Weekend Outlook And the Saharan Dust Hype

A couple of mainly dry based storms have been firing up today. Mostly in the higher elevations, I am not seeing a lot of wet pavement up there. This will continue throughout the afternoon. CAPE is already at peak values for the day, here it is between noon and 1 pm.


The model shows the values slowly falling throughout the afternoon. Then it shows a mysteriously retrograding storm in Archuleta county around 10 pm. It could be a model error, but I thought I would give you a heads up.

10 pm 2860 in Pagosa!


If someone over there could let me know tomorrow if that came together that would be great, just click the contact button.

This is going to be the main story for the next few days, a chance of mainly dry thunderstorms with little to no precipitation. Not fun.

Here are the precipitation accumulation forecasts for the next 4 days.







The models diverge a bit after this, so I am not comfortable with the data past this time.

I will do brief updates on the CAPE forecasts tomorrow and this weekend. For those planning on traveling or have activities planned for July 4th weekend, you can email me and I will start covering that on Monday.

Now, onto a subject that I have been getting the most questions on, Saharan dust! Who’d a thunk it? For some reason, the media, especially the Weather media have been talking non-stop about this non-event.

Saharan dust dispersion happens every year, it always has and always will. It is no worse this year than it has ever been. NASA is the expert on this. The last study I am aware of them doing was in 2015 when they concluded that on average, 182 million tons of dust each year are scooped up by winds and sent toward the Western Hemisphere, equivalent to 689,290 semi-trucks filled with dust.

Here is the positioning of the dust cloud.


Yes, the super dry air does suppress tropical development in the Atlantic Basin. But you have to remember the “Hurricane Season” used to start August 15th. For all intents and purposes, it still does. 80% of the activity in the Atlantic Basin occurs after August 15th. The difference is that today the criteria they use to name a storm is much less stringent than it even was a decade ago. They didn’t use to “name” Tropical Depressions like they do now.

Here is the Saharan dust dispersion forecast for the next 10 days. What is unusual is the gaps in between the plumes indicating above-average tropical moisture in those areas.


As I said Saharan dust does suppress tropical development, but this early in the season tropical development is low anyway.

Thanks for following! I will update you throughout the weekend. I am running my fire detection data several times per day and will post if I see anything of concern.

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