Another windy day…just what we don’t need!

Chris Mountain

Aerial photo of the Chris Mountain Fire from yesterday afternoon. Photo courtesy of the USDA Forest Service.

Thursday 6-29-2023. 8:15am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 82 and the low this morning was 50 degrees. Winds gusted to 30mph yesterday. Humidity bottomed out at 12% yesterday afternoon.

Precipitation summary: The was no precipitation to summarize yesterday!

Here are two great links for staying up to date on our current and any new fires that may flare up in the future:

FWAC Wildfire Map – Current Wildfires, Forest Fires, and Lightning Strikes near you | Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center (fireweatheravalanche.org)

Fire and Smoke Map (airnow.gov)

Screenshot 2023 06 29 072354
As of this morning, the two primary fires in our county are the Chris Mountain Fire to the west of town and the Coal Mine Fire to the south.
Screenshot 2023 06 29 072438
The latest info on the Coal Mine Fire to the south of town.
Screenshot 2023 06 29 072504
The latest info on the Chris Mountain Fire to the west of town.

Pagosa Springs historical data

*** The average last freeze is 31 May, but we’re not out of the woods.  Average low temps remain in the mid-30s into late June so temps can still drop below freezing. ***

What is a cold spot? Cold spots are lower areas like valleys, drainages, and stream areas.  If your morning low temps are usually at the bottom of our forecast range, you are in a cold spot.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
8293/ 19904128/ 1951
Screenshot 2023 06 29 074925
Red Flag Warnings today for much of western Colorado.

Red Flag Warning Today:

…RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO
8 PM MDT THIS EVENING FOR GUSTY WINDS, LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND
DRY FUELS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONE 294 BELOW 9000 FEET…

* AFFECTED AREA…In Colorado, Fire Weather Zone 294 Southwest
Colorado Upper West Forecast Area and Fire Weather Zone 295
Southwest Colorado Upper East Forecast Area below 9000 feet.

* WINDS…Southwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…10 to 15 percent.

* IMPACTS…Conditions will become favorable for easy ignition
and rapid spread of fires due to low relative humidity and
strong gusty winds.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions
are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of
strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can
contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Forecast discussion…

With a trough to our west, high winds and low humidity will continue to be an issue today. As the trough moves east tomorrow, look for our winds to return to what would be more typical for this time of the year…gusts to 25mph in the afternoons instead of 35-40mph! Models continue to hint at a slight chance for rain on Monday, but we shall see.

Screenshot 2023 06 29 080234
Dry air in the mid-levels (yellow tones) and the surface is moving in from the southwest ahead of a trough to our west.
Screenshot 2023 06 29 075143
The latest HRRR model predicts wind gusts over 35mph this afternoon.

5-Day Forecast…

The rest of the day: Partly cloudy with highs in upper 70’s to low 80’s. SW winds 15-25mph with gusts to 35.

Friday-Monday: Mostly sunny. Lows in the upper 30’s to mid 40’s and highs in the low to mid 80’s. SW winds 10-15mph, with gusts to 25mph.

July 4th: Partly Cloudy with a slight chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the low to upper 40’s and highs in the low to mid 80’s. SW winds 10-15mph, with gusts to 25mph.

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

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