Daily rain chances begin today…

Cracks

My dried-out backyard is literally “cracking up”!

Thursday 8-10-2023. 11:15am update.

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 83 degrees. The low this morning was 47 degrees. Winds gusted to 25mph yesterday and our humidity bottomed out at 14% yesterday afternoon.

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

Pagosa Springs historical data August 10th.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
8289/ 19724628/ 1956
c93cd413ce91dd051689307f77e42e3c

*** 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. ***

8 8 1
To the NW of Pagosa Springs is the Bear Creek Fire, Dry Creek to the west, Quartz Ridge to the NE and to the SW, the American Mesa Fire.

Here’s the latest on our four nearby fires:

The Quartz Ridge Fire:

The Quartz Ridge Fire, Firefighters on the Quartz Ridge Fire were present in Quartz Meadow actively tracking fire progression to the east. Cooler, moderated weather conditions limited fire growth today. A small spot fire has established on the east side of the meadow and will be the focus of firefighting operations tomorrow, August 10. Xcel Energy representatives will accompany fire personnel to assess critical infrastructure along NFSR 667 and mitigate fire hazard around sensitive utility equipment. The Quartz Fire is now 1225 acres in size.

The Bear Creek Fire and nearby Mosca Fire:

The San Juan Type 3 Incident Management Team has taken command of the Mosca Fire, located in proximity to the Bear Creek Fire. The fire is burning in the Piedra River drainage near Slide Mountain, approximately 7 miles southwest of the Bear Creek Fire. The Mosca fire was detected August 7th and is currently 3 acres.

The Bear Creek Fire is now 330 acres.

Containment: 0%

Location: 23 miles Northwest of Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Fire behavior moderated yesterday thanks to cloud cover and higher relative humidity. The less fire-prone aspen stands to the east and south of the fire also slowed growth. Firefighters have been unable to directly engage due the dangerous loading of dead timber both standing and down. They are, however, prepared for when the fire backs down to the Weminuche Valley, providing an anchor point to begin suppression operations. Structure protection groups are in place, monitoring the fire from the meadow day and night. The Type 3 Team has assumed command of an additional small fire burning in a very remote area northwest of Bear Creek near Slide Mountain, named the Mosca Fire. This fire is five acres and burning in very difficult terrain and fuel types. A National Incident Management Organization Team will assume command of these incidents August 12th at 0600, providing additional capacity and oversight.

The Dry Lake Fire:

Bayfield, CO, August 6, 2023. The Dry Lake Fire is now 11 percent contained and firefighters have completed “blacklining” the control lines around the 1372-acre fire. 135 fire personnel are assigned to the fire, located on San Juan National Forest land northeast of Bayfield.  In conjunction with blacklining, interior pockets of vegetation were burned with an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), or drone. Firefighters are now patrolling the perimeter and no further growth is expected. 

The American Mesa Fire:

TAOS, N.M., Aug. 8, 2023 – A Type 3 Incident Management Team, Nevada Team 2, took command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. on August 8. Fire crews have made excellent progress in holding the fire at 756 acres, with 25% containment.

“We received an outstanding hand off from Carson National Forest Operations,” said Incident Commander Brian Kitchen, “We want to ensure crews are staying safe while keeping the fire at bay during this transition.”

There are currently 160 personnel on scene including hot shots, engines, and hand crews. Crews are actively engaged on the fire line working on mop up operations. There are no immediate threats to structures.

Screenshot 2023 08 10 105149
Thanks to a closed low over central California and high pressure to our SE, a surge of moisture will start moving into our area today, giving us a chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

Forecast discussion…

Thanks to a closed low over central California and high pressure to our SE, a surge of moisture will start moving into our area today, giving us a chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms. From today through early next week, the closed low will take up residency in CA and the “Blocking High” to our south will flatten and move east, allowing for a SW flow to return, giving us a chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Further into next week, models are in disagreement on whether the wet pattern continues, or we dry out again.

Screenshot 2023 08 10 081244
The latest 3-day rainfall forecast from the NWS is predicting 0.09 inches of rain for Pagosa Springs and 0.17 inches for Chama, NM.
nbm conus colorado total precip inch 2316800
The latest 7-Day NBM model is predicting 0.97 inches of rain for Pagosa Springs and 1.08 inches for Chama, NM.
Screenshot 2023 08 10 104900
The latest 7-Day Euro model is predicting 1.32 inches of rain for Pagosa Springs and 1.43 inches for Chama, NM.
Screenshot 2023 08 10 081244
The latest 7-Day GFS model is predicting 0.26 inches of rain for Pagosa Springs and 0.20 inches for Chama, NM.

5-Day Forecast…

The rest of the day: Partly cloudy with a chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low to mid 80’s. Winds SW 10-15mph, with gusts to 25mph. Rainfall total: 0-0.05 inches.

Friday: Partly cloudy with a chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the 40’s and highs in the low to mid 80’s. Winds SW 10-15, with gusts to 25mph. Rainfall total: 0-0.05 inches.

Saturday-Sunday: Partly cloudy with a chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the 40’s and highs in the low to mid 80’s. Winds SW 10-15, with gusts to 25mph. Daily rainfall totals: 0-0.10 inches.

Monday-Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a good chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the 40’s and highs in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. Winds SW 10-15, with gusts to 25mph. Daily rainfall totals: 0-0.25 inches.

Check out my Pagosa Peak Cam (myearthcam.com) 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: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-mark-langford
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