Unfortunately it is weakening and there won’t be much left of it. Clouds will clear tonight and we’ll get cold.
Radar around noon – According to radar, it’s not snowing! The view out of my windows, CDOT cams, and surface observations all say otherwise.
Radar around noon – According to radar, it’s not snowing! The view out of my windows, CDOT cams, and surface observations all say otherwise.

Forecast Highlights…

***  A Special Avalanche Advisory is in effect for the mountains of Colorado. New snow and winds through the holiday weekend will increase avalanche danger statewide. The most dangerous avalanche conditions will develop Saturday afternoon into Sunday. ***

*** The Winter Weather Advisory for the southwest San Juan Mountains will expire at 5pm today. *** This does not include Pagosa Springs.

*** Road conditions are sketchy across the region, including the Farmington area. ***

*** Another round of snow is likely Saturday night and Sunday. ***

Through Thursday evening… The trough will move through this afternoon. However, there won’t be much left of it.  Accumulating snow will be about done by the time I send this but hit and miss snowshowers could persist into the afternoon.

Additional snow amounts:

Valley: up to 1”

Mountains: 2-4”

Winds… This evening windy spots will see up to 20mph out of the north. This will blow our new snow around and cause wind chills down to -15.

Temps… Thursday highs will be in the low to high 20s. Lows in most areas Thursday night will be 0 to -15. The cold spots will dip into the negative -20s.

NBM 6-hour snowfall from noon to 6pm shows 0.2” near Pagosa, 0.5” near Chama, and 2-3” in our mountains.
NBM 6-hour snowfall from noon to 6pm shows 0.2” near Pagosa, 0.5” near Chama, and 2-3” in our mountains.

Thursday night to Friday night… We’ll get a brief break between storms.  We’ll see periods of clouds, especially Thursday evening and the second half of Friday. A few spotty snowshowers are possible over the mountains.  Lucky spots in the mountains could get up to 2”.

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… The forecast models are beginning to agree that the weekend storm will be like the one moving through now.

This storm 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 mostly from the west instead of our more favorable southwest flow. Unless this system dives a little farther south, it has more potential to be a dud than a decent storm for us.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 3-6”

Mountains: 6-12”

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.

WPC 24-hour liquid equivalent from Saturday at 5pm to Sunday at 5pm shows 0.40” in the Pagosa area, 0.42” for Chama, 0.39” for Bayfield, and up to 0.60” in our mountains. Now it’s time for a little math.  This storm will be a little warmer, so I expect a snow ratio around 12:1 in the lower elevations and 16:1 in the mountains.  That results in snow totals of 4.8” for Pagosa, 5” for Chama, 4.7” Bayfield, and up to 9.6” in our mountains. These might be a little on the high side, but they are in my expected range at this time.
WPC 24-hour liquid equivalent from Saturday at 5pm to Sunday at 5pm shows 0.40” in the Pagosa area, 0.42” for Chama, 0.39” for Bayfield, and around 0.60” in our mountains.

Now it’s time for a little math.  This storm will be a little warmer, so I expect a snow ratio around 12:1 in the lower elevations and 16:1 in the mountains.  That results in snow totals of 4.8” for Pagosa, 5” for Chama, 4.7” Bayfield, and around 9.6” in our mountains. These might be a little on the high side, but they are in my expected range at this time.

My next post will be tomorrow.

– 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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