Pooh’s Blustery wind update!

Kayaker moving down San Juan river

UPDATE: Tuesday – 6 Apr 2021 – 06:40pm

Winds were BLUSTERY! The top of Wolf Creek hit 63mph. The airfield hit 45mph and north of Turkey Springs we hit 46mph. We hope there wasn’t any damage anywhere.

Leave us a damage report in comments if you did.

Remember, temperatures will be chilly tomorrow morning. The favored cold sink areas will dip into the mid teens. Fortunately, that will be the only night with that cold of temperatures.

I’ll have my next weather post on Thursday morning.

  • Arleen

Tuesday – 6 Apr 2021 – 09:00am

Overall situation…

Today is going to be the windiest day of the week in Pagosa Springs!  Plus, there is a Red Flag Warning out, the rivers are up, and avalanche danger in the back country.

Yesterday’s highs were in the mid 60s and lows this morning were in the low 30s.  The diurnal temperature swing averaged about 35 degrees.  The airport saw a max speed of 24mph and we had a gust of 26mph north of Turkey Springs yesterday afternoon.

An area of low pressure and associated front are moving south from Wyoming into Colorado but only northern and central Colorado will see any precipitation.  We’ll only see winds and lots of it!  The other impact will be a lowering of our high and low temperatures. 

Red Flag Warning

National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning:

…RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 9 PM MDT

THIS EVENING FOR GUSTY WINDS, LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND DRY FUELS

FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONE 295 BELOW 8000 FEET…

* AFFECTED AREA…In Colorado, Fire Weather Zone 295 Southwest

  Colorado Upper East Forecast Area below 8000 feet.

* WINDS…West 15 to 25 mph with gusts up 30 to 40 mph.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…10 to 15 percent.

* IMPACTS…Conditions will become favorable for rapid ignition

  and spread of fires.

Critical Fire Wx

Warm Temps, low humidity, strong winds and unstable atmosphere combine for Critical Fire Weather Conditions

River Conditions

Both the San Juan and Piedra Rivers have been slowly increasing with the warm temperatures.  The San Juan peaked at 700 cubic feet per second (cfs) yesterday when the average is 300 cfs this time of the year.  The Piedra peaked at 500 cfs about 100 cfs below normal.  The cooling temperatures starting today and the increase in clouds next week, will slow the runoff. 

6 April 06am 2021 San Juan River

Avalanche Conditions: Considerable

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center still has the avalanche potential at “considerable”.  “Natural loose wet and wet slab avalanches are possible on most aspects today. Wet slab avalanche conditions are lurking and very dangerous. With a clear overnight sky and moderate winds, the snow surface is frozen this morning. However, it will quickly thaw, and slopes will become wet and dangerous. Be aware of overhead hazards like cornices and avoid slopes that do not support your weight. Thin shallow rocky areas, terrain under cliffs with running water on them, and slopes that are currently shedding snow should be avoided. Water is moving through the snowpack, and slopes do not have to be in the sun to be dangerous. 

Getting out early and home early will help you stay safe. Above treeline, north-facing slopes holding cold, dry snow will provide safer riding options.”   

My forecast…

Today, 6 April… Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with an array of fair weather cu, mid and  high clouds.  Highs temps will only get into the 50s and lows will dip into the teens.  Brrr!  Winds today will be very blustery with peak winds up to 40mph in the Pagosa and up to 55mph in the mountains and Wolf Creek.  Hold on to your hat!

Wednesday through  Tuesday…  The longwave ridge remains firmly in place to our west.  To get any precipitation into southwest Colorado, it has to retrograde or move to our east.  Models are notorious for moving it out too quickly. 

In the meantime, we’ll continue to see lots of sun.  Look for little cotton-ball cumulus clouds to develop each afternoon and some upper level clouds that transition through.   It looks like we could be entering wind season with afternoon winds peaking in the 20-25mph range. Temperatures will slowly recover and get into the low to mid 60s for highs.  Lows overnight will be in the low to mid 20s. 

Sat 0750L

Infrared Satellite image shows low moving southeast towards Nebraska. As it skirts to our north, it will tighten the atmosphere and increase our winds.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5772 / 1991234 / 1909

– Arleen

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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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11 Responses

  1. 11:45am… Winds are currently peaking around 40mph in the Pagosa Springs area. Wolf Creek summit has hit 54mph.

  2. Love it! A blustery sort of Pooh kind of day. Just the day to saunter and to meander in the woods. Take Eeyore along even though he might moan and groan, he will secretly appreciate your kind gesture.

    1. Yes, it is a good day to walk in the woods where you can be sheltered. It is really blowing out in the open.

  3. I’ve been a fan on Facebook for years. So glad we have this local resource written in a relatable way.

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