Fantastic fall weather through Friday…

Snow last week on Stony Pass – Pic taken 9/21/2023

Snow last week on Stony Pass – Pic taken 9/21/2023

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Monday – 25 Sep 2023 – 11:10am

The past…

It was great seeing so many people at the Chili Cha Cha this weekend.  Elijah is our favorite Pagosa Weather fan! Elijah is a Pagosa Springs entrepreneur – the creator of Penguin Pups – tasty and healthy dog treats “everything you need to keep their tales wagging”. And this creative and generous young man donates earnings to get nutritious food to children in need!
It was great seeing so many people at the Chili Cha Cha this weekend.

Elijah is our favorite Pagosa Weather fan!

Elijah is a Pagosa Springs entrepreneur – the creator of Penguin Pups – tasty and healthy dog treats “everything you need to keep their tales wagging”. And this creative and generous young man donates earnings to get nutritious food to children in need!

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday was 69 and the low this morning was 38. Humidity bottomed out yesterday afternoon at 32%.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday was 16mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7080 / 19893321 / 1945

Precipitation summary… There was no measurable precip reported in the last 24 hours.

Fire updates…

Quartz Ridge Fire link

Bear Creek Fire link

Forecast discussion…

We “weather guessers” call spring and fall “transition seasons”. In the northern hemisphere, nights are longer than days, temperature contrasts get wider between the southern and northern latitudes, and the polar front jetstream gets more active. Weather models struggle during the transition seasons.

I’m definitely seeing this struggle with a low pressure system that could impact us this upcoming weekend. Some models expect a little precip for us while some don’t.  The one thing they agree on is that it will get windy. Details are in my forecast below.

GeoColor satellite this morning – It’s mostly clear over the Four Corners area.  Fair weather cumulus clouds are developing over the mountains as I type. The ridge is going to give us really nice weather this week.
GeoColor satellite this morning – It’s mostly clear over the Four Corners area.  Fair weather cumulus clouds are developing over the mountains as I type. The ridge is going to give us really nice weather this week.

There is nothing on radar in our area this morning.

Forecast Highlights…

*** Lots of blue sky and pleasant fall temps this week. ***

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

Today through Friday… High pressure is in control.  We’ll see lots of blue sky, no precip, and pleasant temps. Thursday and Friday the ridge will be to our east so we’ll see a few more clouds and slightly stronger afternoon winds.

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. Thursday and Friday afternoon winds will increase into the 15-25mph range.

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

Saturday and Sunday… A deep low pressure system will dip down into the Great Basin and then jump back to the north.  I expect most of the moisture and storm energy to stay to our west and northwest. We’ll see more clouds, scattered showers in the mountains, and gusty winds.

Winds… Afternoon gusts will be in the 25-30mph range.  Gusts in the mountains will be in the 40-45mph 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 3 primary forecast models I look at for periods beyond 5 days. These are precip forecasts to late Sunday evening. On top, the NBM expects 0.07” for Pagosa.  In the lower left, the Euro ensemble shows 0.60”.  In the bottom right, the GFS ensemble shows 0.12”.  That’s a big difference between the Euro and the other two models. And the differences between model runs are also considerable. This is typical during transition season and leads to low forecast confidence. Things will become more clear as the system nears. Monday morning I’ll verify these models against what actually happened.  Verification is a constant part of the forecast process.
These are the 3 primary forecast models I look at for periods beyond 5 days. These are precip forecasts to late Sunday evening. On top, the NBM expects 0.07” for Pagosa.  In the lower left, the Euro ensemble shows 0.60”.  In the bottom right, the GFS ensemble shows 0.12”. 

That’s a big difference between the Euro and the other two models. And the differences between model runs are also considerable. This is typical during transition season and leads to low forecast confidence. Things will become more clear as the system nears.

Monday morning I’ll verify these models against what actually happened.  Verification is a constant part of the forecast process.
Euro ensemble 500mb height anomalies every 24 hours from 27 Sep at noon to 4 Oct at noon – 500mb is at roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall weather pattern. On these maps, blue indicates lower heights and potentials storms while yellow and orange indicate higher heights and calm weather. Starting with Wednesday at noon, the ridge axis is over our heads and strong system is moving into the Pacific Northwest. By Thursday at noon, the ridge axis has moved to our east and the low pressure system has pushed into WA state. Between Friday and Saturday, the low pressure system starts sinking south. By Sunday the low is over NV and we are on the eastern edge with strong upper level southwest flow. Most of the models don’t show much moisture and keep the storm energy to our west and northwest. If this system moves a little farther east, we’ll get more precip, but I’m not expecting much at this time.
Euro ensemble 500mb height anomalies every 24 hours from 27 Sep at noon to 4 Oct at noon – 500mb is at roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall weather pattern. On these maps, blue indicates lower heights and potentials storms while yellow and orange indicate higher heights and calm weather.

Starting with Wednesday at noon, the ridge axis is over our heads and a strong system is moving into the Pacific Northwest. By Thursday at noon, the ridge axis has moved to our east and the low pressure system has pushed into WA state. Between Friday and Saturday, the low pressure system starts sinking south. By Sunday the low is over NV and we are on the eastern edge with strong upper level southwest flow. Most of the models don’t show much moisture and keep the storm energy to our west and northwest. If this system moves a little farther east, we’ll get more precip, but I’m not expecting much at this time.

My next post will be on Wednesday.

– 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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