Bad new, good news…

Fall colors have passed their peak but there are still pockets of gold. That’s smoke from the Mill Creek 2 fire. – Pic taken 10/22/2023

Fall colors have passed their peak but there are still pockets of gold. That’s smoke from the Mill Creek 2 fire. – Pic taken 10/22/2023

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Monday – 23 Oct 2023 – 4:00pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday was 70 and so far today it has hit 65. The low this morning was 33. Humidity bottomed out yesterday afternoon at 15% and today it’s 21%.

The peak wind at Stevens Field yesterday afternoon was 20mph and today it’s 22mph.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
6076 / 194623-2 / 1908

Precipitation summary… The last measurable precip for most of us was on 3 Oct.

Fire updates…

The Trail Springs fire, Mill Creek 2 fire, and Bear Creek fire are all active.

https://www.facebook.com/sanjuannationalforest

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/cosjf-trail-springs-fire

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – There isn’t much moisture across the desert southwest. Cyclonic flow around the low and the trough is helping to turn the limited moisture into clouds across the region.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – There isn’t much moisture across the desert southwest. Cyclonic flow around the low and the trough is helping to turn the limited moisture into clouds across the region.

There is nothing on radar in our area this afternoon.

Forecast Highlights…

Bad news: Very little precip expected – Good news: Higher humidities.

Bad news: Gusty afternoon winds – Good news: Days are shorter so the daily window for fire growth is shorter.

Good news: Temps will be closer to seasonal averages.

Good news: Potential for precip Sunday night and Monday.

Rest of today through Tuesday… The first system will slide to our south and we’ll get just a few scraps.  The best chance for a spotty shower or two is late tonight through Tuesday afternoon.

*** Wolf Creek Pass could get slick Monday night. ***

Snow levels… Are around 11,000ft this afternoon and will drop to 10,500ft tonight.

Precip amounts…

Mountains above 10,500ft: 1-3” of snow

Mountains 9,500-10,500ft: up to 1” of snow

Valley: zero to 0.10” of rain

Winds… Monday afternoon gusts will be in the 20-25mph range. Tuesday afternoon gusts will be in the 15-20mph range.

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

HRRR forecast radar 6pm Monday to 6pm Tuesday – There are a few light spotty showers this evening and then another band moves through late tomorrow morning.
HRRR forecast radar 6pm Monday to 6pm Tuesday – There are a few light spotty showers this evening and then another band moves through late tomorrow morning.
HRRR forecast radar to 6pm Tuesday shows 0.08” near Pagosa and up to 0.25” in our mountains.
HRRR forecast radar to 6pm Tuesday shows 0.08” near Pagosa and up to 0.25” in our mountains.

Wednesday… The main system will be well to our south.  I expect partly cloudy skies and no precip.

Winds… Afternoon gusts will be in the 10-20mph out of the southwest.

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

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday… Broad cyclonic flow will set up across the region. We’ll see partly to mostly cloudy skies and gusty afternoon winds. The mountains could see a spotty shower or two, but I expect minimal amounts of precip. Daytime relative humidity should be in the 30%-40% range which should slow fire growth.

Winds… Thursday and Friday afternoon gusts will be 20-25mph out of the southwest. 

*** Saturday afternoon gusts will be 25-35mph out of the southwest. ***

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

Next system… Things are trying to line up for some precip Sunday night and Monday. At this point, I’m not expecting much, but I don’t trust the forecast details.  I’ll tackle this one in my next post.

Euro 500mb anomalies – 500mb is roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall weather pattern.  Warm colors indicate high pressure and boring weather while cool colors indicate low pressure and “fun” weather. A low pressure system is expected to move southeast into the Great Basin. It will weaken as it moves east through UT. It won’t have much moisture but we should get some precip.
Euro 500mb anomalies – 500mb is roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall weather pattern.  Warm colors indicate high pressure and boring weather while cool colors indicate low pressure and “fun” weather.
A low pressure system is expected to move southeast into the Great Basin. It will weaken as it moves east through UT. It won’t have much moisture but we should get some precip.

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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