Gusty afternoon winds and a warming trend…

2 or 3 raindrops fell from these ominous clouds yesterday afternoon – Pic taken 5/5/2023

2 or 3 raindrops fell from these ominous clouds yesterday afternoon – Pic taken 5/5/2023

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Saturday – 6 May 2023 – 5:15pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 60 and today it was 62. The low this morning was 30. Here in the southern end of O’Neal Park our high yesterday afternoon was 57 and our low this morning was 29.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 32mph and today it was 30mph. Our peak wind yesterday afternoon in O’Neal Park was also 32mph and today we hit 28mph.

*** The average last freeze is 31 May.  Temps can still drop below freezing into the third week of June with average lows remaining in the mid-30s. ***

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
6587 / 19162812 / 1950

Precipitation summary… There was no measurable precip in the last 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Mostly mid and high clouds are moving into our area from the southwest.  There is very little precip associated with those clouds across the western US. The red arrows indicate the jet stream which is helping to fuel our gusty winds.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Mostly mid and high clouds are moving into our area from the southwest.  There is very little precip associated with those clouds across the western US. The red arrows indicate the jet stream which is helping to fuel our gusty winds.

Radar this afternoon – There is nothing significant in our region.

Highlights…

*** Streams have come down slightly due to cooler temps but could rise again over the next few days as temps warm back up. ***

*** Afternoon winds will continue to be gusty. Wednesday will be the windiest day of the week with peak gusts around 35mph and a potential for blowing dust. ***

River flow…

River flows have dropped slightly because temps have cooled a bit.  There is still a lot of water locked up in the snow in the high country.  As of this morning, the Upper San Juan snotel still has 35.8” of snow water equivalent (SWE). San Juan River, top, has dropped to 1,840cfs this afternoon. The Piedra River, bottom, has dropped to 2,110cfs this afternoon. On 4 May Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 6,826cfs, an outflow of 508cfs and rose 1 foot. On 5 May it had an inflow of 6,813cfs, an outflow of 509cfs, and it rose 0.98 feet.
River flows have dropped slightly because temps have cooled a bit.  There is still a lot of water locked up in the snow in the high country.  As of this morning, the Upper San Juan snotel still has 35.8” of snow water equivalent (SWE).

San Juan River, top, has dropped to 1,840cfs this afternoon. The Piedra River, bottom, has dropped to 2,110cfs this afternoon.

On 4 May Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 6,826cfs, an outflow of 508cfs and rose 1 foot. On 5 May it had an inflow of 6,813cfs, an outflow of 509cfs, and it rose 0.98 feet.

Rest of today and tomorrow… We’ll remain on the eastern edge of a broad trough along the West Coast. Expect occasional patches of clouds, and a stray shower is possible over the mountains. Gusty afternoon winds will continue to be an annoyance.

Temps… Highs will be in the high 50s to mid-60s, and lows will be in the high 20s to high 30s.

Winds… Gusts each afternoon will be in the 25-30mph range.

Monday and Tuesday… Upper level flow will remain fairly strong out of the southwest and dry out. This will lead to gusty afternoon winds and occasional patches of clouds, but I expect us to stay dry. Temps will be slightly above average.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-60s to mid-70s, and lows will be in the high 20s to high 30s.

Winds… Afternoon gusts will be in the 20-25mph range.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday… A low pressure system will move through on Wednesday and then the upper level trough will linger in the area.  There will be just enough moisture and instability to kick up spotty afternoon showers and an isolated thunderstorm or two, especially on Wednesday. Batten down the hatches on Wednesday – it will be windy and blowing dust could be a problem.

Temps… Wednesday highs will be in the low to high 60s and lows will be in the high 20s to high 30s.  Thursday highs will be in the high 50s to high 60s, and lows will be in the high 20s to high 30s.  Friday highs will be in low 60s to low 70s, and lows will be in the high 20s to high 30s.

Winds… Wednesday will be the windiest day of the week with afternoon gusts in the 30-35mph range.  Thursday and Friday afternoons gusts will be in the 15-25mph range.

15-day outlook…

The weather pattern could get more active around 13 or 14 May.

This is Euro ensemble 15-day precip to the morning of 21 May. It’s read left to right and times are in Zulu.  Let’s start with the top chart.  This shows 24-hour precip amounts for 50 different versions of the Euro model. It shows a slight chance for spotty showers Wednesday through Friday but it’s mostly dry. Then starting around the afternoon of the 13th, most of the 50 versions expect precip which indicates a more active pattern. The middle chart shows the mean and the control 24-hour amounts. I pay most attention to the mean which indicates measurable precip starting around the 13th or 14th. Finally, the bottom chart is total precip. It also shows the control and the mean. I pay most attention to the mean, and closely watch the trend. This model run expects a total of around 0.85” of precip 13-21 May. At this point, I think the weather pattern will get more active but it’s still too early to trust the details.
This is Euro ensemble 15-day precip to the morning of 21 May. It’s read left to right and times are in Zulu. 

Let’s start with the top chart.  This shows 24-hour precip amounts for 50 different versions of the Euro model. It shows a slight chance for spotty showers Wednesday through Friday but it’s mostly dry. Then starting around the afternoon of the 13th, most of the 50 versions expect precip which indicates a more active pattern.

The middle chart shows the mean and the control 24-hour amounts. I pay most attention to the mean which indicates measurable precip starting around the 13th or 14th.

Finally, the bottom chart is total precip. It also shows the control and the mean. I pay most attention to the mean, and closely watch the trend. This model run expects a total of around 0.85” of precip 13-21 May.

At this point, I think the weather pattern will get more active but it’s still too early to trust the details.

My next forecast post will be on Monday.

– 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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