Periods of yuck Saturday afternoon through Monday night…

Sunrise over Pagosa Peak – Pic taken 9/26/2023

Sunrise over Pagosa Peak – Pic taken 9/26/2023

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Friday – 29 Sep 2023 – 10:40am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday was 74 and the low this morning was 36. The cold spots dipped into the high 20s this morning. Humidity bottomed out yesterday afternoon at 13%.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday was 21mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7083 / 19573220 / 1908

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”. During autumn 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.

Water vapor satellite this morning – The ridge has pushed to our east. The low off the WA coast will move into the Great Basin this weekend. We’ll be on the eastern edge of the moisture and storm energy.
Water vapor satellite this morning – The ridge has pushed to our east. The low off the WA coast will move into the Great Basin this weekend. We’ll be on the eastern edge of the moisture and storm energy.

There is nothing on radar in our area this morning.

Forecast Highlights…

*** Saturday afternoon through Monday night there will be more clouds, periods of scattered showers, and gusty afternoon winds. ***

*** A HARD FREEZE is possible Tuesday night. ***

Today… The ridge has shifted to our east, so we’ll see a few more clouds and slightly stronger afternoon winds.

Winds… Winds will be light and variable through most of the morning.  Around noon winds will increase into the 10-20mph range out of the southwest and peak later in the afternoon around 25mph.

Temps… Highs will be in the low to high 70s and lows will be in the mid-30s to mid-40s.

Saturday through Monday… A double barrel low-pressure system will dip down into the Great Basin.  Round 1 is Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning and round 2 is Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning. We’ll see more clouds, scattered showers, and gusty winds.

Precip total in the valley: 0.10” to 0.30” of rain. It will fall in spurts and be spotty.

Snow levels… Will start at 12,500ft Saturday afternoon and drop to 11,000ft by Monday morning and then to 9,500ft by Tuesday morning. I expect 2-4” of snow above 12,000ft, 1-2” 11,000-12,000ft. A dusting is possible down to 9,500ft Monday night.

Winds… Saturday afternoon gusts will be in the 25-30mph range. Sunday afternoon gusts will be in the 30-40mph range.  Monday afternoon gusts will be in the 25-35mph range. Gusts in the mountains will be in the 45-55mph range. Sunday gusts to 60mph are possible along mountain ridges.

Temps… Saturday highs will be in the high 60s to mid-70s and lows will be in the high 30s to mid-40s.  Sunday highs will be in the low to high 60s and lows will be in the low 30s to low 40s. Monday highs will be in the high 50s to mid-60s and lows will be in the high 20s to high 30s.

NBM 12-hour precip Saturday at 7pm to Wednesday at 6am – each map shows the forecast precip amounts for the preceding 12 hours. The first precip surge is Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. Then there is a lull Sunday night. There’s another surge of precip Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning.
NBM 12-hour precip Saturday at 7pm to Wednesday at 6am – each map shows the forecast precip amounts for the preceding 12 hours. The first precip surge is Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. Then there is a lull Sunday night. There’s another surge of precip Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning.
29 Sep 2023 am NBM peak winds
NBM wind gusts on Sunday at 3pm – It shows 41mph near Pagosa and up to 60mph in our mountains.

Tuesday… The trough will move through in the morning.  There will be enough residual moisture and instability to kick up a few spotty showers and thunderstorms through the afternoon, mostly over the mountains. The snow level will be around 9,500ft, but I don’t expect much precip. Clouds will clear Tuesday night and give us our first chance for a hard freeze.

Winds… Afternoon winds will peak in the 15-20mph range.

Temps… Highs will be in the high 50s to mid-60s and lows will be in the mid-20s to mid-30s.

NBM total precip to Wednesday at 6am – This model run shows 0.40” near Pagosa and up to 0.75” in our mountains. The previous model run showed 0.27” near Pagosa and up to 0.60” in our mountains. So this forecast model is trending up. Other models range from a low of 0.23” for the GFS to a high of 1.62” for the Canadian model – that’s a big range! The models are all over the place which is typical of transition season. My thoughts… I expect the best moisture and precip to stay to our west and northwest so I’m leaning towards the bottom of these amounts. However, if this double-barrel system shifts just a hundred miles farther east, we could get double my forecast range of 0.15” to 0.30”.
NBM total precip to Wednesday at 6am – This model run shows 0.40” near Pagosa and up to 0.75” in our mountains. The previous model run showed 0.27” near Pagosa and up to 0.60” in our mountains. So this forecast model is trending up. Other models range from a low of 0.23” for the GFS to a high of 1.62” for the Canadian model – that’s a big range! The models are all over the place which is typical of transition season.

My thoughts… I expect the best moisture and precip to stay to our west and northwest so I’m leaning towards the bottom of these amounts. However, if this double-barrel system shifts just a hundred miles farther east, we could get double my forecast range of 0.15” to 0.30”.

I’ll do another post tomorrow if my forecast is out of whack. Otherwise, I’ll probably do a post each day, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Plus, I plan to do the September Summary/October Outlook on Sunday.

– Shawn

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Shawn Pro

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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