Snow in the forecast for this weekend

By Clayton Chaney
Staff Writer

The National Weather Service is forecasting for a chance of snow showers mixed with rain to start Friday morning and to continue on and off until next Tuesday, Feb. 16.

According to Joel Gratz, meteorologist for opensnow.com, Wolf Creek Ski Area is forecasted to receive 31 inches of fresh snow over the weekend. 

Gratz is predicting Wolf Creek will receive 22 inches on Sunday alone.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Water and Climate Center’s snowpack report, the Wolf Creek summit, at 11,000 feet of elevation, had 22.1 inches of snow water equivalent as of 11 a.m. on Feb. 10.

That amount is 102 percent of the Feb. 10 median for this site.

The San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River basins were at 79 percent of the Feb. 10 median in terms of snowpack. 

Water report

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) Manager Justin Ramsey outlined the current water levels in local lakes in a Feb. 8 press release.

According to the press release, the water level in Lake Forest is at 2 inches from full.

Hatcher Lake rose 2 inches from last week’s report, bringing the current water level to 31 inches from full. 

Stevens Lake water level is currently listed at 57 inches from full.

Lake Pagosa remains at 12 inches from full.

The water level for Village Lake is listed at 6 inches from full.

Total diversion flows are listed at 5 cubic feet per second (cfs).

The West Fork diversion flow is listed at 3 cfs and the Four Mile diversion flow is listed at 2 cfs. 

Water production from Jan. 29 through Feb. 4 was listed at a total of 10.35 million gallons. The Snowball water plant contributed 3.16 million gallons, while the Hatcher plant contributed 7.19 million gallons. 

Last year, total water production was listed at 9.98 million gallons for those dates. 

River report

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the San Juan River was flowing at a rate of 45.4 cfs in Pagosa Springs as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10. 

Based on 85 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for this date is 61 cfs. 

The highest recorded rate for this date was in 2015 at 128 cfs. The lowest recorded rate was 26 cfs, recorded in 1990.

An instantaneous reading was unavailable for the USGS station for the Piedra River near Arboles.

It is noted on the USGS website for this station that the reading of the river flow rate is affected by ice at the station. 

Based on 58 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for Feb. 10 is 81 cfs.

The highest recorded rate was 200 cfs in 2017. The lowest recorded rate was 16.9 in 2003.

This story was posted on February 12, 2021.