Interesting Skies Today with Light Snow Saturday Night through Monday

ACSL over mountains

Altoco Standing Lenticular over the mountains to our northwest today – pic taken 1/19/2024

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Friday – 19 Jan 2024 – 6:00pm

It was such a beautiful day!  The sun felt so nice on my afternoon walk even though it is melting all of my snow.  Did you notice the altocu standing lenticular over the mountains to the north and all the cirrus clouds throughout the sky today.  It is all signs of weather to come…

Hey! I’m going for a ride with the SAN JUAN SLED DOGS (our Snowman Sponsor) this Sunday, 21 January. There’s room for more! Sunday is “locals’ day” with 25% off for those that drive themselves to the trailhead. Please contact them at 970-507-0316 for more information or check out their web page: See you there!

San Juan Sled Dogs logo

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature this afternoon was 42 and the low this morning was 18.

The wind at Stevens Field this afternoon peaked at 6mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3754 / 19443-33 / 1943

Precipitation summary… There are no reports of Precipitation from CoCoRaHS observers or at Wolf Creek Ski Resort.

Forecast discussion…

Sat 19 jan 24
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – 19 Jan 2024, 1600L

There is nothing on radar in our area this afternoon.

Forecast Highlights…

*** Chance for snow Saturday night to Monday afternoon. ***

Friday evening to Saturday afternoon… An upper-level ridge, masked in lots of upper-level moisture, will slowly move towards us and keep us dry. The ridge will move over us Friday night and then upper-level southwest flow will push more low level clouds into the region through Saturday.

Winds… Peaks will be around 10mph each afternoon.

Temps… Lows Friday night will be in the mid-teens to mid-20s. Highs Saturday will range from near 40 to the mid-40s.

Saturday evening to Monday afternoon… The next system will move through.  It will approach us from the west-northwest, not an ideal direction. It will be disorganized, have limited moisture, and be a bit warmer.

Timing… The first scattered showers will start over the mountains Saturday afternoon and then over the valley Saturday night. Hit and miss snowshowers will persist into Monday afternoon.

Snow levels… Starting Saturday afternoon snow levels will be around 7,200, drop to 6,200ft by sunrise Sunday, rise to 7,400ft Sunday afternoon, drop to 6,700ft Sunday night, and then rise to 7,200ft Monday afternoon.

Snow amounts…

Valley below 7,400ft: 1-2”

Valley above 7,400ft: 2-3”

Mountains: 4-8”

Winds… Peaks will be around 10mph each afternoon.

Temps… Lows Saturday night will be in the low to mid 20s. Highs Sunday will be in the mid-30s to low 40s and lows Sunday night will be in the mid-20s to low 20s. Highs Monday will be in the mid-30s to upper 30s.

nbm conus colorado total snow 5968000
NBM snow to Monday at 5pm shows 1.5” for Pagosa, 1.2” for Chama, .7” for Bayfield, and 4-6” in our mountains. This looks reasonable to me at this time.

Monday evening to Wednesday evening… Upper-level flow will vary between southwest and northwest and continue to push moisture and clouds through the region.  Weak troughs will kick up occasional scattered snowshowers, but I don’t expect much snow to accumulate. It just is not approaching us from an ideal direction.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 0-1”. Most areas will only see a trace… an occasional snowflake flitting by.

Mountains: 2-4”

Winds… Afternoon peaks will be around 10mph.

Temps… Lows Monday night will be in the low-teens to upper-teens.  Highs Tuesday and Wednesday will be in the high 30s to mid-40s. Lows Tuesday night will be in the low-teens to upperteens.

gfs deterministic colorado snow 48hr 6140800
GFS 2-day snowfall from Monday at 6pm to Wednesday at 6pm shows 0.3” for Pagosa, 0.2” for Chama, and up to 2” in our mountains.  This looks reasonable to me at this time.

My next post will be tomorrow afternoon…

Have fun at the Winterfest Bonfire and Concert tonight! I’ll see you at the Balloon Launch tomorrow morning!

– Arleen

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I grew up in Montana where my love of the mountains is rooted. I was in the Air Force, forecasting aviation weather, for 24 years. I had eight assignments and my favorites were Colorado, Alaska, Korea, and Germany. I deployed a number of times including to Iraq and Afghanistan. After RV traveling for nine years, we found paradise in Pagosa. Here we enjoy playing outside in the spectacular San Juan mountains!
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