One more chance for precipitation and yet another red flag warning…

Red Flag

Tuesday – 24 May 2022 – 9:30am

…RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 9 PM MDT THIS EVENING FOR GUSTY WINDS, LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND DRY FUELS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONE 295 BELOW 8000 FEET… * AFFECTED AREA…In Colorado, Fire Weather Zone 295 Southwest Colorado Upper East Forecast Area below 8000 feet. * WINDS…Northwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts 30 to 40 mph. * RELATIVE HUMIDITY…10 to 15 percent. * IMPACTS…Conditions will become favorable for easy ignition and rapid spread of fires due to low relative humidity and strong gusty winds. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… 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.

Plumtaw Fire update…

Incident Type: Wildfire
Percent Contained: 51%
Size: 735 acres
More Fire Information: Via Inciweb
Last Updated: 13 Hours Ago

Multiple agencies are involved and aggressively fighting the fire.  For updates follow “Plumtaw Fire” or “USDA Forest Service – San Juan National Forest” or “Archuleta County, CO Sheriff’s Office” on Facebook and this link on InciWeb.

A HUGE thanks to the San Juan National Forest crew and everybody else that is aggressively tackling the fire!

Smoke and air quality this morning…

Screenshot 2022 05 24 084310
While all of our sensors in Pagosa Springs indicate that the air quality is “good”, I was reminded yesterday that people living in the Hidden Valley neighborhood to the SE of the fire, continue to have bad air quality. Since there are no sensors showing up on the Air Now website from this area, I am not able to show their data.

Climate Info…The high at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 64 and the low this morning was 33. Some of us went below freezing last…my sensor, about a mile north of Hatcher Lake, recorded a low of 24 degrees! Humidity yesterday afternoon bottomed out at 16%. Winds yesterday afternoon peaked at 33mph at 12:55pm. There were only a couple of you who recorded a trace of precipitation over the past 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

*** Archuleta County and the San Juan National Forest have implemented a STAGE 1 FIRE RESTRICTIONS. ***

Wrap around moisture from a mid-level cyclone to our east, will give us the last chance for seeing some precipitation this week. The best odds for showers and possibly some thunderstorms will be this afternoon, from noon to 5pm. Winds will continue to gust over 30mph today, but we should see a lowering of our afternoon winds for Wednesday and Thursday. Look for a cool day with highs in the upper 50’s to low 60’s. There will be more freezes tonight for those of us living in cold pocket areas around town. By tomorrow, high pressure builds over us and we should see closer to normal highs (in the 70’s) for Wednesday and Thursday. Unfortunately, it looks like the gusty winds over 30mph may return by Friday through the weekend.

On a positive note, some of the long-range models are hinting at a potential rain event during the first week of June. I’ll dive into the data later this week…

Screenshot 2022 05 24 090427
NW flow around the back side of a mid-level cyclone to our east, will keep us cloudy and cool with a slight chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

My forecast…

Pagosa 5 day forecast 5 24 22
* The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am. *
Screenshot 2022 05 24 090923
The latest rainfall forecast from the NWS is predicting some of the higher totals (still wimpy) than we have seen lately for today. At this point, I think we would all be happy to see this verify! There will be some snow in the mountains this afternoon, but likely less than 1 inch.

Pagosa Springs historical data for 5-24.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7084 / 19843222/ 1975

Mark your calendars…

Pagosa Weather is doing a presentation at the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library on Thursday, 26 May at 6pm.  We’d love to meet you and answer questions!

Pagosa Weather is also setting up a “meet and greet” booth at the Ski & Bow Rack on Friday, 27 May from noon to 4pm.  Come say hi!

Call 877-841-0247 for our “dial up and text” forecast.

-Mark Langford

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

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