Scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms through Friday…

Lovin these colorful sunrises and sunsets! – pic taken 8/13/2023

Lovin these colorful sunrises and sunsets! – pic taken 8/13/2023

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Tuesday – 15 Aug 2023 – 10:10am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 70 and the low this morning was 54. Humidity bottomed out at 51% yesterday afternoon – a clear indication of monsoon moisture.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 18mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
8090 / 19624432 / 1950

Precipitation summary… Yesterday was a disappointing bust for most of us but a few folks got a soaking. Carol in Alpine Lakes, Elk Ridge reported 1.39” in about 45 minutes!

Thank you, Carol, and everyone else for your weather reports on our Facebook page!

CoCoRaHS 24-hour precip amounts ranged from zero to 0.47”. The CoCoRaHS rain lottery winner was Lisa in Loma Linda.  The 2 reports in Loma Linda are about a half mile apart (circled in red).  One is 0.47” and the other is 0.14”.  This is a good example of how spotty these showers can be.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour precip amounts ranged from zero to 0.47”. The CoCoRaHS rain lottery winner was Lisa in Loma Linda.  The 2 reports in Loma Linda are about a half mile apart (circled in red).  One is 0.47” and the other is 0.14”.  This is a good example of how spotty these showers can be.

Fire updates…

Quartz Ridge Fire link

Bear Creek Fire link

Dry Lake Fire link

American Mesa Fire link

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – The upper-level ridge has slid slightly to our west. This is a little less favorable for showers and thunderstorms, but there is still plenty of moisture. Green arrows indicate upper-level flow. The best moisture has shifted to our west.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The upper-level ridge has slid slightly to our west. This is a little less favorable for showers and thunderstorms, but there is still plenty of moisture. Green arrows indicate upper-level flow. The best moisture has shifted to our west.

There is nothing on radar in our area this morning.

Forecast Highlights…

*** Brief periods of localized heavy rain, small hail, erratic gusty winds, and lightning are possible Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons and evenings. ***

*** Fire danger has improved to “moderate”. ***

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

Rest of today through Friday… Monsoon moisture and instability will stick with us through Friday. We’ll continue to see scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Friday is a transition day, so it won’t be quite as active.

Winds… Afternoon gusts will mostly be in the 10-20mph range, but isolated stronger gusts are likely near showers and thunderstorms.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-70s to low 80s and lows will be in the high 40s to mid-50s. Thursday high temps will be a little warmer ranging from the high 70s to mid-80s.

15 Aug 2023 am NBM forecast radar
NBM forecast radar on Tuesday from 11am to 11pm – Scattered showers and thunderstorms develop over the mountains 1-4pm and then over parts of the county into the early evening.
NBM total precip to late Friday evening shows 0.48” for the Pagosa area, 0.46” for Chama, and up to 1.40” for our mountains. As always with convective activity, amounts will vary considerably.
NBM total precip to late Friday evening shows 0.48” for the Pagosa area, 0.46” for Chama, and up to 1.40” for our mountains. As always with convective activity, amounts will vary considerably.

Saturday through Tuesday… Moisture will decrease and the atmosphere will get a little more stable. It won’t be as active, but there is still a chance for isolated afternoon showers and thunderstorms, especially over the mountains.

Winds… Afternoon gusts will mostly be in the 10-20mph range, but isolated stronger gusts are likely near showers and thunderstorms.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-70s to mid-80s and lows will be in the mid-40s to mid-50s.

And beyond Tuesday?… Another surge of monsoon moisture is expected the second half of next week.  Afternoon showers and thunderstorms will increase.

Euro ensemble 15-day 24-hour precip and precipitable water – There are 3 charts.  I’ll start at the top and work down.  The top chart is 24-hour precip amounts for 50 versions of the Euro model. The main point is that the first few days are active, then there is a lull, and then it gets active again.  The middle chart graphs the 24-hour precip totals. I pay most attention to the mean. Measurable precip is expected during the two active periods and less likely during the lull. The bottom chart graphs precipitable water.  Precipitable water is the amount of moisture in a vertical column of air potentially available for precipitation. This time of year, 0.60” to 0.70” is marginal while 0.80” or higher is good. I added the arrows to highlight the trend. These are some of my favorite forecast products for monsoon, but we also look at many other things.  At this point, I agree with this forecast trend.
Euro ensemble 15-day 24-hour precip and precipitable water – There are 3 charts.  I’ll start at the top and work down. 

The top chart is 24-hour precip amounts for 50 versions of the Euro model. The main point is that the first few days are active, then there is a lull, and then it gets active again. 

The middle chart graphs the 24-hour precip totals. I pay most attention to the mean. Measurable precip is expected during the two active periods and less likely during the lull.

The bottom chart graphs precipitable water.  Precipitable water is the amount of moisture in a vertical column of air potentially available for precipitation. This time of year, 0.60” to 0.70” is marginal while 0.80” or higher is good. I added the arrows to highlight the trend.

These are some of my favorite forecast products for monsoon season, but we also look at many other things.  At this point, I agree with this forecast trend.

My next post will probably be tomorrow afternoon.

– Shawn

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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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