7/16 Friday 9 am
Yesterday recycled moisture from the last couple of days mixed with moderate CAPE values to fuel a few isolated storms throughout the forecast area. A couple of hundredths up to a quarter of an inch fell. The higher amounts fell from Durango, west to the Montezuma county line.
The models are a mixed bag today, recycled moisture and moderate CAPE will once again be the fuel for isolated to scattered thunderstorms today. The higher terrain will have a better chance at storms firing today than they did yesterday.
I have gotten questions, as I usually do this time of year, as to whether or not the monsoon has started. The answer is yes and no. We have had just one or two episodes that I would describe as monsoonal flow. We have had an interaction or two with a short wave trough. We have had a couple of interactions with cold fronts passing to our north and destabilizing the atmosphere. I read the Grand Junction NWS office’s twice-daily Area Forecast Discussion. Right now, they are not categorizing rains we have been experiencing as being related to the monsoon.
Looking ahead at the models, I could make an argument for a monsoonal moisture tap beginning Tuesday. What you have to remember is that we are far enough north that the tap turns on and off.
Lately, the monsoonal moisture has been quite a bit south of the I-40 corridor in Arizona and New Mexico. During the winter, I have a saying, “sometimes it just snows”. In this case, sometimes it just rains. Not all snow is a storm, and not all rain is the monsoon.
Some folks over the years have argued with me about the monsoon. If you don’t want to believe me that is fine, but I am just telling you what the National Weather Service has been saying lately about the matter.
Here is a quote from Thursday morning. Megan Stackhouse, who is a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction who authored the morning Area Forecast Discussion.
“A PACIFIC TROUGH WILL ELONGATE OFF THE GULF OF
ALASKA THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND BEFORE SUBTLY SHIFTING TOWARDS THE NORTHWESTERN CONUS ON MONDAY. THIS WILL GRADUALLY USHER THE UPPER LEVEL RIDGE AXIS EASTWARD AROUND MIDWEEK WITH SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE BEGINNING TO STREAM NORTHWARD IN RESPONSE. SO, WHILE IT’S NOT THE CLASSIC MONSOON PATTERN WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE, IT’S BETTER THAN NOTHING AND WILL ALLOW OUR PWATS TO TREND UPWARDS ONCE MORE!”
For the weekend, it looks like a better overall chance for more widespread storm development, especially on Saturday afternoon.
Next update Saturday, thanks for following and supporting the site!