Dry and warm through Thursday and then it gets fun…

The storm train is coming – Ai image created by me

The storm train is coming – Ai image created by me

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Sunday – 28 Jan 2024 – 10:45am

A HUGE thanks to Mark for helping Pagosa Weather for the last four years.  We’re going to miss you!

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 41 and the low this morning was 15. Most locations were in the mid-single digits to mid-teens this morning.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 5mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4055 / 19864-23 / 1917

Precipitation summary… There has been no recent measurable precip.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – There isn’t much to talk about yet.  That ridge will keep us dry and warm into Thursday and then the pattern will get more active.
Water vapor satellite this morning – There isn’t much to talk about yet.  That ridge will keep us dry and warm into Thursday and then the pattern will get more active.

There is nothing on radar in our area this morning.

Forecast Highlights…

*** Dry and warm through Thursday. ***

*** The storm train is coming! ***

Sunday afternoon to Thursday afternoon… An upper-level ridge will keep us dry and warm. The ridge will move over us Thursday and then upper-level southwest flow will push more clouds into the region.

Winds… Peaks will 5-10mph each afternoon.

Temps… Highs each day will be in the mid-40s to low 50s and lows will be in the low teens to low 20s.

Thursday night to Saturday night… A storm train is coming! A series of storms could impact us through the first 10 days of February. I’ll focus on the first one for now.

Timing… The first scattered showers will start over the mountains late Thursday evening and then over the valley Thursday after midnight. The best chance for precip is early Friday morning to Saturday afternoon and then precip will become more hit and miss into Saturday night.

Snow levels… Will linger around 8,000ft into late Thursday evening, drop to 7,700ft by sunrise Friday, stay around 7,700ft into Friday afternoon, drop to 7,000ft Friday evening, and then continue to drop into Saturday.

So, what do these snow levels mean?  Precip will start as a rain/snow mix up to 8,000ft into late Thursday evening. Thursday, after midnight, precip will be a rain/snow mix up to 7,700ft and could stay that way to Friday afternoon. Finally, Friday evening precip should turn to snow in town and remain snow through Saturday. Unfortunately, the snow that falls will be heavy and wet and struggle to accumulate, especially below 7,600ft.

Snow amounts…

Valley below 7,600ft: 2-5”

Valley above 7,600ft: 5-9”

Mountains: 14-20”

Winds… Peaks will be around 15mph each afternoon.

Temps… Lows Thursday night will be in the low to mid-30s. Highs Friday will be in the mid-30s to low 40s and lows Friday night will be in the mid-20s to low 30s. Highs Saturday will be in the low to high 30s and lows Saturday night will be in the high teens to mid-20s.

NBM total snow from Thursday at 5pm to Saturday at 11pm – Scattered snow showers start falling over the mountains Thursday evening and then over the higher parts of the valley early Friday morning. By Friday at 5am less than 1” of snow has fallen in the higher parts of the valley and up to 2” has fallen near Wolf Creek. By Friday at 5pm, 1” of snow has fallen in the Pagosa area and 6-9” has fallen near Wolf Creek. By Saturday at 5am, 4” has fallen in the Pagosa area, and 12-18” has fallen near Wolf Creek. By Saturday at 11pm, 5.4” has fallen in the Pagosa area, and 18-24” has fallen near Wolf Creek. My thoughts… The snow amounts are a little high due to warm temps and heavy wet snow that won’t accumulate efficiently.
NBM total snow from Thursday at 5pm to Saturday at 11pm – Scattered snow showers start falling over the mountains Thursday evening and then over the higher parts of the valley early Friday morning.
By Friday at 5am less than 1” of snow has fallen in the higher parts of the valley and up to 2” has fallen near Wolf Creek.
By Friday at 5pm, 1” of snow has fallen in the Pagosa area and 6-9” has fallen near Wolf Creek.
By Saturday at 5am, 4” has fallen in the Pagosa area, and 12-18” has fallen near Wolf Creek.
By Saturday at 11pm, 5.4” has fallen in the Pagosa area, and 18-24” has fallen near Wolf Creek.

My thoughts… The snow amounts are a little high due to warm temps and heavy wet snow that won’t accumulate efficiently.

Sunday and beyond… Sunday and Monday we’ll have a lull with spotty snowshowers, mostly over the mountains, and limited accumulation. Sometime between Tuesday and Friday, the next system will move through.  This one looks promising but there is considerable uncertainty with timing and precip amounts.

Euro 15-day snowfall for Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek – Both of these show a system, then a lull, and then another system. By February 12, this model expects 21” in the Pagosa area and 37” for Wolf Creek. My forecast confidence is low that far out. At this point, I think 21” is the top of the range for Pagosa and 37” is towards the middle of the range for Wolf Creek.
Euro 15-day snowfall for Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek – Both of these show a system, then a lull, and then another system. By February 12, this model expects 21” in the Pagosa area and 37” for Wolf Creek.

My forecast confidence is low that far out. At this point, I think 21” is the top of the range for Pagosa and 37” is towards the middle of the range for Wolf Creek.

My next post will be Tuesday 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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