Stormy Afternoon And Evenings For At least Another 72 Hours

7/31 Saturday 9:15 am

As expected, storms have developed in the late afternoon and early evening hours for the last couple of days. This trend should continue for the next 3 days at least. The models diverge starting Wednesday, the European is showing an unusually dry period taking over. The GFS and Canadian show isolated afternoon showers nearly every day, but they definitely slow things down a bit.

The blended model I posted on Thursday did pretty well. So I will give it another chance. Here is the forecast for precipitation totals through Tuesday morning.

For today, CAPE values will peak late afternoon into the early evening.

The peak in CAPE values is directly related to a surge of moisture that is expected late this afternoon into the early evening, as seen below.

Most areas area have received well above average rainfall for July and we have made tremendous progress with the drought. Tomorrow the monthly forecast models will update and we can take a look at what they are saying about the future.

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Several Days More Of Afternoon Storms Developing

7/29 Thursday 9:30 am

So far so good. Monday and Tuesday, a number of areas that had yet received a lot of rain this month got caught up. On Wednesday the showers and storms, for the most part, favored the higher terrain.

Conditions will continue to be favorable for the development of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms through Tuesday according to the models. After Tuesday there is poor agreement.

There is also poor agreement among the models on who gets what and when. So much so, that rather than use the individual global models today I am going to share with you a couple of blended multi-model solutions. The best thing about these multi-models is that I access them through a different service and they have excellent resolution. These are the only products that I can get this good of resolution, unfortunately.

Here is the 72-hour precipitation guidance (through Sunday morning)

 

Here is the 7-day precipitation guidance (ending Wednesday morning)

As has been the case all week (really most of the season) it is difficult to tell on a day-by-day basis where the storms are going to set up let alone where they are going to go after they form. For today, all of the ingredients are going to be in place, especially between 3 pm and 9 pm, for storms to fire throughout the forecast area.

Here are the CAPE values for today beginning at 10 am and running through Friday at 6 am.

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The Week Ahead

7/26 Monday 10:20 am

There were a few isolated heavy showers yesterday. From Silverton south to Rockwood, in and around Dolores and northern Montezuma County as well northern Archuleta County. Amounts ranged from around 1/2 an inch to nearly an inch, the rest of us were in the hundredths of an inch.

According to the models, we can expect afternoon convective storms to develop every day through at least Thursday.

Here are the forecasted totals from the models. What we are looking for is consistency and it looks pretty good.

Euro

GFS

WPC (NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center)

German ICON model

I will take anything at my house, I have really missed out the last several days.

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Stormy Saturday?

Saturday 7/24 9 am

Another day, another flood watch. A handful of happy people with the rain they have gotten the last couple of days, and a whole lot of other people (including myself) who are frustrated watching the storms miss them.

Storms were mostly isolated to scattered yesterday. There were a few reports throughout La Plata County of just under 0.50″. The biggest totals were in the northern portions of the forecast area. Silverton picked up 0.88″ and Rico got an impressive 1.38″.

Speaking of high totals, there is a networked weather station just south and west of Marvel that recorded 4″ of rain on Wednesday. I would like to try to confirm this with the owner. I don’t usually do this but here is the location. If you follow me will you please confirm this?

For today, the latest short-term high-resolution model is showing widespread showers throughout the forecast area. In fact, this is the most favorable model run I have seen all week. We will see, fingers (and everything else) are crossed.

Here is the model run in motion from 11 am today through 6 am Sunday.

The other models are not quite as robust but all of the models are highlighting the western portions of the forecast area for heavier rain potential, especially from Southern Montezuma County and up through Cortez. Also, throughout Dolores County and all of the way up to Norwood.

It is important to note that the models struggle with where the heavier rains are going to set up. The model I highlighted above has done the best job with this.

The models are in decent agreement that afternoon showers and thunderstorms will continue through at least Tuesday. From Wednesday on the models diverge in their solutions.

 

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Overcoming The Flood Watch Jinx

Friday 7/23 9:20 am

The good thing about this time of year is that you never know what the weather will bring from one day to the next.  The bad news for forecasters and weather models is, at least in our area, you never know what the weather will bring from one day to the next.

Yesterday, despite extremely high CAPE values and a lot of moisture over the area, only isolated storms fired over the eastern portions of the forecast area. There were just a couple of reports of heavy rain in Archuleta County.

Today is the 3rd day in a row that we have had a flood watch issued for our area. Despite having a lot of moisture in place, we have not really tapped into the direct monsoonal flow that has been set up over Arizona, and into Southern Utah and  Nevada as well as Southeast California.

Here were the PWAT values (precipitable water) yesterday afternoon across the region. Notice the higher values indicated by the warmer tones of red, yellow, and chartreuse mostly to our west.

Here are the projected PWAT values from 6 am this morning to 6 am Saturday. Notice the slight push east from yesterday throughout the day and evening, followed by the slightly drier air working its way in by tomorrow morning.

The radar is much more active in the monsoon source area this morning than it was yesterday.

Hopefully, with these factors in place, we will see some more widespread showers develop this afternoon. If not, I think the FWJ (flood watch jinx) will be proven correct.

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Thursday Supplemental Update

7/22 Thursday 7 pm

I am going to be 57 years old.  The older I get, the more I get distracted by everything. The last couple of years have not been great. With all of the Covid anomalies.  I had some issues I  had to address this afternoon. I am sorry I did not post as promised. The National Weather Service is writing as if we are traveling down main street in kayaks. I am not seeing any monsoonal flow today.  I hope we get some of that tomorrow, That is our best chance.  It still looks like convective showers from Saturday to Friday. We are doing well on moisture. Above average for 30, 60, and 90, days. But very below for 120 days.  Depending on how things go, I will post tomorrow.

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Flood Watch Jinx?

7/21 Wednesday 12:50 pm

Storms fired early yesterday. They were more frequent in the higher terrain, most were north of highway 160. Just a couple formed in the southern portion of the forecast area.

The last time the NWS issued a flood watch for our area, rain totals were not particularly impressive. Today’s flash flood watch is for areas above 8,800 feet. I am going to leave it at that. Last time I talked about it too much and ended up disappointed. So I am going to ignore it for now. I hope we don’t encounter the dreaded FWJ (flood watch jinx).

Today, we once again have a great setup. All of the ingredients are in place. The CAPE is, for us, off the charts. These values are higher than I have seen in a long time. They persist this evening and through the night.

Here they are from noon today through 6 am Thursday.

This update is a little later than usual because all of the overnight models were indicating a later start to the action today, so I decided to take some extra time and post after all of the new data came out.

I am glad I waited because the models are delaying the deeper push of monsoonal moisture until Thursday and Friday. They are relying upon convective showers today to get the ball rolling. Yesterday, I mentioned that Tuesday and early Wednesday would be transition days into the deeper push of moisture. From what I am seeing the transition time will extend into this evening. This does not mean it won’t rain, it just means the showers will be triggered by convection rather than the monsoonal tap.

Yesterday, I posted the projected precipitation totals for this event ending Monday morning.

Both the GFS and Euro trended up slightly overnight for the same time period. I still think the Euro may be too low.

Euro

I like the consistency I have seen from the German model below.

Here is the GFS. This summer the GFS and the Euro have both underdone precipitation amounts in the lower elevation areas. Interestingly enough, the GFS is pretty excited about the totals in the lower and middle elevation areas. In the highest elevations, the GFS is showing 3 to 4 inches of rain through Monday morning.

GFS

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Tuesday Update

Tuesday 7/20 10 am

Yesterday, the short-term models struggled with the positioning of the high pressure. Rather than southeast flow, we saw northeast to easterly flow. This led to very isolated storms rather than scattered storms. Which reminds me, I have gotten a couple of emails asking me the difference between the two.  Isolated refers to the least amount of storm coverage, then scattered, followed by widespread which refers to the greatest amount of storm coverage throughout the forecast area.

Today’s forecast is once again going to be complicated. We have the ingredients for scattered thunderstorms developing with high CAPE and  PWAT values. Of course, we had that yesterday but the flow turned out to be less favorable for most of the forecast area.

This morning’s surface map shows us sandwiched between high pressure to our northeast and a shortwave trough of low pressure in western Utah. In theory, that should be a great delivery system to channel additional moisture into our already moist atmosphere. If that happens and storms develop, the weak steering flow overhead could lead to some heavy rains and training thunderstorms. Training storms are simply storms that continually form over the same area, often leading to flash flooding.

With that being said, after yesterday’s model miss, I don’t have nearly the confidence in today’s forecast as I have for Wednesday and especially Thursday. Today and early Wednesday are a transition period to getting the more direct tap to the monsoonal type of flow.

Here are today’s daily CAPE values.

Here are the “for what it’s worth” forecasted precipitation totals from the major global models ending Monday morning at 6 am.

Euro

GFS

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A Stormy Week Ahead!

7/19 Monday 9:20 am

Yesterday scattered showers and thunderstorms were more widespread across the lower and mid-elevation locations of the forecast area.

If you liked yesterday, you will like today. CAPE values are going to be higher than yesterday, and PWAT values will be similar to yesterday.

Here are the CAPE values from 9 am through 11 pm this evening. These CAPE values are going to be tied for the highest values of the year.

High pressure has wobbled a bit and the result will be storm motion from southeast to northwest. This is a bit unusual for us. It will be interesting to see which areas do the best with this southeast flow.

Tuesday we should see a slight uptick in storm coverage across the forecast area. Monsoonal flow should kick in late Tuesday night through at least late Thursday night. Afternoon storms will continue to dominate the forecast through the weekend.

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Sunday Update

7/18 Sunday 8:55 am

Yesterday, storms fired mainly north of Highway 160. Today, models are hinting that we will see more widespread coverage across the forecast area. All of the same ingredients are in place. The CAPE values are similar this morning and this afternoon. However, the models are teasing a noticeable uptick in both precipitable water (PWAT) values and CAPE late this afternoon and throughout the evening.

Here are the CAPE values from 11 am this morning through 9 pm this evening.

Here are forecasted PWAT values from 3 pm this afternoon through 6 am on Monday.

In summary, a little better chance of more widespread showers this afternoon and evening. If you miss out on these, don’t worry. Monday looks better than today. Tuesday looks better than Monday. By Wednesday and Thursday, we could see some heavy rain in many areas under monsoonal flow. Residual moisture will linger and keep convective storms firing next weekend.

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