Tropical moisture next week?…

Tommy looks across the East Fork drainage.  The Quartz Ridge Fire was starting to get more active around noon yesterday – pic taken 9/6/2023

Tommy looks across the East Fork drainage.  The Quartz Ridge Fire was starting to get more active around noon yesterday – pic taken 9/6/2023

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Thursday – 7 Sep 2023 – 9:20am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday was 81 and the low this morning was 43. Humidity bottomed out yesterday afternoon at 11%.

Low temps across the area this morning were mostly in the mid-30s to mid-40s. The “Rio Spring” Ambient weather sensor near the upper Piedra River bridge hit 30 yesterday morning and again this morning.  Fall is in the air!

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday was 30mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7787 / 19453927 / 1912

Precipitation summary… There has been no recent measurable precip.

Fire updates…

As expected yesterday, warm temps, dry air, drying fuels, and gusty winds helped both fires get more active.

Quartz Ridge Fire link

Bear Creek Fire link

6 Sep 2023 pm satellite loop of fires2
Satellite loop yesterday afternoon clearly shows smoke plumes from both fires.
7 Sep 2023 am Bear Creek Fire
Picture of the Bear Creek Fire taken around 5:30pm yesterday

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this morning – It’s over most of the Four Corners region.  A weak trough to our north will just help keep our winds gusty. Hurricane Jova is pretty impressive.  More info on Jova is below.
Water vapor satellite this morning – It’s dry over most of the Four Corners region.  A weak trough to our north will just help keep our winds gusty. Hurricane Jova is pretty impressive.  More info on Jova is below.

There is nothing on radar this morning in our area.

Forecast Highlights…

*** An Air Quality Alert was issued last night for moderate to heavy smoke. Smoke will be worst each night and into mid-mornings to Sunday morning. ***

Sunny and dry with breezy afternoons through Saturday.

More clouds, cooler temps, scattered showers and thunderstorms next week.

Rest of today through Sunday… Dry upper-level flow will persist during this period. We’ll see gusty afternoon winds, lots of sun, and temps near to slightly above average. Sunday is a transition day as clouds increase and moisture begins moving into the region.  A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible, mostly over the mountains.

Winds… Afternoon gusts will mostly be in the 15-25mph range.

Temps… Highs will range from the low to high 80s and lows will range from the mid-30s to mid-40s.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday… This period looks more and more interesting. Some forecast models are starting to indicate that moisture from Hurricane Jova will move into our area, and we’ll get a good soaking. Other forecast models don’t expect the moisture to move into the desert southwest at all.  I expect more clouds, cooler temps, and scattered showers and thunderstorms. At this point, I’m skeptical of a good soaking.

Winds… Afternoon gusts will mostly be in the 15-20mph range, but stronger gusts are possible near showers and thunderstorms.

Temps… Monday highs will be in the low to high 70s and lows will be in the low 40s to low 50s. Tuesday and Wednesday highs will range from the high 60s to mid-70s and lows will range from the low 40s to low 50s.

NBM precip to late evening next Wednesday shows 0.68” near Pagosa. The Euro ensemble also expects 0.68” and the GFS ensemble expects 0.62”.
NBM precip to late evening next Wednesday shows 0.68” near Pagosa. The Euro ensemble also expects 0.68” and the GFS ensemble expects 0.62”.
Jova is a category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 160mph. It’s expected to move northeast and weaken to a tropical storm by Sunday. By Tuesday it’s just a depression meandering over the ocean but the moisture could move into the desert southwest.
Jova is a category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 160mph. It’s expected to move northwest and weaken to a tropical storm by Sunday. By Tuesday it’s just a depression meandering over the ocean but the moisture could move into the desert southwest.
Euro 500mb moisture Friday at noon to next Thursday at 6pm – 500mb is roughly at 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall weather pattern.  Brown is dry air and green is moist air. Keep an eye on the bottom left. Starting tomorrow at noon Hurricane Jova has lots of moisture and is moving northwest. By Sunday afternoon Jova is expected to weaken into a tropical storm.  It’s just off this chart to the bottom left, but the leading edge of Jova’s moisture is moving into southern California. Now watch those dark greens and blues increase over the Four Corners region through the rest of the loop. Moisture is at its peak in our area Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning.
Euro 500mb moisture Friday at noon to next Thursday at 6pm – 500mb is roughly at 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall weather pattern.  Brown is dry air and green is moist air.

Keep an eye on the bottom left. Starting tomorrow at noon Hurricane Jova has lots of moisture and is moving northwest. By Sunday afternoon Jova is expected to weaken into a tropical storm.  It’s just off this chart to the bottom left, but the leading edge of Jova’s moisture is moving into southern California. Now watch those dark greens and blues increase over the Four Corners region through the rest of the loop. Moisture is at its peak in our area Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning.

My next post will be on Saturday.

– 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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