Heaviest rain Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon…

The WPC excessive rainfall outlook valid Wednesday morning to Thursday morning indicates a “moderate” or at least 40% chance for rainfall to exceed flash-flood guidance.

The WPC excessive rainfall outlook valid Wednesday morning to Thursday morning indicates a “moderate” or at least 40% chance for rainfall to exceed flash-flood guidance.

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Tuesday – 20 Sep 2022 – 6:00pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 78 and the low this morning was 44. Humidity yesterday afternoon bottomed out at 19%. Winds at the airfield hit 20mph yesterday.

Precip summary… The first few spotty showers moved over parts of the county starting around 3pm this afternoon and I heard the first crack of thunder at 4:30pm. So far it hasn’t amounted to much. Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s CoCoRaHS reports.

Forecast discussion…

Tropical moisture is headed our way!
A BIG thanks to the Springs Resort for sponsoring the soaking from Madeline's remains!
A BIG thanks to the Springs Resort for sponsoring the soaking from Madeline’s remains!

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a FLOOD WATCH valid to Thursday evening. Excessive rainfall and runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, low-lying areas, and other flood-prone locations. ***

Good graphic from the Grand Junction NWS – “Heaviest rains and highest flash-flooding concerns from tomorrow afternoon onwards.”
Good graphic from the Grand Junction NWS – “Heaviest rains and highest flash-flooding concerns from tomorrow afternoon onwards.”

Four ingredients are coming together for a significant rain event:

1. A low will spin off the northern CA coast through Wednesday morning and then it will move northeast across central OR and then the ID panhandle. 

2. A high will wobble around the TX/OK region during the same time.

3. Upper level southerly and southwesterly flow between the low and the high will persist until Friday morning.

4. Tropical storm Madeline is no longer a named storm, but her moisture will funnel into our area into Thursday evening.

Precip expectations… Showers will come in waves fluctuating between periods of heavy rain and nothing.  The best chance for heavy rain is Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon. By Thursday evening, showers will become more scattered and taper off after midnight. I expect 1.75” to 2.25” of rain in the Pagosa Springs area.

Water vapor satellite this afternoon: The white arrows indicate upper level flow around the low and the high.  The first good moisture plume is missing us just to our west, but showers were increasing across the region this afternoon.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon: The white arrows indicate upper level flow around the low and the high.  The first good moisture plume is missing us just to our west, but showers were increasing across the region this afternoon.
Radar this afternoon: Showers were developing along the CO/NM boarder and moving towards the northeast into parts of Archuleta County.
Radar this afternoon: Showers were developing along the CO/NM boarder and moving towards the northeast into parts of Archuleta County.

My forecast…

Tuesday night: Occasional, mostly light showers and a rumble of thunder or two. Wednesday & Thursday: Rain, occasionally heavy with localized flooding and then tapering off during Thursday evening. Friday: A few lingering showers, mostly over the mountains, and clouds clearing. The cold spots could dip below freezing Friday night. * The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am. * With showers and thunderstorms expect brief periods of heavy rain, small hail, gusty winds, and lightning.
Tuesday night: Occasional, mostly light showers and a rumble of thunder or two.
Wednesday & Thursday: Rain, occasionally heavy with localized flooding and then tapering off during Thursday evening.
Friday: A few lingering showers, mostly over the mountains, and clouds clearing.
Friday night and Saturday night: The cold spots could dip below freezing and patchy fog is possible in low-lying areas.
* The forecast periods are from 8am to 8am. * With showers and thunderstorms expect brief periods of heavy rain, small hail, gusty winds, and lightning.
The NWS 78-hour forecast precip expects Pagosa Springs to get 2.5” of rain.  The heaviest rain will fall Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon. Note that much of southwest CO is expected to get 2” of rain and the bullseyes over the mountains are in the 4-5” range. That’s a lot of rain in a short period!
The NWS 78-hour forecast precip expects Pagosa Springs to get 2.5” of rain.  The heaviest rain will fall Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon. Note that much of southwest CO is expected to get 2” of rain and the bullseyes over the mountains are in the 4-5” range.
That’s a lot of rain in a short period!
NBM forecast radar loop from 5pm today to midnight tomorrow – Showers remain scattered tonight and mostly light. Precip ramps up late tomorrow morning and is heavy at times through tomorrow afternoon and evening.  Unfortunately this data does not continue into Thursday, but I expect on and off moderate to heavy showers through Thursday afternoon.
NBM forecast radar loop from 5pm today to midnight tomorrow – Showers remain scattered tonight and mostly light. Precip ramps up late tomorrow morning and is heavy at times through tomorrow afternoon and evening.  Unfortunately this data does not continue into Thursday, but I expect on and off moderate to heavy showers through Thursday afternoon.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7283 / 19843518 / 1971

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

My next update will be tomorrow morning.

– Shawn

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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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