Really nice today and tomorrow – not so nice on Wednesday…

One of my favorite views! – Pic taken 5/7/2023

One of my favorite views! – Pic taken 5/7/2023

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Monday – 8 May 2023 – 11:35am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 63 and the low this morning was 31. Here in the southern end of O’Neal Park our high yesterday afternoon was 60 and our low this morning was 28.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 24mph. Our peak wind yesterday afternoon in O’Neal Park was 25mph.

*** 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
6680 / 19892813 / 1981

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

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – There is a little mid and upper level moisture over UT and CO but skies are mostly clear this morning. Wednesday’s system is well off the coast and will follow the track of the yellow arrows.
Water vapor satellite this morning – There is a little mid and upper level moisture over UT and CO but skies are mostly clear this morning. Wednesday’s system is well off the coast and will follow the track of the yellow arrows.

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

Highlights…

*** Streams will 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 40mph and a potential for BLOWING DUST. ***

*** Might see a couple of snowflakes Wednesday night. ***

*** Potential monsoon-like pattern setting up starting this weekend. ***

River flow…

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 33.6” of snow water equivalent (SWE). San Juan River, top, peaked at 2,160cfs last night. The Piedra River, bottom, peaked at 2,120cfs early this morning. On 6 May Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 5,409cfs, an outflow of 511cfs and rose 0.74 feet. On 7 May it had an inflow of 5,375cfs, an outflow of 514cfs, and it rose 0.74 feet.
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 33.6” of snow water equivalent (SWE).

San Juan River, top, peaked at 2,160cfs last night. The Piedra River, bottom, peaked at 2,120cfs early this morning.

On 6 May Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 5,409cfs, an outflow of 511cfs and rose 0.74 feet. On 7 May it had an inflow of 5,375cfs, an outflow of 514cfs, and it rose 0.74 feet.

Rest of today and Tuesday… Upper level flow will remain fairly strong out of the southwest and dry out. Afternoon winds will continue to be gusty but not as bad as the last couple of days. Scattered clouds will develop during the afternoons, but we’ll stay dry. Temps will warm to 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 late Wednesday and then the upper level trough will linger in the area.  There will be just enough moisture and instability to kick up a spotty afternoon and an isolated thunderstorm or two, especially late Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Gusty winds on Wednesday could send a dust plume our way courtesy of northeast AZ and northwest NM.

*** The snow level will drop to around 8,000ft late Wednesday evening so a few snowflakes are possible. At best, the lucky spots in the valley could get a dusting. In the mountains above 9,500ft, 1-2” of snow is possible, but it will be spotty. ***

Temps… Wednesday and Friday highs will be in the mid-60s to mid-70s, and lows will be in the high 20s to high 30s.  Thursday will be a little cooler with highs in the high 50s to high 60s, and lows in the high 20s to high 30s.

Winds… Wednesday will be the windiest day of the week with afternoon gusts in the 30-40mph range.  Thursday afternoon gusts will be in the 20-25mph range. Friday afternoon winds will gusts will be in the 15-20mph range.

NBM max wind gusts on Wednesday at 3pm shows 39mph for Pagosa, 40mph for Chama, 64mph for Alamosa, and around 60mph in our mountains.
NBM max wind gusts on Wednesday at 3pm shows 39mph for Pagosa, 40mph for Chama, 64mph for Alamosa, and around 60mph in our mountains.

Saturday, Sunday and beyond… Let’s start with this quote from the Flagstaff NWS forecast discussion:

“By the weekend, what at first looks like a normal ridging pattern, is not. A westward extension of high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico will push a significant moisture surge into our area by late next weekend and early next week. This moisture remains trapped under the ridge and becomes what is essentially an early monsoon pattern, at least for a few days. Stay tuned on this one, this could be interesting.”

Yep – I agree!  The forecast models are consistently indicating a Rex block pattern setting up over the western US and subtropical moisture being pushed into the region from the south. We could be in for a period of wet weather.

GFS 500mb moisture for Saturday afternoon – 500mb is at roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern. Starting Saturday, a high parks itself over the Pacific NW and a weak low spins over the lower Colorado River. This Rex block prevents weather systems from moving west to east. It’s a stagnant pattern that can set up for long periods. I added the green arrows to show the upper flow and moisture advection. This is a “monsoon-like” pattern that will funnel subtropical moisture into our area and has the potential to be a wet pattern.
GFS 500mb moisture for Saturday afternoon – 500mb is at roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern.

Starting Saturday, a high parks itself over the Pacific NW and a weak low spins over the lower Colorado River. This Rex block prevents weather systems from moving west to east. It’s a stagnant pattern that can set up for long periods. I added the green arrows to show the upper flow and moisture advection.

This is a “monsoon-like” pattern that will funnel subtropical moisture into our area and has the potential to be a wet pattern.
These are the 3 primary ensemble forecast models out to 15 days.  The Euro, top, has 1.48” for Pagosa. The GFS, bottom left, expects 2.54” and the Canadian indicates 2.67”.
These are the 3 primary ensemble forecast models out to 15 days.  The Euro, top, has 1.48” for Pagosa. The GFS, bottom left, expects 2.54” and the Canadian indicates 2.67”.
The CPC 6-10 day outlook and 8-14 day outlook both expect a chance for above average precip.
The CPC 6-10 day outlook and 8-14 day outlook both expect a chance for above average precip.

My next forecast post will be on Wednesday.

– 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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One Response

  1. You guys and gal never cease to amaze me!! That is great news!! How are the water levels doing at Navajo Reservoir?

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