The monsoon is not getting the memo!


A “Mountain Hugger” storm drifts behind Pagosa Peak…so far, storms are staying in the mountains. © 2023-Mark Langford

Friday 7-21-2023. 11am update.

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 90 degrees. The low this morning was a mild 54 degrees. Winds gusted to 33mph yesterday and our humidity bottomed out at 13% yesterday afternoon.

Precipitation summary: There was no measurable precipitation to summarize yesterday!

Pagosa Springs historical data for July 19th.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
8293/ 19894635/ 1958


362278896 607168664891013 557852111855413826 n
On Tuesday, July 18th at 9AM, a Stage 1 Fire Ban went into effect to help protect Archuleta County and surrounding areas. Exceptions can be made only with written permission from the Sheriff and only if the exception does not constitute a high danger for forest, grass or wildland fire. Archuleta County urges all residents to be fire-aware by honoring the rules and regulations of implemented bans and remember to make sure any unattended fires are dead out.


*** Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect for the lower elevations of San Juan National Forest. The minimum fine for violating campfire restrictions is $530. ***

Map of Stage 1 Fire Restrictions
Map of Stage 1 Fire Restrictions
The Springs Thank you Summer 1
The first week of Pagosa Springs monsoon is brought to you by The Springs Resort! 
Enjoy the season of Rain and Relaxation! 
$25 Discounted Local Rate Available 9 am – 10 pm, 7-Days a Week
 *Must have a valid state-issued ID, with residence within 60 miles*

Forecast discussion…

As the headline suggests, despite daily rain chances, so far, our afternoon storms are staying in the mountains. The monsoon has not gotten the memo! With the ridge of high pressure setting up to our west this weekend and our upper-level flow switching to the NW, there is a better chance that if storms form, they will move off of the mountains and into the valley. That all sounds good on paper, but a NW flow also is a drier flow, so the odds of storms forming will be less. By early next week, the high pressure will move to our east, allowing a better fetch of moisture from the SW and increasing the odds for better rainfall totals.

gfs deterministic conus z500 barbs 0048800
High pressure, (shown in the darkest red tones) is currently west of us, giving us a NW flow.
gfs deterministic conus z500 barbs 0286400
By Tuesday morning, the high-pressure ridge will move to our SE, allowing our flow to switch into a more favorable SW flow.
Screenshot 2023 07 21 101734
The latest NWS 3-day rainfall forecast predicts 0.08 inches of rain for Pagosa Springs and 0.18 inches for Chama, NM.
Screenshot 2023 07 21 101906
The latest NBM model is predicting 0.12 inches of rain for Pagosa Springs and 0.31 inches for Chama, NM. from today through Wednesday.
Screenshot 2023 07 21 101949
The latest GFS model is predicting 0.04 inches of rain for Pagosa Springs and 0.53 inches for Chama, NM. from today through Wednesday.

5-Day Forecast…

The rest of the day: Partly cloudy and warm with a chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80’s to low 90’s. Winds SW 10-15, with gusts to 25mph.

Rainfall totals 0-0.05.

Saturday-Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 40’s to low 50’s and highs in the mid to upper 80’s. Winds SW 10-15, with gusts to 25mph. Daily rainfall totals 0-0.05 inches.

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

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Mark Langford

Mark Langford

I consider myself a "weather journalist" who has been studying and following meteorology since taking an earth science class in eighth grade. Later, when I became a professional commercial photographer, I learned that my continued studies in meteorology helped me plan outdoor photo assignments. I'm now a semi-retired photographer who teaches photo workshops, goes storm chasing and of course enjoys photographing great landscapes and clouds in our area. My fine art photography can be seen here:
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