River Update Summer Update Part 2

10 am

The best chances for rain will be tomorrow afternoon and Monday. According to the Euro we will mostly see nuisance rains, they won’t add up to much and will just make the dust wet, however, the GFS is more enthusiastic about the rain totals. The only problem is the GFS is not the old GFS, for the last 18 months or so they were testing the new GFS FV 3, they integrated the new version earlier this week, so the new GFS is now the only GFS and although it was in test mode and I have had access to it, it was largely only on a national scale, I have not had the opportunity to use it for us at the local level, so I have no idea how accurate it is. I am happy that they did this in the summer rather than the winter.

So here is what the Euro has for rain between Saturday and Monday night

Screenshot 2019-06-14 at 10.48.55 AM

And here is what the (new) GFS shows

gfsrain

This is quite a difference, if this model is accurate with most of it falling tomorrow it may impact rivers in some areas. We have been so fortunate to have this dry weather during the runoff, hopefully, that will continue.

Speaking of rivers…

Here is a snapshot of Southwest Colorado

Screenshot 2019-06-14 at 10.23.05 AM

Here is what is left of the snowpack

Screenshot 2019-06-14 at 11.53.44 AM

Screenshot 2019-06-14 at 11.54.22 AM

Most sites no longer display percentages but looking at the raw data is interesting, it looks like Vallecito should finish up any day now. However, the Columbus Basin in the La Platas is still showing a normal season of snowpack yet to go, Wolf Creek, Spud Mountain, Red Mountain Pass and a couple of others still have very impressive totals yet to runoff.

All of these graphs are pretty self-explanatory

Animas

animas

Pine- btw can you believe the Pine’s record was higher than the record set by the Animas in 1911? The Pine reached 12.2′ in 1957.

pine

La Plata

laplata

Mancos

mancos

San Juan

sanjuan

Dolores

dolores

I think most of the advisories affecting the Dolores are near Rico.

The Euro weeklies were updated last night and show more of the same, temperatures slowly moving into the seasonal normal levels especially as we get into July.

14-km EPS 46-DAYS United States 5-d Avg T2M Anom [C].gif

Here is what it shows for precip over the next 46 days.

euro46precip

Two things on this map jump right out at me. The red in Mexico up to the Arizona and New Mexico border, and the red in the Carribean. These are totals below average so you have to compare this with what usually happens this time of year, Monsoon and Hurricane season, so it appears that we will have below normal tropical activity for the Pacific and Atlantic near the US and the Monsoon season will be slow to get going.  This is a long way out meteorologically, but I would say that it will be after July 15th for southern Arizona and the end of July before things bump up here.

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River Update Summer Update

We have been so fortunate the way things have played out from the drought killing winter to the cool spring limiting the snow melt.  Speaking of cool springs check this picture off the webcam at Yellowstone this morning.

snow68

The tail end of cold front responsible for this is headed this way, but there will only be very minor impacts in the form of slightly below average lows temps. Monday we could see some more pop up showers returning and later in the week as well. This time of year the short term and intermediate models really struggle, which is why you don’t see too many forecasts this time of year from me.

Rivers Update

So most of the rivers in the area will be at just below flood stage and will naturally peak over the next 24-72 hours.  I always get questions about the historic 1911 flood this time of year. There is a huge difference between now and then, that flood occurred in October when the remnants of a tropical storm set up over the San Juans. So there is absolutely no way to compare the two. Interestingly enough the 1910-1911 Winter was average for snowfall with 67″ downtown, although 57 of the 67 inches all fell in February.

These forecasts vary daily and if we get a couple spots with heavy showers in the next couple of days it will obviously affect the flow.

Here is the Animas

Screenshot 2019-06-08 at 12.00.24 PM

Once again here is the explanatory text for what 7 feet etc mean.

Flood Impacts

16.5
Water reaches the bottom of the East 32nd Street Bridge. Devastating flooding is occurring through Durango with many buildings near the highway 160 bridge and between the Animas River and Hwy 550 south of 15th street flooded.
13
Floodwaters are approaching the bases of several bridges in Durango including the West 9th Street Bridge the US 550 bridge and the Animas River Trail pedestrian bridges. Debris dams and backwater flooding is possible making these bridges unsafe.
12.5
Large portions of the Animas River Trail and adjacent buildings and parking lots along the Animas River between the Hwy 160 bridge and the Hwy 550 bridge are flooded.
12
Portions of the Animas River Trail are flooded with adjacent businesses and residences threatened. Major flooding is occurring north of Durango in Trimble and Hermosa. Major Flooding is occurring at the Durango Trout Hatchery.
11
The area surrounding the Durango Fish Hatchery is flooding. Water is nearing the base of the Rio Grande Western Railroad Bridge adjacent to 15th Street.
10
Major flooding is occurring in the Val-Air Glider field and hangars.
9.69
The Dalton Ranch Golf Club is beginning to flood. Some dikes topped north of Durango.
9
Significant overbank flow is occurring in Durango.
8.5
Flooding of the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad between Tacoma and Needleton is occurring.
8
Minor flooding of agricultural lands and residential structures north of Durango is occurring. Water is nearing sections of the Rio Grande Western Railroad north of Durango.
7
Agricultural lands north of Durango are experiencing minor flooding. Portions of the Val-Air Gliderport field are flooded.
6
Lowland flooding is likely in the vicinity of Timble and Hermosa.
5.5
White water rafting on the Animas River above Durango becomes hazardous.

 

I don’t have the impacts for the other rivers but I do have the forecasts

La Plata

Screenshot 2019-06-08 at 12.06.07 PM

Mancos

Screenshot 2019-06-08 at 12.07.08 PM

Dolores seems to have peaked

Screenshot 2019-06-08 at 12.08.13 PM

San Juan at Pagosa

Screenshot 2019-06-08 at 12.09.44 PM

To illustrate how much a persistent stalled storm can impact river flow, this happened in Texas a couple of days ago.

Screenshot 2019-06-08 at 1.32.22 PM

 

Summer Update

Meteorological Summer started 7 days ago and in most areas, it is playing the part pretty well. The rest of June looks to be near normal to slightly below normal temperatures and believe it or not below normal precipitation, this is according to the new Euro 46 day run, it would surprise me if that happens, but if we are below normal for precip in June remember June is the driest month of the year for us. As we slide into July at the moment, it looks like we will transition to slightly above normal temperatures.

I also get asked a lot about Monsoon Season. All I can say about it, for now, is Monsoon=Not Soon. I expect a late start or a “Nonsoon” this year.

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Better Explanation of Animas Impact Potential

11 am

As I mentioned there is a chance for some rain over the next couple of days. We can talk all about “cfs” and “bank full” and flood potential but I did some digging and found out what it all means, the what that affects whom. The actual gage is just near the Powerhouse. This graph has flood stage on the left and cfs on the right. An explanation is below the graph that gives you very good examples of who would be affected and at what stage.

Example “6 Lowland flooding is likely in the vicinity of Timble and Hermosa.”

 

drgc2_hg

16.5
Water reaches the bottom of the East 32nd Street Bridge. Devastating flooding is occurring through Durango with many buildings near the highway 160 bridge and between the Animas River and Hwy 550 south of 15th street flooded.
13
Floodwaters are approaching the bases of several bridges in Durango including the West 9th Street Bridge the US 550 bridge and the Animas River Trail pedestrian bridges. Debris dams and backwater flooding is possible making these bridges unsafe.
12.5
Large portions of the Animas River Trail and adjacent buildings and parking lots along the Animas River between the Hwy 160 bridge and the Hwy 550 bridge are flooded.
12
Portions of the Animas River Trail are flooded with adjacent businesses and residences threatened. Major flooding is occurring north of Durango in Trimble and Hermosa. Major Flooding is occurring at the Durango Trout Hatchery.
11
The area surrounding the Durango Fish Hatchery is flooding. Water is nearing the base of the Rio Grande Western Railroad Bridge adjacent to 15th Street.
10
Major flooding is occurring in the Val-Air Glider field and hangars.
9.69
The Dalton Ranch Golf Club is beginning to flood. Some dikes topped north of Durango.
9
Significant overbank flow is occurring in Durango.
8.5
Flooding of the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad between Tacoma and Needleton is occurring.
8
Minor flooding of agricultural lands and residential structures north of Durango is occurring. Water is nearing sections of the Rio Grande Western Railroad north of Durango.
7
Agricultural lands north of Durango are experiencing minor flooding. Portions of the Val-Air Gliderport field are flooded.
6
Lowland flooding is likely in the vicinity of Timble and Hermosa.
5.5
White water rafting on the Animas River above Durango becomes hazardous.

I am closely watching the models for the rain forecast, stay tuned.

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Flood Advisory-La Plata

Looking at the near bank full on the Animas near Hermosa, I suspect we will get more advisories. The models are pointing toward some heavier showers in the high elevations of Northern La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, and Dolores Counties, later today, then tomorrow more widespread affecting most elevations.

As of 9:30 am the Animas was at 5110 cfs, which is 700 cfs more than what it was at 3:30 am.  For reference bank full at the Animas (downtown) is 7548 cfs and flood stage is 10,466.

FLOOD STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
902 AM MDT TUE JUN 4 2019

…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION CO HAS ISSUED A
FLOOD ADVISORY FOR THE LA PLATA RIVER…

LA PLATA RIVER AT HESPERUS AFFECTING LA PLATA COUNTY

.WARM TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE SNOW MELT RUNOFF. THE FLOWS ALONG
THE LA PLATA RIVER WILL REMAIN NEAR TO SLIGHT ABOVE BANKFULL THROUGH
THE WEEK. MINOR LOWLAND FLOODING IS POSSIBLE ALONG THE LA PLATA
RIVER.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

SAFETY MESSAGE…CAUTION IS URGED WHEN WALKING NEAR WATERWAYS. AVOID
FLOODED AREAS AND UNSTABLE RIVERBANKS. STAY TUNED TO DEVELOPMENTS BY
LISTENING TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR LOCAL TV OR RADIO STATIONS.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON THE NWS GRAND JUNCTION
HOMEPAGE AT WEATHER.GOV/GJT

COC067-070301-
/O.NEW.KGJT.FL.Y.0003.190604T1502Z-000000T0000Z/
/LPHC2.N.SM.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
902 AM MDT TUE JUN 4 2019

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION CO HAS ISSUED A
* FLOOD ADVISORY FOR
THE LA PLATA RIVER AT HESPERUS.
* UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
* AT 07 AM TUESDAY THE STAGE WAS 5.0 FEET.
* BANKFULL STAGE IS 5.0 FEET.
* FLOOD STAGE IS 5.5 FEET.
* FORECAST…THE RIVER WILL CONTINUE TO DIURNALLY OSCILLATE ABOVE
AND BELOW BANKFULL THIS WEEK

 

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Snowpack Update, Summer Soon

Noon

Low elevations are finally going get some “summery” conditions, coincidentally enough, on the first day of Meteorological Summer (June 1st).  Saturday & Sunday the lower elevations will soar into the mid to upper 70’s with mid 80’s just to the south in New Mexico!

The snowpack will keep the higher elevations moderated a bit. Speaking of the snowpack, I believe that it will finally start dropping after it increased dramatically in the last couple of weeks.

529table

0529sweCapture

This was Wednesday night, check out Vallecito now at 125% of seasonal peak and Columbus Basin (La Platas) 158% of the seasonal peak! Absolutely incredible!

With the warmer weather will come faster melting so keep that in mind this weekend.

Another huge benefit of the warmer weather will be a decrease in the severe storms in the midwest. What most people don’t realize is that it is that the cold weather here in the west is responsible for the increase in tornadic weather in the midwest. It happens like clockwork in the shoulder seasons, when the last few cold air masses of the season in the late spring or first few cold air masses of the late fall get entrained in the west, and they mix with the heat and humidity coming out of the Gulf of Mexico its a perfect recipe for severe weather.  If you look at last year when we did not have widespread cold here, there were a record LOW number of tornadoes in May. People are always surprised to hear that there are 2 tornado seasons a year, but November is also a month for tornadoes.

I don’t see any real meaningful weather makers coming up until maybe Wednesday. At the moment June temperatures look like they should overall be slightly below normal with well below normal temperatures above 9,000 feet. Speaking of below normal Purg is in the low 40’s as I type this with graupel and rain mix. The snow level appears to be about 10,000 feet.  I am ready for Summer!

 

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NWS Upping The Ante

3:00 pm

Well, well, well. I did see the Euro run showing a 546 low over us in the overnight hours. What that means is snow down to 6,500 feet. I called it safe at 7,000, because no other model shows that level of thickness. So here is the new WSW. Pretty cool if snow makes it down to 6,500′ the last week in May!

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
243 PM MDT MON MAY 27 2019

COZ018-019-280600-
/O.UPG.KGJT.WS.A.0017.190528T0300Z-190528T1600Z/
/O.NEW.KGJT.WW.Y.0031.190528T0300Z-190528T1600Z/
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF TELLURIDE, SILVERTON, AND RICO
243 PM MDT MON MAY 27 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO
10 AM MDT TUESDAY ABOVE 9000 FEET…

* WHAT…SNOW HEAVY AT TIMES. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8
INCHES ABOVE 9000 FEET WITH LESSER AMOUNTS DOWN TO 6500 FEET.
WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 35 MPH.

* WHERE…NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS AND SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN
MOUNTAINS.

* WHEN…FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM MDT TUESDAY.

 

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Winter Storm Watch=Holiday Hedge

Noon

This WSW was issued overnight/early this morning. What we have here is a CYA move, I am not saying I disagree one way or another, however, despite it being nearly June, despite it being a Holiday, it is highly unlikely that this system will hit advisory criteria in the mountains which is 6-12 inches. Call it what you want, I guess but winter weather advisories for 2-5 inches above 9,000 feet don’t exist.

That being said, it doesn’t mean that it won’t snow, in fact, there is a chance of non-accumulating snow back down around 7,200′ overnight. This is a cold system, but it is not going to stick around.

Here is the wording on the WSW, they still have time to cancel it.

1153 AM MDT MON MAY 27 2019

COZ018-019-280200-
/O.CON.KGJT.WS.A.0017.190528T0300Z-190528T1600Z/
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF TELLURIDE, SILVERTON, AND RICO
1153 AM MDT MON MAY 27 2019

…WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM MDT THIS
EVENING THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING ABOVE 9000 FEET…

* WHAT…SNOW POSSIBLE ABOVE 9000 FEET. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS
OF 2 TO 5 INCHES POSSIBLE.

* WHERE…NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS AND SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN
MOUNTAINS INCLUDING RED MOUNTAIN, COAL BANK, AND MOLAS PASSES.

* WHEN…FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS ESPECIALLY
ALONG HIGHWAY 550.

Here is how the GFS portrays this whole thing panning out over the next 48 hour

GFS 50-STATES USA Colorado Precipitation Type (1).gif

Here are totals for the “Old” GFS

Snow

gfs48hr

Liquid

gfstp48

“New” GFS-FV3

fv3snow

Liquid

fv3

Euro snow

ecmwf48

Liquid

europrecip.png

It looks like the storm train will be diverted after Wednesday for a while, but especially in the higher elevations, we will see pop up scattered showers in the afternoon. I didn’t get a chance to mow my lawn over the weekend and probably won’t get another chance until next Sunday, it is going to be deep!

If something useful pops up in the afternoon forecast discussion I will share it.

 

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Delayed

4:30 pm

The next cold system to impact us is currently in Nevada.

Capture

Given the amount of time it will take to get here, I am going to hold off on the details until tomorrow, but it does look like areas below 8,000′ may get a little bit of snow, it also looks like as this system passes on Tuesday we could return to afternoon showers perhaps through next weekend.

Check back tomorrow for the latest.

 

 

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