Pagosa Weather MAY SUMMARY & June Outlook

This week's drought map a nice improvement for eastern Colorado!

This week’s drought map shows a nice improvement for eastern Colorado!

Thursday – 1 June 2023 – 5:10pm

May summary…

The average low for May is 30 and the average high is 68. The record high of 89 occurred on 30 May 1910. The record low of 8 occurred on 1 May 1967. Precip averages 1.26″ in May with 1.1″ of snow – our second driest month. Wolf Creek Pass averages 2.05″ of liquid equivalent and 12.9″ of snow.

How did we do?

Temps were at and slightly above average across Archuleta County in May
Temps were at and slightly above average across Archuleta County in May
Precip was above average for most of the county and well above average for western Archuleta County. I'm skeptical of this map.  See the CoCoRaHS monthly totals below.
Precip was above average for most of the county and well above average for western Archuleta County. I’m skeptical of this map. See the CoCoRaHS monthly totals below.
CoCoRaHS precip totals for May range from 0.80" to 2.76". Some reports were above the average of 1.26" and some were over.  Our friends down towards Chromo were over an inch above average!  The overall average total for this May was 1.27". 
*** CoCoRaHS observers, remember to be "a zero hero".  Please do your best to report "0" when you don't receive any precip. If there is no data, your totals aren't included on maps like this.  Thanks! ***
CoCoRaHS precip totals for May range from 0.80″ to 2.76″. Some reports were above the average of 1.26″ and some were under. Our friends down towards Chromo were over an inch above average! The overall average total for this May was 1.27“.
*** CoCoRaHS observers, remember to be “a zero hero”. Please do your best to report “0” when you don’t receive any precip. If there is no data, your totals aren’t included on maps like this. Thanks! ***

Snowpack, Drought, River flow, and lake levels…

Snowpack is still above average for the West Slope.  Note: This data is not representative this late in the season.  This is the last time I'll post it for this winter.
Snowpack is still above average for the West Slope. Note: This data is not representative this late in the season. This is the last time I’ll post it for this winter.
The current drought map shows a good improvement for eastern Colorado. Note the drought areas in the Central Plains and then look at the Euro and GFS ensemble forecast precip maps for June below.  That area should see an improvement over the next 2-4 weeks.
The current drought map shows a good improvement for eastern Colorado.
Note the drought areas in the Central Plains and then look at the Euro and GFS ensemble forecast precip maps for June below. That area should see an improvement over the next 2-4 weeks.
San Juan River flow, top, had a low of 1,550cfs on 12 May and a peak of 3,700cfs on 17 May. Piedra River flow, bottom, had a low of 1,660cfs on 30 May and a peak of 3,640cfs on 2 May. Both have been well above the mean since the second week of April. By the last week of May last year, the San Juan was mostly below 600cfs and the Piedra had dropped below 300cfs.
San Juan River flow, top, had a low of 1,550cfs on 12 May and a peak of 3,700cfs on 17 May. Piedra River flow, bottom, had a low of 1,660cfs on 30 May and a peak of 3,640cfs on 2 May.

Both have been well above the median since the second week of April. By the last week of May last year, the San Juan was mostly below 600cfs and the Piedra had dropped below 300cfs.
These are lake levels for Upper Colorado Basin lakes. On the left is 31 May and on the right is 31 March. Overall, lakes in the upper Colorado River Basin are currently at 80% - a 21% rise since late March! Navajo Reservoir is at 79.2% – a 25% improvement. The peak inflow to Navajo Reservoir so far this season has been 8,882cfs on 17 May. It has risen nearly 47 feet since its low in late February!
These are lake levels for Upper Colorado Basin lakes. On the left is 31 May and on the right is 31 March. Overall, lakes in the upper Colorado River Basin are currently at 80% – a 21% rise since late March!

Navajo Reservoir is at 79.2% – a 25% improvement. The peak inflow to Navajo Reservoir so far this season has been 8,882cfs on 17 May. It has risen nearly 47 feet since its low in late February!

June Outlook…

The average high for June is 78 and the average low is 36. The record high of 101 occurred on 30 June 1934. The record low of 20 occurred on 2 June 1908. Precip averages 0.93″ in June – our driest month. Wolf Creek Pass averages 1.74″ of rain and 1.2″ of snow.

The Climate Prediction Center temperature outlook for June on the left indicates a chance for below average temps.
The precip outlook on the right is leaning towards average precip.
The Climate Prediction Center temperature outlook for June on the left indicates a chance for below average temps.
The precip outlook on the right is leaning towards above average precip.
The Euro ensemble, on the left, expects 1.70″ of precip near Pagosa Springs for June while the GFS ensemble, on the right, expects 3.00″. Both expect more than the average of 0.93″. Compare this to the drought map above. It's great to see a bunch of rain expected for the areas hurting the most!
The Euro ensemble, on the left, expects 1.70″ of precip near Pagosa Springs for June while the GFS ensemble, on the right, expects 3.00″. Both expect more than the average of 0.93″.
Compare this to the drought map above. It’s great to see a bunch of rain expected for the areas hurting the most!

And what do we expect?

Arleen is the expert and this is what she expects…

Arleen Prochazka

June is historically our driest month so it won’t take much for us to see above average precipitation. We can expect that we will remain under the current pattern for the first 1/2 of the month with continuing rain showers. Also, temperatures will remain less than average. We haven’t seen 75° at the airfield yet! The second half of the month we will dry out with only a weak system the third week in June.

A HUGE thanks for your precip reports and pictures! Reports help verify our forecasts and make us better forecasters.

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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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