Morning update: Winds to 45mph this afternoon

Pretty sunrise this morning in Pagosa Country!

Pretty sunrise this morning in Pagosa Country – 4/15/2021 at 6:45am

Thursday – 15 Apr 2021 – 7:15am

After looking at wind forecast products this morning, I’m bumping up my wind forecast to 35-45mph for this afternoon. High country winds will peak in the 55-60mph range. Winds will start picking up between 10 and 11am, be the strongest from 2 to 6pm, and then gradually decrease through the evening.

The Euro model wind gust at 6pm this afternoon shows 45-50mph winds in the valley and 60mph in the high country.
The Euro model wind gust at 6pm this afternoon shows 45-50mph winds in the valley and 60mph in the high country.
The high resolution WRF wind gust forecast at 4pm shows 35-50mph in the valley and 60-65mph in the high country.
The high resolution WRF wind gust forecast at 4pm shows 35-50mph in the valley and 60-65mph in the high country.
The High Resolution Rapid Refresh, HRRR, shows a peak of 51mph for Pagosa Springs at 3pm. This product is usually 5-10mph too strong so 40-45mph is a good call this afternoon.  (Note that the times are Eastern.)
The High Resolution Rapid Refresh, HRRR, shows a peak of 51mph for Pagosa Springs at 3pm. This product is usually 5-10mph too strong so 40-45mph is a good call this afternoon. (Note that the times are Eastern.)

*** There is a Red Flag Warning valid today (Thursday) from noon to 8pm. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.” ***

See my forecast below for possible snow this weekend. I’ll do a thorough updated forecast later today.

– Shawn


Wednesday – 14 Apr 2021 – 7:35pm

Overall situation…

The system yesterday was a dud for us.  Our CoCoRaHS observers reported 0.00” to 0.01” and only inch or two of snow fell up at Wolf Creek.

The low this morning at the airfield was 32 and the high this afternoon was 63.  Peak winds at the Wolf Creek summit were 54mph.  The airfield hit 43mph and we hit 34mph just north of Turkey Springs.

*** There is a Red Flag Warning valid tomorrow (Thursday) from noon to 8pm. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.” ***

The upper level low is spinning over the Great Basin.  It’s kicking up showers over the central and northern Colorado ranges, but things remain inactive for us.  The pattern won’t change much until late Friday night though there will be enough instability to cause isolated afternoon showers. The main upper level trough will slowly move through our area by Sunday afternoon bringing with it colder air and a decent chance for precip.

Water vapor shows the low spinning over the Great Basin.  It’s causing instability and showers across portions of Nevada, Utah, and the northern half of Colorado.
Water vapor shows the low spinning over the Great Basin.  It’s causing instability and showers across portions of Nevada, Utah, and the northern half of Colorado.

My forecast…

Tonight through Friday… We’ll see variable clouds and a chance for afternoon showers, mainly over the mountains. High temps will be around 50 to the upper 50s and lows will be 20 to 30.  Winds will peak in the 25-35mph range.

Early Saturday morning to Sunday evening… There will be more clouds and a decent chance for precip with the best chance for precip in the valley being mid-morning Saturday to midnight Saturday.  Thunderstorms are also possible Saturday afternoon.  Precip will initially be mixed and then change to wet snow Saturday evening.  Locations above 7,500ft could see 1-2” of snow by Sunday morning.  Our mountains above 9,000ft will get 6-10” total by Sunday evening with most of it falling on Saturday. High temps will be 45 to 50 and lows will be 20 to 30.

We are just getting into high resolution model data.  The details may change as the data continues to get better.

The NBM precip through Sunday at midnight shows 0.25 to 0.40” over the valley and up to 0.70” in our mountains.  Most of the precip in our area will fall on Saturday.
The NBM precip through Sunday at midnight shows 0.25 to 0.40” over the valley and up to 0.70” in our mountains.  Most of the precip in our area will fall on Saturday.
The NBM snowfall through Sunday at midnight shows 1-2” across the valley and 6-10” in our mountains.  Most of the snow will fall on Saturday for the mountains and Saturday evening in the valley.
The NBM snowfall through Sunday at midnight shows 1-2” across the valley and 6-10” in our mountains.  Most of the snow will fall on Saturday for the mountains and Saturday evening in the valley.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
5976 / 1940237 / 1996

My next forecast post will be tomorrow afternoon.

– 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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