A Look At The Rest Of May And Beyond

5/14/22 Saturday 6:45 am
We will see a short break from the enhanced winds we had been experiencing. Remember, there were/are two factors affecting the winds, seasonality, and the La Nina-influenced pattern. So the seasonal winds will continue given the significant temperature changes from early morning to the afternoon. I cannot promise wind-free days. What I can say is that for the next few days the northern jet is going to retreat into Canada. This will shift the storm track much further north and we won’t be affected by the tightening of the pressure gradient. Unfortunately, this is only in the short term. It looks like after Wednesday, the ridge will flatten and the jet will drop south again. This pattern will bring cooler temps and windier conditions through May 25th.
Here are the (500MB) pressure anomalies through Wednesday. You will see a ridge of the high-pressure building to our west. The warmer colors indicate the location of the high-pressure ridge.
During the last couple of frames, you see the lines flatten, this means the pattern is transitioning from a ridge to a zonal flow. Then you can see the cooler colors dropping from the north, that is the jet and storm track dropping back south.
Here are the following 7 days (Wednesday evening the 18th through Wednesday, May 25th) picking up where we left off.
This will also be reflected in the temperatures. Here are the positive temperature anomalies for week 1.
Here are the negative temperature anomalies for week 2.
Here is the 15-day snowfall forecast. Just in case you thought winter was over in Colorado.
According to the longer range and seasonal models, the below-average precipitation will continue for SW Colorado for about the next 30 days. After that, they are forecasting above-average precipitation from Mid-June through August. This forecast has not changed in the last few months.
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Thursday Pollen and Severe Weather Update

5/12/22 Thursday 10 am
Severe Weather

…THERE IS A MODERATE RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA…PARTS OF WESTERN MINNESOTA AND SOUTHEASTERN NORTH DAKOTA…

…SUMMARY…
Severe thunderstorm gusts (some near 75 mph), large hail, and a few
tornadoes are expected today over parts of the eastern Dakotas,
eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and central/southern Minnesota.

Hail

Tornadoes

Pollen Outlook

South

North

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Wind And Pollen Update

5/10/22 Tuesday 8:10 am
With pollen production decreasing I am going to start showing a wider area of coverage.
South
North
This morning, The Herald ran a story titled “Southern Colorado is being slammed by dust and wind. They’ll lessen Tuesday, but be back later this week”. This story was written by a Colorado Springs reporter. The report is accurate for Colorado Springs. For SW Colorado, not so much.
I wanted to clarify a couple of things. The wind may not be as strong as yesterday but it will still be very gusty. It won’t seem like a break. Heads up, tomorrow may be the windiest day of the week. In the story, he also referenced April and May as being two of the wettest months of the year. In Colorado Springs and the Front Range, this is true. In SW Colorado, again not so much. Here, May is the second driest month of the year, and April is the fourth driest month of the year. FYI, June is the driest, and November is the third driest.
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The Wind (In Case You Missed It)

I have had a lot of questions today about the wind. I did an extensive post on Saturday about the wind. These winds are going to be with us throughout the week. They should start to subside a bit on Thursday or Friday. They are not going to completely go away but they should slow down a bit.

Here is a link to Saturday’s post in case you missed it.

https://durangoweatherguy.com/2022/05/07/wind-wind-and-more-wind/

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Air Quality VS Air Quality

5/9/22 Monday 10:15 am

I introduced Purple Air to people during the 416 fire a few years back. I was one of the early users. Since then there are air quality monitors all over the forecast area. I wish I would have gotten commissions on the sales of those AQI monitors!

There is one problem. Most do not pick up fine dust. Fine dust is usually classified as PM 10. This means the particulate has a diameter of 10 microns or less.  Dust can be hazardous to those with respiratory issues.

According to purple air, here is the air quality across the forecast area at the moment. Anything under 100 is considered “safe”.

 

When I look at PM 10 particulate there is a different story across the south and southwest forecast area. Here is the area of concern.

In these red areas, air quality is between 100 and 200. Some members of the general public may experience health effects within 24 hours of exposure; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. To put things in perspective, during the 416 fire, Durango experienced readings over 500.

In the coming days, I will continue to monitor the situation and post when necessary.

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Saturday Severe Weather

5/7/22 Saturday 10:15 am
…SUMMARY…
Scattered severe storms capable of large hail and isolated severe
gusts are possible across western and central Nebraska, mainly this
evening and tonight. Other isolated severe storms are possible
across parts of North Dakota, north and central Texas, and the
Florida Peninsula.
Hail Outlook
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Wind Wind And More Wind

5/7/22 Saturday 7 am
Lately, most of the questions I get are about the wind. Winds can be seasonal,  they can also be affected by the pattern that we are in, or just by storms. I moved to Durango in April of 2008. I was happy to be here, but everyone was complaining about the wind. April, I learned, was the beginning of the windy season, at least according to the long-term residents of the area.
If you feel like the winds have been worse than you have experienced in the past, you are mostly correct. I think that more people are sensitive to the winds in our area because our area has more people who enjoy the outdoors per capita than the rest of the US. We are constantly bombarded by the winds, whether hiking, cycling, or just going for a run or walk. Let’s face it, the wind sucks. I guess technically it blows…
So what causes the wind?  The wind is caused by differences in atmospheric pressure. Seasonally, as the sun angle becomes higher in the sky the sun heats surfaces at a quicker rate than the surrounding air. It also heats those surfaces unevenly. When you think about the major temperature fluctuations just from overnight lows to daytime highs in the spring this makes sense. That is why we have seasonal winds.
Shouldn’t the winds be starting to subside? Here is where the pattern comes into play. All April I talked about the storm track clipping us to the north. That is continuing to happen. With the storm (low pressure) track to the north, it compresses the pressure gradient which enhances our winds.
Here is the current 500 MB chart (storm track). I have marked the low pressure with red L’s. The high pressure is the blue H’s. In green, I circled the compression of the pressure gradient. Those are tightly packed isobars indicating the windy conditions.
Fast forward to  Tuesday. Look at that very high-pressure dome anchored over the northeast and the low in the western US. Fortunately, the differences in pressure are further away than this weekend, but it is a windy pattern.
Now that you know what to look for I will put the maps in motion from today until next Saturday when it looks like things will subside a bit.
So why is this pattern occurring? There are a number of factors that affect our weather. This pattern is closely associated with the classic La Nina. We have been in a La Nina pattern since June of 2020. La Nina is currently strengthening, and it looks like we will have some level of La Nina present until at least December.
My stance on La Nina and El Nino has always been the same. I think that people overestimate the effects of El Nino and La Nina on our (local) winters. Historically, El Nino winters have slightly higher precipitation than La Nina years. But, there are many exceptions to that and many other factors that equally influence our winters. Statistically, the heaviest snows we have had in SW Colorado have come in Enso neutral winters, or La Nada as some people now call them.
I hope that, despite the wind, everyone has a good week, and Happy Mothers Day to the Moms out there. My other daily updates will be out soon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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