Windy and possibly dusty the next few afternoons…

Williams Creek Reservoir is still 100% frozen and the road is closed. We hiked in yesterday to check it out.  – Pic taken 4/17/2023

Williams Creek Reservoir is still 100% frozen and the road is closed. We hiked in yesterday to check it out.  – Pic taken 4/17/2023

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Tuesday – 18 Apr 2023 – 4:30pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature this afternoon was 60 and the low this morning was 32. Our low was 22 in the southern end of O’Neal Park. Still no wind data for Stevens Field so our peak wind so far today has been 31mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
6175 / 19872514 / 1970

Precipitation summary… There has been no recent precip in the area.

Forecast discussion…

Dust satellite at 4pm this afternoon – Fuchsia color indicates possible dust.  It’s easy to verify when the satellite images are looped. I outlined the dust plumes in red and the red arrows indicate the direction the dust is headed. As I type and look out my window, there is a hint of dust in the air.  At 3:23pm Cortez winds hit 51mph and visibility dropped to 3 miles due to dust. The fetch isn’t quite right for us to get that bad, but the dust will be noticeable.  Also interesting to note is the red circle to our northeast.  Significant dust is being kicked up at the sand dunes – geology in action!
Dust satellite at 4pm this afternoon – Fuchsia color indicates possible dust.  It’s easy to verify when the satellite images are looped. I outlined the dust plumes in red and the red arrows indicate the direction the dust is headed.

As I type and look out my window, there is a hint of dust in the air.  At 3:23pm Cortez winds hit 51mph and visibility dropped to 3 miles due to dust. The fetch isn’t quite right for us to get that bad, but the dust will be noticeable. 

Also interesting to note is the red circle to our northeast.  Significant dust is being kicked up at the sand dunes – geology in action!

There is nothing significant on radar in our region this afternoon.

Important highlights…

*** Warmer temps have resulted in another ramp up of run-off and higher streams. Temps will cool a bit Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and lead to a temporary decrease in run-off. ***

*** Winds will be gusty and there is potential for dust the next three afternoons. ***

River flow…

San Juan River, top, hit 1,83cfs late at 1:30am last night.  The Piedra River, bottom, hit 3,190cfs at 6:45am this morning. Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 4,852cfs and an outflow of 296cfs. It rose 0.85 feet in 24 hours.
San Juan River, top, hit 1,830cfs late at 1:30am last night.  The Piedra River, bottom, hit 3,190cfs at 6:45am this morning.
Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 4,852cfs and an outflow of 296cfs. It rose 0.85 feet in 24 hours.

Rest of today through Thursday… Upper level southwest flow has increased as the jetstream digs a little deeper south. A couple of fast moving systems will miss us to the north. We’ll see a few more clouds, gusty afternoon winds, and a potential for dust to move into the Pagosa area from northwest NM and northeast AZ.

Temps… Tonight lows will be in the mid-20s to mid-30s.  Wednesday highs will be in the high 40s to mid-50s and lows will be in the high teens to high 20s. Thursday will be a little cooler with highs in the mid-40s to low 50s and lows in the mid-teens to mid-20s.

Winds… Tuesday and Thursday afternoons gusts will be in the 30-35mph range. Wednesday will be the windiest day of the week with gusts in the 35-45mph range. The high country will have gusts to around 60mph on Wednesday.

Friday through Sunday… Drier and more stable upper level northwest flow will take over as the next ridge tries to build over the western US. Patches of mid and high clouds will occasionally move through, but we’ll see lots of sun.

Temps… Friday Highs will be 50-60 and lows will be 20-30.  Saturday and Sunday will be closer to average with highs in the mid-50s to mid-60s and lows in the mid-20s to mid-30s.

Winds… Afternoon peaks will be in the 15-20mph range.

15-day outlook…

The pattern will try to get more active starting around Monday next week, but I don’t see any big storms on the horizon. It’s wind season, so most afternoons winds will gust into the 15-25mph range.

This is Euro ensemble 15-day total precip out to the morning of 3 May expects the Pagosa area to get 0.36” while much of northern Colorado gets over an inch. The purple arrows indicate the general storm track. This is a typical weather pattern for this time of year. The jet stream is steadily pushing north as temps warm with the longer days of spring.  Spring is the wet season for the northern Rockies and our dry and windy season.
This is Euro ensemble 15-day total precip out to the morning of 3 May. It expects the Pagosa area to get 0.36” while much of northern Colorado gets over an inch.

The purple arrows indicate the general storm track. This is a typical weather pattern for this time of year. The jet stream is steadily pushing north as temps warm with the longer days of spring.  Spring is the wet season for the northern Rockies and our dry and windy season.

My next post will be on Thursday. I’ll try to do quick Facebook updates if I see a dust cloud moving our way.

– 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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