Scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms…

Impressive cumulonimbus cloud near Canon City – Pic taken 5/12/2023

Impressive cumulonimbus cloud near Canon City – Pic taken 5/12/2023

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Saturday – 13 May 2023 – 7:45am

*** Mark your calendar for Thursday, 18 May at 6:00pm. Arleen is doing a Pagosa Weather presentation at the library! ***

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 68, the low this morning was 39, and humidity bottomed out at 17% yesterday afternoon. Humidity will start climbing.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 18mph. Our peak wind yesterday afternoon in O’Neal Park was 16mph.

*** 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
6783 / 19962912 / 1967

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

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The green arrows indicate upper level flow. Subtropical moisture is getting pushed into the region.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The green arrows indicate upper level flow. Subtropical moisture is getting pushed into the region.

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

Highlights…

*** Streams have come down a bit due to cooler temps. They’ll rise again this weekend as temps warm and precip ramps up. ***

*** A subtropical moisture plume will increase the chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms. ***

*** Rain could fall heavily for brief periods and be accompanied by small hail, gusty winds, and lightning. “Slow movers” are capable of dropping a bunch of rain over small areas and localized flooding is possible. ***

River flow…

San Juan River peaked around 2,000cfs last night. There is still a lot of water locked up in the snow in the high country.  As of early this morning, the Upper San Juan snotel still has 29.5” of snow water equivalent (SWE). On 11 May Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 5,668cfs, an outflow of 498cfs and rose 0.56 feet. On 13 May the inflow was 4,705cfs, the release was 504cfs, and it rose 0.59 feet. The release out of Navajo Dam is going to ramp up starting Saturday. The plan to hit 5,000cfs by 25 May and keep it there for 21 days.  They’ll start ramping back down around 14 Jun and plan to be back to 500cfs by 25 June. Here’s the link for more info: Navajo Dam Project Notices
San Juan River peaked around 2,000cfs last night. There is still a lot of water locked up in the snow in the high country.  As of early this morning, the Upper San Juan snotel still has 29.5” of snow water equivalent (SWE).

On 11 May Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 5,668cfs, an outflow of 498cfs and rose 0.56 feet. On 13 May the inflow was 4,705cfs, the release was 504cfs, and it rose 0.59 feet. The release out of Navajo Dam is going to ramp up starting Saturday. The plan to hit 5,000cfs by 25 May and keep it there for 21 days.  They’ll start ramping back down around 14 Jun and plan to be back to 500cfs by 25 June. Here’s the link for more info: Navajo Dam Project Notices

This weekend through next weekend… A funky Rex block pattern is setting up over the western US and subtropical moisture is getting pushed into the region from the south.

It will be similar to our summer pattern.  Mornings will start nice, and then clouds will build late each morning. The first couple of showers and thunderstorms are possible over the mountains after 11am and then in the valley after 1pm. Convective activity is always spotty – not everyone will get hit every day. Rain could fall heavily for brief periods and be accompanied by small hail, gusty winds, and lightning. “Slow movers” are capable of dropping a bunch of rain over small areas and localized flooding is possible.

Mountain snow?  It will be moist, warm subtropical air.  The snow level will be mostly above 11,000ft but could briefly drop to 10,500ft with showers. Our mountains above timberline will get bursts of heavy snow, but it will be spotty.

Temps… Highs will be in the low 60s to low 70s and lows will be in the mid-30s to mid-40s.

Winds… Afternoon gusts will be mostly in the 10-20mph range, however isolated gusts 25-35mph are possible near showers and thunderstorms.

NAM forecast radar today from 10am to 2am – The first couple of shower and thunderstorms develop over the mountains between 11 and noon and over the valley 1-2pm. Spotty showers last into the evening and dissipate by 11pm.
NAM forecast radar today from 10am to 2am – The first couple of showers and thunderstorms develop over the mountains between 11 and noon and over the valley 1-2pm. Spotty showers last into the evening and then dissipate by 11pm.
NWS 72-hour precip shows 0.60” near Pagosa, 0.40” for Chama, and up to 1.50” in the southern San Juans.
NWS 72-hour precip shows 0.60” near Pagosa, 0.40” for Chama, and up to 1.50” in the southern San Juans.
NWS 72-hour snowfall shows 2-4” in our mountains on the highest peaks and less than a half inch for the Wolf Creek Pass area. This is a clear sign that snow levels will be high.
NWS 72-hour snowfall shows 2-4” in our mountains on the highest peaks and less than a half inch for the Wolf Creek Pass area. This is a clear sign that snow levels will be high.
NBM 11-day total precip to the late evening of 24 May expects 1.74” near Pagosa, 2.23” for Chama, and up to 3.50” in our mountains.
NBM 11-day total precip to the late evening of 24 May expects 1.74” near Pagosa, 2.23” for Chama, and up to 3.50” in our mountains.

Mark will take over tomorrow.

– 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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