We are slowly getting there!

Storm

I shot this storm near the Piedra River Trail on this date in 2010. We were in a monsoon pattern with no smoke that year! I hope to see storms like this again under our normally blue skies soon.

8-12-21: 2:30pm update…

While they were scattered, it was great to see some storms impacting our area yesterday. The rain lottery winners for the county were downtown Pagosa Springs where almost a quarter of an inch fell yesterday afternoon and Chromo, where 0.27 fell. There will be more scattered storms this afternoon. Movement will be slowly WSW, so if one builds up over you, you could get a quick quarter of an inch or more very quickly.

Screenshot 2021 08 12 133433
Remote sensor rainfall reports from yesterday show downtown Pagosa Springs being a rain lottery winner!
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A COCORAHS weather station in Chromo recorded 0.27 of an inch of rain yesterday.
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Current mid-level water vapor is indicating moisture in our upper atmosphere. On the surface, our dew point is still in the lower 30’s, which is inhibiting storms for now. This will change starting on Friday.

The above mid-level water vapor graphic shows that we have moisture in our upper atmosphere which is giving us a chance for thunderstorms this afternoon. These will be high based storms due to relatively dry surface conditions (low dew point). As we move into the weekend, dewpoints will rise into the 40’s along with precipitable water, giving us much better odds for rain. As a trough moves into the Pacific NW on Monday, high pressure to our west will be nudged south into Mexico, allowing for a better SW flow next week and more moisture available throughout the atmosphere to fire up afternoon storms. Yes, we could see a traditional monsoon pattern!

If you have looked or been outside today you have noticed that we still have smoke around. The latest air quality index readings have us in the yellow or moderate category. While most of our smoke is from the Dixie fire in northern CA , the Amargo fire to our south (west of Dulce, NM) has now grown to 1296 acres. The good news is that it is now 50% contained as of this post.

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Here is the latest graphic from “Air Now”. We are in the yellow zone “moderate” for AQI. Some of our smoke may be coming from the Amargo fire to our south near Dulce.
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The latest HRRR model shows we may get a slight break from the smoke on Friday.
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1:45pm radar shows a lone cell to the south of town. Movement of storms this afternoon is very slowly WSW.
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The 3 day NWS rainfall forecast continues to look positive for our area. We should see these totals start ramping up by this weekend. These totals are averages, so there will be rain lottery winners and losers.

My forecast…

The rest of today…A slight chance for afternoon smoky thunderstorms with highs in the mid 80’s under partly cloudy skies. Storms will move very little (WSW) so if one does form over you, you could see a quick quarter of an inch of rain or more. Winds will be from the WSW from 10-15 mph with some gusts over 20mph in the afternoon. Any storms that do develop will have the potential to produce wind gusts over 30mph and lightning. Rain totals will range from 0-0.20.

Friday-Tuesday: Continued scattered storms each afternoon. Look for lows in the 40’s to 50’s (lows will be rising as our dew points increase) and highs in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. Rain odds will increase as we move closer to the weekend. Winds will be 10-15 mph with some gusts over 20mph in the afternoons. Any storms that do develop will have the potential to produce wind gusts over 30mph and lightning. I think rain totals will range from 0.25-0.75 through the period. As usual, there will be rain lottery winners and losers!

-Mark Langford

Check out my Pagosa Peak Cam (myearthcam.com) for watching hikers, bikers and of course, the weather.

Pagosa Springs historical data for August 11th.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
8189 / 19724733 / 1950

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