Weak chances for afternoon showers and thunderstorms this week…

Brilliant blue Pagosa sky over Colorfest this morning – Pic taken 9/16/2023

Brilliant blue Pagosa sky over Colorfest this morning – Pic taken 9/16/2023

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Saturday – 16 Sep 2023 – 3:30pm

The past…

It was a pleasure doing the weather brief for the balloon pilots this morning!
It was a pleasure doing the weather brief for the balloon pilots this morning!

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday was 58 and the low this morning was 40. Humidity bottomed out yesterday afternoon at 62%.

Mark had a low of 31.5 just north of Hatcher Lake. Most of us were in the mid to high 30s this morning.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday was 9mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7487 / 19563625 / 1971

Precipitation summary… Most of the county got good rain yesterday.  I was surprised to see a few folks report less than 0.10”. Check out the 7-day precip totals below.

CoCoRaHS 24-hour precip reports from 0.04” to 0.67”. The rain lottery winner was Arleen in the south end of O’Neal Park.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour precip reports from 0.04” to 0.67”. The rain lottery winner was Arleen in the south end of O’Neal Park.
CoCoRaHS 7-day precip totals range from 0.56” to 2.20”
CoCoRaHS 7-day precip totals range from 0.56” to 2.20”
San Juan River flow increased over 100cfs this week. It’s a nice jump, but it barely bumped us above the median. The Piedra went from a low of 16.5cfs to a peak of 111cfs. In spite of the damp week, the Piedra River never got back up to its median of 125cfs.
San Juan River flow increased over 100cfs this week. It’s a nice jump, but it barely bumped us above the median.
The Piedra went from a low of 16.5cfs to a peak of 111cfs. In spite of the damp week, the Piedra River never got back up to its median of 125cfs.

Fire updates…

Quartz Ridge Fire link

Bear Creek Fire link

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Drier air is moving in from the north. Over the next few days the ridge will weaken and slowly move east. The low off the CA coast will help push a little moisture and instability into our area Monday and Tuesday.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – Drier air is moving in from the north. Over the next few days the ridge will weaken and slowly move east. The low off the CA coast will help push a little moisture and instability into our area Monday and Tuesday.

There is nothing on radar in our area this morning.

Forecast Highlights…

*** Cold spots in valley will flirt with freezing temps each morning this week. ***

Rest of today through Tuesday… A ridge of high pressure will slowly weaken and move east.  We’ll see a lot of sun and have pleasant seasonal temps. There is a slight chance for a spotty shower or thunderstorm Monday and Tuesday afternoons, mostly over the mountains. I expect most of us to stay dry.

Winds… Winds each morning will be light and variable.  Beginning around 11am each day winds will increase into the 10-20mph range out of the southwest.

Temps… Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday highs will be in the high 60s to mid-70s and lows will be in the mid-30s to mid-40s.  The cold spots will flirt with lows near freezing each morning.

Wednesday… Behind the trough, upper-level winds will increase and drier air will move in.  We’ll be partly cloudy, dry, and breezy.

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

Temps… Highs will be in the high 60s to mid-70s and lows will be in the mid-30s to low 40s.  The cold spots will flirt freezing temps each morning.

Thursday and Friday… A stronger system will miss us to the north. We’ll see a few more clouds, a spotty shower or thunderstorm, and gusty winds. 

Winds… Gusts on Thursday will be in the 15-25mph range. They’ll increase Friday into the 20-30mph range.

Temps… Highs will be in the mid-60s to low 70s and lows will be in the mid-30s to low 40s.  The cold spots will flirt with freezing temps.

These are the 4 primary forecast models I look at for periods beyond 5 days.  In the upper left, the NBM expects 0.07” for Pagosa.  In the upper right, the Euro ensemble shows 0.48”.  In the bottom left, the GFS ensemble shows 0.12”.  In the bottom right, the Canadian ensemble shows 0.47”.  It’s interesting that the American forecast models hardly expect anything while the foreign forecast models are more optimistic.  At this time, I’m leaning towards the American models and don’t expect much precip.  Next Saturday I’ll verify these models against what actually happened.  Verification is a constant part of the forecast process.
These are the 4 primary forecast models I look at for periods beyond 5 days. 
In the upper left, the NBM expects 0.07” for Pagosa.  In the upper right, the Euro ensemble shows 0.48”.  In the bottom left, the GFS ensemble shows 0.12”.  In the bottom right, the Canadian ensemble shows 0.47”. 

It’s interesting that the American forecast models hardly expect anything while the foreign forecast models are more optimistic.  At this time, I’m leaning towards the American models and don’t expect much precip.  Next Saturday I’ll verify these models against what actually happened.  Verification is a constant part of the forecast process.

Mark will take over tomorrow.

– 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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