Busy forecast! …

Spring has sprung!  Tommy found these beautiful trees in Bayfield – Pic taken 5/3/2024

Spring has sprung!  Tommy found these beautiful trees in Bayfield – Pic taken 5/3/2024

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Saturday – 4 May 2024 – 1:00pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temperature yesterday afternoon was 66. The low this morning was 33 but the cold spots dipped into the high 20s.

The peak wind at the airfield yesterday was 41mph at 3:15pm. Most gusts were in the 25-30mph range.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
6484/ 19472814 / 1913

Precipitation summary… There has been no recent measurable precip.

Forecast discussion…

Water vapor satellite this afternoon – At noon on Saturday, the ridge axis is nearly over our heads, blue jagged line. Instability and clouds are increasing behind the ridge Saturday afternoon. A well-organized low pressure system off the OR coast will move through our area Sunday night.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon – At noon on Saturday, the ridge axis is nearly over our heads, blue jagged line. Instability and clouds are increasing behind the ridge Saturday afternoon. A well-organized low pressure system off the OR coast will move through our area Sunday night.
Radar at 11:22am Saturday – Showers are falling along much of the west coast ahead of the low pressure system off the OR coast.
Radar at 11:22am Saturday – Showers are falling along much of the west coast ahead of the low pressure system off the OR coast.

Forecast highlights…

*** Scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm Saturday afternoon and again Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. ***

*** Strong winds Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. ***

*** Potential for blowing dust Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. ***

Rest of Saturday… The upper-level ridge is moving to our east.  Behind it we’ll see more clouds and increased instability. Spotty showers and an isolated thunderstorm or two are possible Saturday afternoon.

Winds… Afternoon gusts will be 20-25mph. Isolated higher gusts are possible near showers and thunderstorms.

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

Sunday to early Monday morning… We will catch the southern end of a fairly strong spring storm as it moves quickly through the region.  The best moisture and storm energy will stay to our north, so I don’t expect much precip.  The easy part of the forecast is the gusty winds.

The best chance for scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm is Sunday afternoon into early Monday morning.

Precip forecast…

Valley: 0.10” of rain – the lucky spots could get up to 0.20” of rain

Valley above 7,600ft: a dusting of snow is possible early Monday morning

Mountains: 2-5” of snow above 9,500ft

Winds… Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening gusts will be 30-40mph. The windy spots could hit 45mph. Winds in the mountains will be 55-65mph.

*** Dust could get blown into our area from eastern AZ and western NM Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening. ***

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

NBM wind gust for 3pm Sunday shows 40mph near Pagosa, 36mph near Chama, 45mph for Bayfield, and up to 65mph in our mountains.
NBM wind gust for 3pm Sunday shows 40mph near Pagosa, 36mph near Chama, 45mph for Bayfield, and up to 65mph in our mountains.

The NWS “official” snow forecast shows zero to a trace in the Pagosa area, and 3-5” in our mountains.
The NWS “official” snow forecast shows zero to a trace in the Pagosa area, and 3-5” in our mountains.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday… Drier air will move in from the northwest.  We’ll have partly cloudy skies and gusty afternoon winds.

Winds… *** Monday afternoon and again Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening winds will gust 30-40mph. The windy spots could hit 45mph. *** Wednesday afternoon winds will gust 25-30mph.

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

NBM wind gusts at 3pm Tuesday shows 52mph near Pagosa, 54mph for Chama, 55mph for Bayfield, and up to 75mph in our mountains. Right now I think this model is over-forecasting the winds, but I will keep a close on it.
NBM wind gusts at 3pm Tuesday shows 52mph near Pagosa, 54mph for Chama, 55mph for Bayfield, and up to 75mph in our mountains.
Right now I think this model is over-forecasting the winds, but I will keep a close on it.

Starting Thursday… A cut-off low is expected to spin over the Great Basin region for a few days. Forecast models struggle with cut-off lows because there is very limited upper-level steering.  Weather associated with cut-off lows is usually confined to a small area near the low.  If the low wobbles any direction, it impacts the forecast.

For now, I expect our weather to be unsettled with a chance for scattered afternoon showers and isolated thunderstorms through the weekend. Precip amounts will be low.

My next forecast post will be tomorrow.

– 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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