Wishy-washy weather pattern for a while…

Tommy says, “get out and play”! – Pic taken 15 Feb 2024

Tommy says, “get out and play”! – Pic taken by Arleen on 15 Feb 2024

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Friday – 16 Feb 2024 – 10:45am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 45 and the low this morning was 15. The cold spots dropped to near zero.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 23mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4259 / 19818-24 / 1949

Precipitation summary… A weak trough moved through the area around sunset yesterday. Most people in the valley reported nothing or just a few snowflakes.  Wolf Creek reported 2” of new snow this morning.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – Moisture is moving into Colorado from the northwest. This means snow for the northern Colorado mountains and maybe a few snowflakes for our mountains. The ridge along the west coast is preventing moisture and storm energy from making it into our area.
Water vapor satellite this morning – Moisture is moving into Colorado from the northwest. This means snow for the northern Colorado mountains and maybe a few snowflakes for our mountains. The ridge along the west coast is preventing moisture and storm energy from making it into our area.

There is nothing on radar in our area this morning.

Forecast highlights…

*** Spotty mountain snowshowers today, Sunday, and Wednesday/Thursday. ***

Rest of today… A weak trough will move through tonight from the north-northwest. A few spotty snowshowers are possible over the mountains this afternoon and into the evening. The lucky spots in the mountains could get an inch of snow.

Winds… Peaks will be around 15mph this afternoon.

Temps… Highs Friday afternoon will be in the mid-30s to low 40s and lows Friday night will be in the high single digits to high teens.

NWS snow forecast to Saturday at 5am shows up to an inch in our mountains.  The northern Colorado mountains are favored.
NWS snow forecast to Saturday at 5am shows up to an inch in our mountains.  The northern Colorado mountains are favored.

Saturday… We’ll be between troughs. Expect mostly sunny skies and dry weather.

Winds… Peaks will be around 10mph in the afternoon.

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

Sunday… The next weak trough will move through. We’ll see more clouds and spotty snowshowers over the mountains, mostly in the afternoon.  The lucky spots in the mountains could get an inch of snow.

Winds… Peaks will be around 15mph in the afternoon.

Temps… Highs on Sunday will be near 40 to the high 40s and lows Sunday night will be in the low to high teens.

Monday and Tuesday… We’ll be between troughs. Expect mostly sunny skies on Monday and a few more clouds on Tuesday. 

Winds… Peaks Monday afternoon will be 10-15mph and then Tuesday afternoon peaks will be around 15mph.

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

Wednesday and Thursday… The next trough will move through. It looks a little more promising than the 2 previous troughs but will be moving quickly. Forecast confidence is still shaky on the details, but here is a rough first guess…

Snow levels will start 7,000-7,500ft on Wednesday and then drop below 7,000ft Wednesday night. The best chance for precip is Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening. Snowshowers could linger into Thursday, especially over the mountains.

Snow amounts:

Valley below 7,500ft: Less than 1”

Valley above 7,500ft: around 1”

Mountains: 2-4”

Winds… Gusts Wednesday afternoon will be 20-25mph. Thursday afternoon peaks will be around 15mph.

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

NBM snowfall to Thursday at 11pm shows 0.7” for the Pagosa area, 0.8” for Chama, and 2-4” in our mountains.  Right now this looks reasonable to me.
NBM snowfall to Thursday at 11pm shows 0.7” for the Pagosa area, 0.8” for Chama, and 2-4” in our mountains.  Right now this looks reasonable to me.

Beyond next Thursday… Another system is trying to line up for 26-28 Feb. It’s too far out to trust the details, but it gives me something to keep an eye on.

GFS ensemble 24-hour snow amounts meteogram – This graphic is read left to right and times are in Zulu. The location is just under 10,000ft near Wolf Creek Pass. The top chart shows 24-hour snow amounts for 30 different versions of the GFS forecast model. The bottom chart graphs the amounts from the top chart with the control in blue and mean in green. I pay most attention to the mean. 1 and 2 are the weak systems later today and then again on Sunday. Wolf Creek will be lucky to get a half inch. System 3 looks a little more promising with 1-3” possible Wednesday/Thursday. System 4 is 26-28 Feb.  Amounts on the top chart range from zero to 18” with a mean of just 2.5”.  That’s a wide range and typical from forecast models beyond 7 days. This is why we don’t trust the details.  I’ll track the trend and hope to see this system get more organized and for snow amounts to go up.
GFS ensemble 24-hour snow amounts meteogram – This graphic is read left to right and times are in Zulu. The location is just under 10,000ft near Wolf Creek Pass. The top chart shows 24-hour snow amounts for 30 different versions of the GFS forecast model. The bottom chart graphs the amounts from the top chart with the control in blue and mean in green. I pay most attention to the mean.

1 and 2 are the weak systems later today and then again on Sunday. Wolf Creek will be lucky to get a half inch from each one. System 3 looks a little more promising with 1-4” possible Wednesday/Thursday.

System 4 is 26-28 Feb.  Amounts on the top chart range from zero to 18” with a mean of just 2.5”.  That’s a wide range and typical of forecast models beyond 7 days. This is why we don’t trust the details.  I’ll track the trend and hope to see this system get more organized and for snow amounts to go up.

Unless something pops up, my next post will be on Sunday.

– 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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