Pagosa Weather SEPTEMBER SUMMARY & October Outlook

Drought conditions are slowly getting worse for parts of southwest Colorado

Drought conditions are slowly getting worse for parts of southwest Colorado

Monday – 2 Oct 2023 – 8am

September Summary…

The average high for September is 74 and the average low is 37. The record high of 98 occurred on 6 September 1955. The record low of 15 occurred on 27 September 1908. Precip averages 2.00″ in September. Wolf Creek Pass averages 4.26″ of rain and 4.1″ of snow.

Temps across Archuleta County were 1-3 degrees above average
Temps across Archuleta County were 1-3 degrees above average
Precip in Archuleta County ranged from 50-90% of average
Precip in Archuleta County ranged from 50-90% of average
August precip totals range from 0.37″ to 2.72″ with an overall average of 1.52″ – lower than the climatological average of 2.00″.
August precip totals range from 0.37″ to 2.72″ with an overall average of 1.52″ – lower than the climatological average of 2.00″.
Precip was not evenly distributed. 5 out of the 18 reports were above average.

Drought, River Flow, and Lake Levels…

Drought conditions are considered "severe" across much of Archuleta County
Drought conditions are considered “severe” across much of Archuleta County
River flow… Yellow is this year, purple is last year, and the median is gray. San Juan River flow, top, for September this year has ranged from 42cfs to 111cfs and was below the mean most of the month. Piedra River flow, bottom, ranged from 16.5cfs to 87cfs this year, below the median nearly the entire month.
River flow… Yellow is this year, purple is last year, and the median is gray.

San Juan River flow, top, for September this year has ranged from 42cfs to 111cfs and was below the mean most of the month.
Piedra River flow, bottom, ranged from 16.5cfs to 87cfs this year, below the median nearly the entire month.
On the left are upper Colorado Basin lake levels as of 30 September. On the right is 2 September. Overall there has been a 3% drop. Our nearby San River drainage lakes have a dropped a bit more. Navajo has dropped a little less than 3% in the last month.
On the left are upper Colorado Basin lake levels as of 30 September. On the right is 2 September.
Overall there has been a 3% drop. Our nearby San River drainage lakes have a dropped a bit more. Navajo has dropped a little less than 3% in the last month.

October Outlook…

The average high for October is 63 and the average low is 26. The record high of 85 occurred on 14 October 1940. The record low of -5 occurred on 21 October 1910. Precip averages 2.27″ in October with 4″ of snow. Wolf Creek Pass averages 4.39″ of precip and 26.7″ of snow.

The Climate Prediction Center temperature outlook for October on the left expects "equal chances" for average temps. The precip outlook on the right ” leaning” towards above average precip.
The Climate Prediction Center temperature outlook for October on the left expects “equal chances” for average temps.
The precip outlook on the right ” leaning” towards above average precip.
The Euro ensemble, on the left, expects 2.46″ of precip near Pagosa Springs for October while the GFS ensemble, on the right, expects 1.51″. The Euro expects a little more than the average of 2.27″ while the GFS expects quite a bit less than average.
The Euro ensemble, on the left, expects 2.46″ of precip near Pagosa Springs for October while the GFS ensemble, on the right, expects 1.51″. The Euro expects a little more than the average of 2.27″ while the GFS expects quite a bit less than average.

And what do we expect?

Arleen is the expert, and this is what she expects…

Welcome to transition season! We’re tipping away from the sun. The polar front jet and associated areas of low pressure and frontal systems are migrating south. These systems will be influenced by the current active El Niño and will have the potential to be more dynamic. The month of October will have above normal precipitation with the first snow by the end of the month and average temperatures.

A HUGE thanks for your precip reports and pictures! Reports help verify our forecasts and make us better forecasters.

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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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