Pattern will get more active starting Sunday – snow?…

A few showers popped up on the other side of The Divide yesterday afternoon.  Pic taken 9/23/2021

A few showers popped up on the other side of The Divide yesterday afternoon.  Pic taken 9/23/2021

Friday – 24 Sep 2021 – 9:30am

Overall situation…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 76 and the low this morning was 40. The peak wind at the airfield in the last 24 hours was 20mph.  I didn’t see any precip on our side of The Divide.

A Rex Block pattern has set up (see the satellite image and description below).  Today and tomorrow we’ll be more under the influence of the ridge which will give us lots of sun and dry weather.

Starting Sunday the low will have moved northeast over AZ and should be close enough to push more moisture and instability into our area.  The low is expected to continue to move very slowly towards the northeast and could be spinning over the San Luis Valley by Tuesday.  Unfortunately forecast models don’t handle these patterns well, so forecast confidence is low at this point.  This is a fickle pattern in which most of the precip will occur in a small area around the low.  If the low tracks just a hundred miles in a different direction, we’ll hardly get anything.

Water vapor satellite this morning: Ridging extends northeast into UT and a cut-off low is spinning over the northern Gulf of California.  A “high over low” is a Rex Block pattern.  It’s a blocking pattern that results in slow and erratic movement of the low.  In this case, it is expected to work in our favor as that low slowly moves towards northern NM/southern CO.
Water vapor satellite this morning: Ridging extends northeast into UT and a cut-off low is spinning over the northern Gulf of California.  A “high over low” is a Rex Block pattern.  It’s a blocking pattern that results in slow and erratic movement of the low.  In this case, it is expected to work in our favor as that low slowly moves towards northern NM/southern CO.

My forecast…

Today and tomorrow… A few little cumulus clouds will develop over the mountains in the afternoons, but we’ll see lots of sun and will stay dry.  Highs will be in the lower to upper 70s and lows will be around 30 to the mid-40s. Afternoon winds will peak around 20mph.

Sunday through Thursday… There will be more clouds, especially in the afternoons, and scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible.  Precip will be hit and miss.   Snow levels are a tough call this far out, but I expect snow to stay above timberline.  By late Thursday some of our peaks could have 6-10” of snow. Again, forecast confidence is low at this point.

Winds will peak around 20mph, though convective gusts to 35mph near showers and thunderstorms are possible.

Temps will gradually cool during this period.  We’ll start with highs around 70 to the mid-70s and will finish with highs in the lower to upper 60s.  With more clouds and moisture, morning temps will be warmer too: mid-30s to mid-40s.

NBM precip through Thursday at midnight indicates 0.50” to 0.70” in the valley and up to 0.95” in the mountains.
NBM precip through Thursday at midnight indicates 0.50” to 0.70” in the valley and up to 0.95” in the mountains.
Euro precip through Thursday at midnight indicates 0.40” to 0.70” in the valley and up to 1.25” in the mountains. To sound like a broken record, forecast confidence is low at this point.
Euro precip through Thursday at midnight indicates 0.40” to 0.70” in the valley and up to 1.25” in the mountains.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7180 / 19883320 / 1945

My next post will be on Sunday.

– Shawn

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Shawn Pro

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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