Active again tomorrow and then pretty quiet the rest of the week…

Dramatic sky over Pagosa Peak yesterday – Pic taken 5/21/2023

Dramatic sky over Pagosa Peak yesterday – Pic taken 5/21/2023

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Monday – 22 May 2023 – 5:40pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature this afternoon was 64, the low this morning was 39, and humidity bottomed out at 40% this afternoon.

The peak wind at Stevens Field this afternoon was 16mph. Our peak wind this afternoon in O’Neal Park was 15mph.

*** 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
6980 / 19843220 / 1974

Precipitation summary… Heavy rain and small hail were reported yesterday afternoon in the Chimney Rock area and downtown.  Thanks a bunch for your reports!

CoCoRaHS 24-hour precip reports range from a trace to 0.81”. Downtown Pagosa was the rain lottery winner! Note how much these precip reports vary over short distances.  This is typical of our convective showers.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour precip reports range from a trace to 0.81”. Downtown Pagosa was the rain lottery winner! Note how much these precip reports vary over short distances.  This is typical of our convective showers.

Forecast discussion…

Satellite and lightning 2-hour loop this afternoon – The first couple of thunderstorms fired up around noon and then things were pretty active for the next 2-3 hours.
Satellite and lightning 2-hour loop this afternoon – The first couple of thunderstorms fired up around noon and then things were pretty active for the next 2-3 hours.
Radar at 5pm this afternoon – There are a couple of showers over the southeast part of Archuleta County. Showers are moving towards the east-northeast.
Radar at 5pm this afternoon – There are a couple of showers over the southeast part of Archuleta County. Showers are moving towards the east-northeast.

Highlights…

*** 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. ***

*** The cold spots will be near freezing starting Tuesday night. ***

River flow…

San Juan River has dropped to 2,200cfs this afternoon. As of this afternoon, the Upper San Juan snotel still has 17.2” of snow water equivalent (SWE). On 21 May Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 7,856cfs, an outflow of 2,840cfs, and rose 0.7 feet. Releases and inflows will start to even out, so I think we’re nearing the high point.  Releases will continue to ramp up to 5,000cfs by 25 May and stay 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 flow has dropped to 2,200cfs this afternoon. As of this afternoon, the Upper San Juan snotel still has 17.2” of snow water equivalent (SWE).

On 21 May Navajo Reservoir had an inflow of 7,856cfs, an outflow of 2,840cfs, and rose 0.7 feet. Releases and inflows will start to even out, so I think we’re nearing the high point.  Releases will continue to ramp up to 5,000cfs by 25 May and stay 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

Rest of today through Tuesday… Subtropical moisture continues to linger over the region. We’ll continue to see quite a few clouds, scattered showers, and occasional thunderstorms.

Mountain snow?  Moist, warm subtropical air is still in with us.  The snow level will be mostly above 11,500ft. Our mountains above timberline will get bursts of heavy snow, but it will be spotty.

Temps… Highs tomorrow will be in the mid-60s to low 70s and lows will be in the mid-30s to mid-40s. Tuesday night will be a little cooler with the cold spots around freezing.

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

NWS 72-hour precip indicates 0.16” near Pagosa and up to a half inch in our mountains. Reminder:  This is convective precip which is always spotty. A single shower is capable of dropping a significant amount of precip in a short period over a small area.
NWS 72-hour precip indicates 0.16” near Pagosa and up to a half inch in our mountains. Reminder:  This is convective precip which is always spotty. A single shower is capable of dropping a significant amount of precip in a short period over a small area.

Wednesday through Sunday… We’re going to dry out. A more typical springtime dry, southwest flow pattern will set up. There will be a slight chance for a spotty afternoon shower or thunderstorm, mostly over the mountains, but I expect most of us to be dry.

Temps… Highs will be in the high 60s to high 70s and lows will be in the low 30s to low 40s. *** The cold spots will be near freezing each morning. ***

Winds… Afternoon gusts will be in the 10-20mph range.

Euro precip during this period expects 0.05” near Pagosa and up to 0.25” in our mountains. Broken record time… It’s convective showers and will be spotty.
Euro precip during this period expects 0.05” near Pagosa and up to 0.25” in our mountains. Broken record time… It’s convective showers and will be spotty.

My next post will be tomorrow afternoon.

– 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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