UPDATE!!! It’s Here…

Grand Junction NWS travel snow forecast

Grand Junction NWS travel snow forecast

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Tuesday – 6 Feb 2024 – 5pm

It’s snowing pretty good at 8,000ft elevation, just north of Turkey Springs – Big Fat Flakes! The current temp here is 35°.

*** A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY has been issued by the Grand Junction NWS for the San Juan River Basin which includes Pagosa Springs. 2-5” of snow with locally higher amounts is expected from 11pm Tuesday to 8am Thursday. *** My thoughts: Pagosa Springs will be at the top of this range and possibly end up with “locally higher amounts”.

*** Wolf Creek Pass will be CLOSED Wednesday at 5:30am for winter maintenance. There is no estimated opening time. *** My thoughts: There will be white-out conditions. Don’t drive it if you don’t have to!

I look forward to your reports tomorrow morning! Let it snow!

– Shawn


Tuesday – 6 Feb 2024 – 8:00am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 45 and the low this morning was 29.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 3mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4161 / 19634-31 / 1982

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

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – Lots of moisture is steaming into the region from the southwest. Storm energy moves into our area tonight and tomorrow and will give us a good round of snow.
Water vapor satellite this morning – Lots of moisture is streaming into the region from the southwest. Storm energy moves into our area tonight and tomorrow and will give us a good round of snow.
Radar at 7am this morning – Radar is backwards for us this morning.  Though radar indicates light precip in our area, there is none.  The radar is picking up thick moisture at 20,000-30,000ft.  The leading edge of the real precip in moving into the southern half of AZ.
Radar at 7am this morning – Radar is backwards for us this morning.  Though radar indicates light precip in our area, there is none.  The radar is picking up thick moisture/ice crystals at 20,000-30,000ft.  The leading edge of the real precip in moving into the southern half of AZ.

*** Occasional moderate to heavy snow, gusty winds, blowing snow, and poor visibility is likely late Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon. ***

*** Heavy wet snow and gusty winds could lead to spotty power outages. ***

*** A WINTER STROM WARNING has been issued by the Pueblo NWS for the eastern San Juan Mountains above 10,000ft for up to 2-3ft of snow and 55mph winds from noon Tuesday to 5pm Thursday. *** This does not include the Pagosa Springs area.

*** An AVALANCHE WATCH has been issued for our mountains from late Tuesday night through Thursday. ***

*** As of 8am Tuesday morning, there are no advisories or warnings out for the San Juan River Basin/Pagosa Springs area. ***

*** The third, and possible final, storm is Friday and Saturday. ***

This winter storm is sponsored by The Springs Resort!

Tuesday afternoon into Thursday morning – Everything is lining up for a good storm – jetstream support, storm energy, moisture, precipitable water, and fetch. With a long southerly fetch, it will start off a little warm like the previous system but will cool more quickly and give us a longer period for snow to accumulate.

Timing… The first scattered showers will start over the mountains later this morning and over the valley this afternoon. The heaviest precip will fall Tuesday evening into Wednesday afternoon. Precip will become more showery Wednesday evening through Thursday morning.

Snow levels…  Will start around 8,000ft Tuesday afternoon, drop to 7,000ft by sunrise Wednesday, bounce around 6,500ft until sunset Wednesday, and then stay below 6,500ft the rest of the period.

Snow amounts by 8am Wednesday…

Valley below 7,400ft: 1-4” – heavy wet snow that won’t accumulate efficiently

Valley above 7,400ft: 4-7”

Mountains: 10-16”

Snow amounts 8am to 8pm Wednesday…

Valley below 7,400ft: 2-4” – heavy wet snow that won’t accumulate efficiently

Valley above 7,400ft: 4-7”

Mountains: 10-16”

Snow amounts 8pm Wednesday to 5pm Thursday…

Valley: 1-3” – this will be more spotty

Mountains: 6-10”

Winds… *** Gusts will be around 25mph Tuesday night to Wednesday evening. ***

Temps. Highs Tuesday will be in the high 30s to mid-40s and low Tuesday night will be in the high 20s to mid-30s. Highs Wednesday will be in the mid-30s and lows will be in the low to high 20s. Highs Thursday will be near 30 to the mid-30s.

Grand Junction NWS snow forecast to Thursday at 5pm shows 8-12” near Pagosa, 12-18” for the higher parts of the valley, and 30+ inches for our mountains
Grand Junction NWS snow forecast to Thursday at 5pm shows 8-12” near Pagosa, 12-18” for the higher parts of the valley, and 30+ inches for our mountains

Albuquerque NWS snow forecast to Thursday at 5am shows 8-12” for Chama.
Albuquerque NWS snow forecast to Thursday at 5am shows 8-12” for Chama.

Thursday afternoon through Friday morning… There will be a brief lull, but we’ll stay mostly cloudy with scattered snowshowers.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 1-3” but it will be spotty

Mountains: 3-6”

Winds… Gusts Thursday afternoon will be around 20mph.

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

Friday afternoon through Saturday… The next trough will move through from the northwest which isn’t favorable for us. Additionally, storm energy and moisture are weak, so my expectations are low. I’m concerned that this one will go poof.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 1-4”

Mountains: 4-8”

I’ll do a quick post first thing tomorrow morning and then a more thorough post later in the morning.

– Shawn

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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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