Storm Wrap UP!  Though Showers Linger Today with Possible Thunderstorms, Again!

Picture of Lake

Beautiful morning at Lake Pagosa after with last night’s snow.  Photo Credit: Laura Jenkins

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Sunday – 17 Mar 2024 – 03:15pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 43 and the low this morning was 31.

The peak wind at the airfield yesterday was 12mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5067 / 197216-12 / 1917

Precipitation summary… We had snowshowers off and on throughout the area yesterday.  In addition, we had a band of THUNDERSTORMS move in from the south dropping hail and snow pellets over the area.  Then, another band of snowshowers moved through the night dropping a few inches of wet snow over the whole area. We saw a few big flake showers around noon. Wolf Creek reported 24 hour snowfall of 10” this morning and a storm total of 38” so far.

17 Mar 2024 pm CoCoRaHS LE snow storm totals

CoCoRaHS 5-Day precip totals range from .76 to 1.65!!! Snow totals range from 3.6 to 17.8!

17 Mar 2024 pm Snowpack CO map before and after

Upper San Juan watershed snowpack has increased from 89% to 104%!!!! In 5 days.

17 Mar 2024 pm Snowpack CO table before and after
Upper San Juan has increased from 80 to 90% while Wolfcreek has increased from 91 to 103%.

Forecast discussion…

Sat 17 Mar 24

Water vapor satellite loop this afternoon

The low continues to wobble around western AZ, though it has weakened and is moving very slowly to the east.  There is a lot of moisture swirling around the low wrapping moisture and enhanced showers into our area from the southeast. 

Radar 17 Mar 24

Radar this afternoon

Nothing is showing up on radar – due to the radar hole!  Showers are out there and we expect to see enhanced showers to magically appear and move into the area this afternoon as we warm.

Forecast highlights…

*** A slow-moving cut-off low will move to the east of us late Tuesday into Wednesday morning. ***

*** Avalanche danger in our mountains is rated “considerable”. ***

Rest of Sunday into Monday… The low continues to wobble around western AZ, though it has weakened and is moving very slowly to the east.  There is a lot of moisture swirling around the low wrapping moisture and showers into our area from the southeast.  We’ll be mostly cloudy with pops of blue from time to time this afternoon.  When the sun shines though we’ll warm quickly which will help trigger thunderstorms when enhanced showers move into the area this afternoon. 

All the melting and moisture will give us areas of fog overnight and Monday morning.

Precip could fall heavily over small areas for brief periods. Rain/snow/graupel/small hail are all possible.  The snow level will rise to 7,700ft Sunday afternoon and then drop below 5,300ft late overnight.

Snow amounts Sunday at evening to Monday morning…

Valley below 7,800ft: Trace to 1”

Valley above 7,800ft: 1” to 2””

Mountains: 2” to 4”

Winds… Peak winds will be 10-15mph this afternoon.

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

Monday through Wednesday… The pesky cut-off low will still be wobbling near us into Wednesday morning. It will slowly fill and weaken with just instability and residual moisture   to kick up spotty showers, mostly in the afternoons over the mountains.

The low will finally eject to our east late Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

Snow levels could pop up to 8,200ft each afternoon. All types of precip are possible: rain, snow, graupel, and small hail.

Definition of “spotty showers”: They cover small areas, precip changes intensity quickly, and they start and stop abruptly. In other words, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes or drive a mile or two! Most of the time it will be dry with brief periods of “fun”.

Snow totals for the Monday through Wednesday…

Valley below 8,200ft: mostly rain but up to an inch of snow in a few lucky spots

Valley above 8,200ft: up to 2” in the lucky spots

Mountains: 2-4” but it will be spotty

Winds… Gusts will be around 15mph Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoons.

Temps… Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday highs will be in the mid-40s to mid-50s and lows will be in the low 20s to low 30s.

ndfd colorado total precip inch 0936000

The NWS forecast model for precip for the next four days shows .09 in Pagosa (part of that will be rain and part of it will be snow) and up to .3″ of precip at Wolf Creek which will be 2″ to 4″ of snow.

StormTotalSnowWeb1 CO

NWS expected snowfall chart for the next 3 days shows less than an inch for Pagosa Springs and up to 3″ for Wolf Creek. Note that the LaPlatas expect more snow which happens under southeast flow.

Thursday: The big, beautiful blue skies will be out!  After areas of morning fog, we’ll be mostly sunny with temperatures warming up and a lot of melting going on. 

Highs Thursday will be in the high 40s to high 50s and lows will be in the low 20s to low 30s.

Thursday afternoon gusts will be 15-20mph.

My next post will be late tomorrow afternoon.

THANKS for your snow reports and pictures!

– Arleen

Pagosa Weather Blizzard Level Sponsor

Pagosa Weather Storm Sponsor

Picture of Arleen Pro

Arleen Pro

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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2 Responses

  1. Richard, are you at Oak Hill near Coyote Hill or south of 160 near the antennas?
    We are at 8,003 on north Piedra. We have 23” snowdepth. Average snowdepth! A different world from Hatcher which is just a few miles away. 8,000 is a magic level around here.

  2. ” Drive for a minute or two” You must mean drive to town, after looking at Jim Smith cameras, town looks like a banana belt Not so here in Oak Hill @ 8K

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