Rain odds increase, along with river levels.

Virga

Virga from a collapsing afternoon shower gave a great photo op at sunset. © 2023-Mark Langford

Wednesday 5-17-2023. 9:15am

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

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 71 and the low this morning was 40 degrees. Winds gusted to 12mph.

Precipitation summary: 24hr rainfall totals ranged from zero to 0.09 yesterday. Our nearby rivers are on the rise and with a good chance for rain over the next 5 days, levels could get to flood stages. Arleen will have a special river forecast out this afternoon or tomorrow.

Screenshot 2023 05 17 081335
COCORAHS 24hr rainfall totals ranged from zero to 0.09 inches.

Flood Advisory
National Weather Service Grand Junction CO
216 PM MDT Wed May 17 2023


…The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a Flood
Advisory for the following rivers in Colorado…

San Juan River at Pagosa Springs affecting Archuleta County.

The combination of warm, spring temperatures and the potential for
periods of rain falling on a deep snowpack will lead to an increase
in runoff due to snowmelt. Flows in rivers may increase quickly and
are expected to exceed bankfull this evening.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

If you are in the advisory area, remain alert to possible flooding.

Please report observed flooding to local emergency services or law
enforcement and request they pass this information to the National
Weather Service when you can do so safely.

…RIVER FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THIS AFTERNOON TO EARLY
SATURDAY AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…Minor flooding caused by rain and snowmelt is expected.

* WHERE…San Juan River at Pagosa Springs.

* WHEN…From this afternoon to early Saturday afternoon.

* IMPACTS…At 10.3 feet, water is expected to flow into residential
yards in the San Juan River Village, northeast of Pagosa Springs.


* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– At 12:00 PM MDT Wednesday the stage was 9.1 feet.
– Forecast…The river is forecast to rise to 9.9 feet tomorrow
morning, and then fall to 9.0 feet by Friday evening. Another
rise is expected above bankfull, again, on Saturday morning.
Then, forecast guidance indicates water levels fall back
below bankfull, and remain below, through the 10 day
forecast.

– Action stage is 9.5 feet.

– Flood stage is 10.5 feet.

Screenshot 2023 05 17 082306
Today’s San Juan River flow is at 3380cfs.
Screenshot 2023 05 17 084945
This is the latest NWS forecast for the San Juan River. It is expected to hit 9.55 feet by today…Flood stage is 10.5ft. This forecast does not include what flooding could occur with additional rainfall.
Screenshot 2023 05 17 082241
Today’s Piedra River flow is at 2670cfs.

Pagosa Springs historical data

*** 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
6885/ 19883014/ 1916

Forecast discussion…

More moisture is moving into our area in the mid-levels as seen in today’s water vapor satellite imagery. An upper-level trough will develop to our north today, giving us a good chance for rain for the rest of the week as disturbances move through our area. The best odds for rain will be Thursday-Saturday. With rain odds ramping up through the weekend, especially in the mountains, an acceleration of snow melt could cause issues for our rivers and streams.

A reminder to hikers…afternoon storms can not only produce lightning and drop hail and brief heavy rain, but temperatures can drop quickly, producing the potential for hypothermia if you are not prepared with rain jackets, etc.

Screenshot 2023 05 17 085542
More moisture is moving into our area in the mid-levels as seen in today’s water vapor satellite imagery. An upper-level trough will develop to our north today, giving us a good chance for rain for the rest of the week as disturbances move through our area.
Screenshot 2023 05 17 083604
The latest 3-day rainfall forecast from the NWS predicts 0.70 inches for Pagosa Springs.
Screenshot 2023 05 17 090457
The latest NBM model is predicting 0.94 inches of rain for us from today through Monday of next week.
Screenshot 2023 05 17 083939
The latest GFS model is predicting 1.20 inches of rain for us today through Monday of next week.

5-Day Forecast…

The rest of the day: Partly cloudy with a chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Highs in upper 60’s to low 70’s. SW winds 5-10mph with wind gusts over 25mph near thunderstorms. Daily rainfall totals zero to 0.10 inches.

Thursday-Friday: Partly cloudy with a good chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 30’s to mid 40’s and highs in mid to upper 60’s. SW winds 5-10mph with wind gusts over 25mph near thunderstorms. Daily rainfall totals 0.05 to 0.25 inches.

Saturday-Monday: Partly cloudy with a good chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 30’s to mid 40’s and highs in low to mid 60’s. SW winds 5-10mph with wind gusts over 25mph near thunderstorms. Daily rainfall totals 0.05 to 0.25 inches.

Check out my Pagosa Peak Cam (myearthcam.com) for watching hikers, bikers and of course, the weather.

-Mark Langford

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