More rain is on the way…

Hardy Hikers

Some hardy hikers brave a rain shower along Coyote Loop trail this afternoon

5-18-21: 5pm update: But wait, there’s more!

Scattered showers are popping up this afternoon as wraparound moisture continues to move into our area from the NE as our upper level low slowly moves east. The low is currently located near Santa Fe, NM. Most of the convection is staying to the east of the low but we should continue to see some showers and thunderstorms move in from the NE over the next 24 hours.

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Our upper level low is located near Santa Fe, NM this afternoon and moving east.

Most of us have recorded at least a tenth of an inch so far from this storm, with the highest totals SE of town.

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A few Weather Underground reports of rain today.

Our upper level low will move into the plains on Wednesday bringing back mostly fair skies on Thursday. Unfortunately we will also see winds gusting to at or near 30mph.

By late Thursday, a “big dipper” of a trough digs into southern California and begins to set us up for a decent SW flow through most of the weekend. By Monday the trough will quickly move NE, leaving us under high pressure for next week. Models are still trying to figure this one out, but the consensus for now is we could easily see an inch or more of rainfall between these two storms by Sunday.

500wh.conus 7
A “Big Dipper” trough sets up over CA this weekend.

My forecast…

Today through tomorrow… A chance for showers and thunderstorms the rest of the day and this evening. We will have an additional chance for showers and thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon as the low pressure kicks out to the east of CO. High temps will be in the mid-60s on Wednesday and lows will be in the upper 20s to upper 30s.  Afternoon winds will peak in the 20-30mph range, though stronger isolated gusts are possible near showers and thunderstorms. Look for an additional 0.10-0.20 of precipitation for the valley and 0.20-0.30 for the mountains with some of that falling as snow tonight.

Thursday through Sunday: Look for another chance for showers and thunderstorms from Thursday evening through Sunday as a closed low and trough to our west puts us in a SW flow during that time frame. Next weekend looks windy with winds gusting to 30-40mph each day. As of this post I see 0.20-0.40 of precipitation for the valley and 0.30-0.50 for the mountains with some of that falling as snow. Highs will be in the 60’s with lows in the 30’s.

My forecast liquid storm totals by Sunday (from both systems): 0.50-1.25 inches for the valley and 1-2 inches for the mountains.

-Mark Langford

Now that I have Starlink, I’m broadcasting my Pagosa Peak Cam ( during the day. It’s pretty fun to view with storms in our area.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7084 / 19563118 / 1908

It’s a start!

5-18-21: 9am quick update…more rain to come! I’ll have a complete post this afternoon.

After 13 days of no recorded precipitation, most of us found some badly needed liquid in our rain gauges this morning. As of 8am, COCORAHS rainfall reports ranged from 0.04 to 0.15.

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Area COCORAHS rainfall reports as of 8am

Higher up at Wolf Creek Pass, snow fell this morning. Since the ski area is closed, it’s a little hard to know how much, but looking at road cams, 1-2 inches seems possible.

Snow was falling at Wolf Creek this morning.

If any of you are traveling towards the front range this morning, La Veta Pass is currently closed due to adverse conditions and multiple spun out vehicles. No estimated time of reopening. Shawn sent me this update a few minutes ago.

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La Veta Pass is currently closed due to adverse conditions and multiple spun out vehicles. No estimated time of reopening
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Wrap around moisture from our upper level low will continue to bring a chance for rain into our area.

Wrap around moisture from our upper level low that is becoming more disorganized as it moves slowly east, will continue to funnel into our area over the next 24 hours. During that time, we will see more showers and even some thunderstorms through Wednesday afternoon.

-Mark Langford

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