Potentially strong storm Monday and Tuesday…

Tommy checking things out this morning – Pic taken 22 Feb 2024

Tommy checking things out this morning – Pic taken 22 Feb 2024

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Thursday – 22 Feb 2024 – 11:00am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 47 and the low this morning was 18.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 37mph.

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

Precipitation summary… Yesterday’s system brought clouds and gusty winds but no measurable precip.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – Upper-level flow from the west and the ridge along the coast are pushing drier air into our region.  That low well off the coast will wobble in that area until Sunday and then hook up with a strong system approaching from the northwest resulting in a potentially strong storm for us Monday and Tuesday.
Water vapor satellite this morning – Upper-level flow from the west and the ridge along the coast are pushing drier air into our region.  That low well off the coast will wobble in that area until Sunday and then hook up with a strong system approaching from the northwest resulting in a potentially strong storm for us Monday and Tuesday.

There is nothing on radar in our area this morning.

Forecast highlights…

*** Things are lining up for a potentially strong storm Monday and Tuesday. ***

*** Concerns: 1. Strong winds and heavy wet snow could lead to spotty power outages Tuesday. 2. In the valley, warm temps and rain could lead to isolated flooding and rising streams. 3. Occasional blizzard-like conditions are possible Tuesday morning through Tuesday afternoon, especially above 7,400ft. ***

*** WIN passes to The Springs Resort for your snow dance! Go to https://pagosaweather.org/2024/02/21/snow-dance-contest/ for details. ***
*** WIN passes to The Springs Resort for your snow dance! Go to https://pagosaweather.org/2024/02/21/snow-dance-contest/ for details. ***

Rest of Thursday through Sunday evening… 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 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons will be 10-15mph. Peaks Sunday afternoon will be 15-20mph.

Temps… Highs Thursday afternoon will be in the low 40s to near 50 and lows Thursday night will be in the low teens to low 20s. Highs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be in the mid-40s to mid-50s. Lows Friday night will be in the low teens to low 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 lining up for an interesting storm. A strong jet stream will set up Monday pushing warm air and lots of moisture into the region. Tuesday a strong system with colder air will move through the region from the northwest.

Timing… The first scattered showers will start over the mountains late Sunday evening and over the valley early Monday morning. The best chance for precip is Monday morning to Tuesday evening.  Scattered showers will linger Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, mostly over the mountains.

Snow levels… This is the trickiest part of the forecast. Sunday night through Monday evening there will be rain below 8,000ft and a rain/snow mix 8,000ft to 8,400ft. Monday night snow levels will gradually lower to around 7,200ft. Tuesday snow levels will bounce around between 6,500ft and 7,000ft.

22 Feb 2024 am snow levels
Forecast snow levels through Wednesday – Sunday night through Monday evening, snow levels could be above 8,000ft. Snow levels will gradually lower Tuesday but temps will be above freezing so snow will struggle to accumulate, especially below 7,400ft.

Snow amounts…

Valley below 7,900ft: 2-4”

Valley above 7,900ft: 4-8”

Mountains above 9,000ft: 18-24”

Winds… *** Gusts Monday afternoon and Monday night will be 25-35mph. Tuesday afternoon gusts will be 30-40mph. Winds will gust to around 50mph in the mountains. ***

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

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

NBM snow to 5am Wednesday, 28 Feb, shows 3.8” in the Pagosa area, 6.0” for Chama, 1.5” for Bayfield, and up to 30” in our mountains.
NBM snow to 5am Wednesday, 28 Feb, shows 3.8” in the Pagosa area, 6.0” for Chama, 1.5” for Bayfield, and up to 30” in our mountains.
NBM precip to 5am Wednesday, 28 Feb, shows 1.17” in the Pagosa area, 1.07” for Chama, 0.87” for Bayfield, and up to 2.50” in our mountains.
NBM precip to 5am Wednesday, 28 Feb, shows 1.17” in the Pagosa area, 1.07” for Chama, 0.87” for Bayfield, and up to 2.50” in our mountains.

Compare these maps. The first part of this system on Monday will be warm. More than half of that 1.17” of precip near Pagosa will be rain below 8,000ft.

Unless something pops up, my next post will be on Saturday and then I’ll do posts each day to Wednesday. – 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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