Snow expected through Saturday


If you’ve been dreaming of a white Thanksgiving, your dreams should come true this week, with Pagosa Country expecting to receive snow from Wednesday night until Saturday.

But how much snow will fall is unknown, with weather outlets predicting varying amounts ranging from a few inches to 21 inches in town.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a series of outlooks ahead of the storm, including a Winter Weather Advisory and Winter Storm Watch for the Southwest San Juan Mountains issued Tuesday that is in effect from 5 p.m. Wednesday through 5 p.m. Saturday.

That advisory calls for moderate to heavy snowfall at times, with total accumulations of 5 to 10 inches, though locally higher amounts are possible.

“For the Winter Storm Watch, heavy snow possible Wednesday afternoon through Saturday afternoon,” the advisory as posted on AccuWeather states, also noting “Wind gusting as high as 40 mph above 9500 feet.”

The NWS’s 10-day forecast for Pagosa Springs predicts 1 to 3 inches on Wednesday night, with wind, as well as rain and snow showers, for Thanksgiving.

Precipitation is forecasted to be back to snow Friday, with a chance of snow showers Saturday.

AccuWeather’s forecast for Pagosa Springs calls for cloudy skies Wednesday and “Cloudy with a shower” Thursday.

AccuWeather predicts wind and 3 to 6 inches of snow Friday, with another 6 to 10 inches falling Friday night.

The Weather Channel is predicting higher amounts, including 3 to 5 inches Wednesday night, 3 to 5 inches Thursday, 3 to 5 inches Thursday night, 5 to 8 inches and wind Friday, and 1 to 3 inches and wind Friday night.

Wolf Creek Pass and Wolf Creek Ski Area are also expected to receive large amounts, with the NWS calling for upward of 20 inches.

That forecast shows 4 to 8 inches falling Wednesday night, 6 to 10 falling Thursday and 10 to 14 falling Thursday night, though snow is expected to continue through Saturday night.

Open Snow predicts 28 inches at Wolf Creek Ski Area by Saturday.

The NWS also explains in a winter weather advisory that those who are looking to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday should take the proper precautions by doing things like slowing down and using caution while traveling.

Additionally, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) notes in a press release that the second snowstorm wave, which is expected to last through tonight and into Friday, will likely bring “significant snowfall.”

CDOT notes that drivers should not follow cars in front too closely and not pass snowplows. Additionally, motorists should make sure their car is prepared for the weather conditions with the necessary items.

Water report

As of Nov. 25, all local lakes have seen a change in their lake levels, according to a press release from Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Manager Justin Ramsey.

Hatcher Lake is currently 23 inches from full, or 92.90 percent full, when last week it was 27 inches from full.

Stevens Lake went from 37 inches from full last week to 38 inches from full, or 88.69 percent full, this week.

Lake Pagosa is currently 8 inches from full, or 97.10 percent full, this week. Last week, it was 4 inches from full.

Village Lake is 3 inches from full, or 98.61 percent full, when last week it was 8 inches from full.

Lake Forest is 14 inches from full, or 89.39 percent full. Last week, it was 13 inches from full.

Cumulative diversion flows remain at 4.5 cubic feet per second (cfs), with the West Fork and Four Mile diversions still adding 3 cfs and 1.5 cfs, respectively.

From Nov. 15 through Nov. 21 of this year, total water production was listed at 9.60 million gallons, a 0.17 million gallon decrease from the Nov. 8 through Nov. 14 water production total of 9.77 million gallons.

During the Nov. 15 through Nov. 21 time frame, the Snowball water treatment plant produced 3.41 million gallons and the Hatcher water treatment plant produced 6.19 million gallons.

Last year, also from Nov. 15 through Nov. 21, total water production was recorded at 9.96 million gallons.

River report

As of Nov. 26, the San Juan River had a flow of 65.1 cfs, below the average for Nov. 26 of 83 cfs.

The lowest reported flow for the San Juan came in 1976 when the river had a flow of just 21 cfs; the highest reported flow for the San Juan came in 1987 when the river had a flow of 320 cfs.