Snow is on the way…

First light on Cimarrona this morning – Pic taken 1 Feb 2024

First light on Cimarrona this morning – Pic taken 1 Feb 2024

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Thursday – 1 Feb 2024 – 11:10am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 51 and the low this morning was 27.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 21mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4060 / 19452-46 / 1951

Precipitation summary… A trace of snow fell in parts of the valley and up at Wolf Creek.

Local snowpack update…

These are current snotel snowpack numbers. Focus on “Snow Water Equivalent – Current”, “Snow Water Equivalent – Today’s Median”, and “Percent of – Today’s Median”. The Upper San Juan needs 5.5” of water equivalent to get back to the median. Wolf Creek Summit needs 6.4” to get back to the median. Forecast models indicate that 3-5” of water equivalent is possible by 11 Feb. With some luck, we could sneak back into the 90% range!
These are current snotel snowpack numbers.
Focus on “Snow Water Equivalent – Current”, “Snow Water Equivalent – Today’s Median”, and “Percent of – Today’s Median”. The Upper San Juan needs 5.5” of water equivalent to get back to the median. Wolf Creek Summit needs 6.4” to get back to the median. Forecast models indicate that 3-5” of water equivalent is possible by 11 Feb.
With some luck, we could sneak back into the 90% range!

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – Moisture is streaming into southern CA and will move into our area tonight. The trough will move through our area Friday evening and then a slow-moving low will spin near the TX panhandle and kick up scattered showers into Saturday evening.
Water vapor satellite this morning – Moisture is streaming into southern CA and will move into our area tonight. The trough will move through our area Friday evening and then a slow-moving low will spin near the TX panhandle and kick up scattered showers into Saturday evening.
Radar this morning – Lots of moisture is streaming into southern CA and up the I-15 corridor. That precip will move east with the trough into our area tonight and tomorrow.
Radar this morning – Lots of moisture is streaming into southern CA and up the I-15 corridor. That precip will move east with the trough into our area tonight and tomorrow.

Forecast Highlights…

*** The first storm will impact our area Thursday afternoon to Saturday afternoon. ***

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the southwest San Juan Mountains. 1-2 FEET of snow is expected from 5pm Thursday to 5pm Saturday. *** This does not include Pagosa Springs.

*** A potentially long-duration storm could impact us Tuesday night, 6 Feb to Saturday, 10 Feb. ***

This winter storm is sponsored by The Springs Resort!

Thursday afternoon to Saturday evening… A series of storms could impact us through the first 10 days of February. Here are the details on the first one.

Timing… Scattered light snowshowers are already falling over the mountains. Scattered rain showers will start over the valley Thursday evening. The best chance for precip is late Thursday evening to late Friday evening. The heaviest precip will fall Thursday evening to Friday afternoon and then precip will become more scattered Friday evening to Saturday evening.

Snow levels… Will start around 8,500ft Thursday afternoon, drop to 8,000ft around 2am, continue to drop to 7,500ft by sunrise Friday, and then continue to slowly drop to 6,500ft by late Friday afternoon, and remain below 6,500ft through the weekend. Forecast snow levels have lowered but temps will remain above freezing in town making it difficult for the snow to accumulate.

Snow amounts…

5pm Thursday to 11pm Friday

Valley below 7,500ft: 2-4”

Valley above 7,500ft: 4-7”

Mountains: 12-18”

11pm Friday to 11pm Saturday

Valley: 1-2”

Mountains: 4-6”

Winds… Peaks will be around 15mph, but the windy spots could see gusts to 20mph Friday afternoon.

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

The NWS snow forecast shows 3-4” near Pagosa, 6-8” for the higher parts of the valley, and 12-18” in our mountains. My thoughts… I agree with snow amounts in the valley, but think Wolf Creek could sneak into the low 20 inch range.
The NWS snow forecast shows 3-4” near Pagosa, 6-8” for the higher parts of the valley, and 12-18” in our mountains.
My thoughts… I agree with snow amounts in the valley, but think Wolf Creek could sneak into the low 20 inch range.
NWS snow forecast model zoomed into our area is clearer: 4” near Pagosa, 6-8” for the higher parts of the valley, 6” for Chama, just 1” for Bayfield, 18” for Wolf Creek Pass, and up to 24” in our mountains.
NWS snow forecast model zoomed into our area is clearer: 4” near Pagosa, 6-8” for the higher parts of the valley, 6” for Chama, just 1” for Bayfield, 18” for Wolf Creek Pass, and up to 24” in our mountains.

Sunday through Tuesday morning… Transient ridging will keep us dry. Clouds will increase Monday as the ridge moves to our east. A few spotty snowshowers are possible over the mountain Tuesday morning, but snow accumulation will be minimal.

Winds… Peaks will be around 10mph each afternoon.

Temps… Highs on Sunday will be in the mid-30s to low 40s and lows Sunday night will in the low teens to low 20s. Highs on Monday will be in the low to high 40s and lows Monday night will be in the mid-teens to mid-20s.

Roughly Tuesday evening into Saturday – Things are trying to line up for a decent storm. Right now it looks like double digit snow totals are possible in the valley and 2-3ft is possible in the mountains. Forecast confidence is low that far out. There is considerable uncertainty with timing and precip amounts.

Euro ensemble 4-day snowfall from next Tuesday at 5pm to Saturday at 5pm – It’s way too early to trust snow amounts and timing. At this point, I’m tracking trends, and the trend looks good. Most forecast models expect 7-15” of snow in the valley and 2-3ft in the mountains. *** I’ll continue to post products to track the trends, but this is not my forecast. ***
Euro ensemble 4-day snowfall from next Tuesday at 5pm to Saturday at 5pm – It’s way too early to trust snow amounts and timing. At this point, I’m tracking trends, and the trend looks good. Most forecast models expect 7-15” of snow in the valley and 2-3ft in the mountains.
*** I’ll continue to post products to track the trends, but this is not my forecast. ***

I’ll probably do posts every day to Saturday, 10 February. Plus I’ll do quick Facebook posts as things get interesting. And I’ll get the January summary/February outlook done tomorrow or Saturday.

– Shawn

Pagosa Weather Blizzard Level Sponsor

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Shawn Pro

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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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for your dedication and to these great sponsors, who help keep our community informed!

    Let it snow ️! Blessings

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