It looks promising Sunday night through Tuesday…

Spectacular sunset colors on Pagosa Peak – Pic taken 18 Feb 2024

Spectacular sunset colors on Pagosa Peak – Pic taken 18 Feb 2024

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Tuesday – 20 Feb 2024 – 10:10am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 49 and the low this morning was 26.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 12mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4361 / 19959-20 / 1955

Precipitation summary… There has been no recent measurable precip.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The ridge, jagged blue line, is over our heads this morning. A long fetch of moisture is moving into southern CA. The trough off the southern CA coast will move through our area late Wednesday afternoon but there won’t be much left of it.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The ridge, jagged blue line, is over our heads this morning. A long fetch of moisture is moving into southern CA. The trough off the southern CA coast will move through our area late Wednesday afternoon but there won’t be much left of it.
Radar this morning – A band of showers is moving towards the northeast along the I-15 corridor.  There won’t be left of it when it moves through our area late tomorrow afternoon.
Radar this morning – A band of showers is moving towards the northeast along the I-15 corridor.  There won’t be much left of it when it moves through our area late tomorrow afternoon.

Forecast highlights…

*** A few mountain snowflakes Monday afternoon and evening. ***

*** Things are trying to line up for a decent storm Sunday night through Tuesday. ***

Rest of Tuesday… The ridge is pushing to our east and upper-level southwest flow is increasing. We’ll see more clouds but stay dry.

Winds… Peaks Tuesday afternoon will be 10-15mph.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-40s to low 50s and lows will be 20-30.

Wednesday and Thursday… The next trough will move through. It will be weakening and will move quickly, so precip will be minimal.

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. Spotty snowshowers could linger into Thursday, mostly over the mountains.

Snow amounts:

Valley: Less than a half inch in the lucky spots

Mountains: 1-2”

Winds… *** Gusts Wednesday afternoon will be 20-30mph. *** 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 high teens to high 20s.  Lows Thursday night will be in the mid-teens to mid-20s.

NWS snow forecast to Thursday at 5pm shows a dusting over the higher parts of the valley, and 1-2” in our mountains.
NWS snow forecast to Thursday at 5pm shows a dusting over the higher parts of the valley, and 1-2” in our mountains.

Friday through Sunday afternoon… Ridging will be in control and give us mostly sunny skies and near average temps. Sunday clouds and winds will increase as the ridge pushes to our east.

Winds… Peaks Friday and Saturday afternoons will be 10-15mph. Peaks Sunday afternoon will be 15-20mph.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-40s to low 50s. Lows Friday night will be in the mid-teens to mid-20s. Lows Saturday night will be in the high teens to high 20s.  Lows Sunday night will be in the high 20s to mid-30s.

Sunday night through Tuesday… Things are trying to line up for a decent storm. Forecast confidence is still low for the details, but here’s my rough first guess:

Timing… The first scattered showers will start over the mountains late Sunday afternoon and over the valley late Sunday evening. Precip will fall steadily early Monday morning into Tuesday morning, then get more hit and miss Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Snow levels… This is the trickiest part of the forecast. Snow levels will bounce around between 7,800ft and 8,300ft Sunday night through Monday afternoon. Monday night snow levels will gradually lower to around 7,200ft. Tuesday snow levels will bounce around between 6,500ft and 7,000ft.

Snow amounts…

Valley below 7,800ft: 2-4”

Valley above 7,800ft: 4-8”

Mountains above 8,500ft: 16-22”

Winds… *** Gusts Monday afternoon and Monday night will be 20-30mph and Tuesday afternoon gusts will be 25-35mph. Winds will gust to around 50mph in the mountains. ***

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

*** Timing, snow levels, and snow amounts will change as the data gets better. ***

NBM snow to 11pm Tuesday, 27 Feb, shows 4.1” in the Pagosa area, 5.9” for Chama, 1.9” for Bayfield, and up to 24” in our mountains.
NBM snow to 11pm Tuesday, 27 Feb, shows 4.1” in the Pagosa area, 5.9” for Chama, 1.9” for Bayfield, and up to 24” in our mountains.
20 Feb 2024 am NBM precip
NBM precip to 11pm Tuesday, 27 Feb, shows 0.80” in the Pagosa area, 0.87” for Chama, 0.50” for Bayfield, and up to 2.25” in our mountains.

Compare these maps. The first part of this system will be warm. Roughly half of that 0.80” of precip near Pagosa will be rain below 8,000ft.

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

– 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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