Round one is done, now its time for round two!

Red Flag Warning

A red flag warning has been issued for our area and counties to our west today.

Red Flag Warning issued May 20 at 3:21AM MDT until May 20 at 11:00PM MDT by NWS Grand Junction CO * AFFECTED AREA…In Colorado, Fire Weather Zone 295 Southwest Colorado Upper East Forecast Area below 9500 feet. * WINDS…Southwest 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. * RELATIVE HUMIDITY…10 to 15 percent. * IMPACTS…Conditions will be favorable for easy ignition and rapid spread of fires. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

5-20-21: 8:30am update…A pause today, then round two starts tonight.

A few of us were lucky to have found some surprise rainfall in our rain gauges this morning from a 2am storm that moved through area. That storm boosted my three day rainfall total to 0.40 at our home about a mile north of Hatcher Lake. Below are some three day totals as reported from our local COCORAHS volunteers. As you can see, most of us did pretty well.

Screenshot 2021 05 20 081533
3 day rainfall totals from round one.

Round two is currently waiting for our next upper level low that is located over Oregon this morning and moving SSE. This low will get stuck in central CA from tonight through Sunday, then retreat to the NE. That will put us into a moisture rich SW flow, especially on Friday, but will linger through most of the weekend.

Screenshot 2021 05 20 075236
An upper level low is moving from Oregon to central CA. This will be the spark for round two!
Screenshot 2021 05 20 074349
The latest NWS 3 day rainfall forecast is looking quite bullish for us!

My forecast…

The rest of the day…Mostly sunny with highs in the 70’s and turning windy this afternoon with some gusts approaching or exceeding 30mph.

Tonight through Sunday: A really good chance for decent rainfall on Friday. It will be a cloudy and cool day with highs only in the 50’s after lows in the 30’s. Winds will be less than today except in and around showers and thunderstorms. Saturday and Sunday will be partly cloudy with a chance for showers and thunderstorms on Saturday, then much more scattered on Sunday. I think we could I see 0.50-1 inch of precipitation for the valley by Sunday and 1-2 inches for the mountains with some of that falling as snow. Winds will be gusting to 30mph or higher on Saturday and Sunday. Highs will rebound to the 60’s over the weekend with lows in the 30’s. A cool front moves through on Sunday so we could see our lows dip back to the upper 20’s by Monday morning but highs will climb back to the 70’s next week.

-Mark Langford

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

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7080 / 19563212 / 1940

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