Thursday Update

8/11/22 Thursday 5:15 am
I wrote an update yesterday and once again I forgot to hit publish.  Yesterday I wrote that the NWS has been talking about a better chance of showers developing yesterday and today. I said that the models do not reflect that for our area.
After reading this morning’s forecast discussion, it is apparent to me that they are not talking about our forecast area at all. They are concentrating on the northwest quadrant of Colorado. We may still see isolated to scattered convective showers each afternoon, especially over the higher terrain. However, there is no well-defined monsoonal signature over SW Colorado for now. Early indications from the models show a better chance of the monsoonal flow developing by the middle of next week.
I have a lot on my plate right now. I am flying out to Kansas City early Friday morning. From there I will be traveling to Iowa to see family briefly and I will fly back to Durango on Tuesday. Wednesday I have to get an elective procedure done that will put me out of commission for a couple of days. I may try to post on Saturday. I will have some time to kill before my niece’s wedding. If I see something intriguing in the models at any time I will post an update. Other than that consider no news to be no news.
A couple of people contacted me about the weather conditions this weekend. All of the models show more of the same for the next several days. Isolated to scattered convective showers favoring the higher terrain every afternoon.
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Tuesday Afternoon–Oh Good Road Construction

Tuesday 5:20 pm

August 9, 2022

― DURANGO UTILITY WORK ALERT ―  
Water line work will impact traffic at Camino del Rio and 8th Street 

DURANGO ― Motorists will encounter lane shifts and delays along US 550 Camino del Rio near the Durango City Transit Center and parking lot. Water line work, which is being performed by a private developer, will require lane shifts and closures on Camino del Rio at 8th Street. Work on the water line, which began today and will continue through the end of August, is being performed by a contractor for the River Roost development occurring near Applebee’s restaurant. 

Lane shifts will be put into place to maintain northbound and southbound traffic movement. Southbound traffic will not be permitted to turn left onto 8th Street. Access into Applebee’s will be limited to the north entrance near 9th Street. The work zone and lane shifts will be in place day and night, 24-7 through the duration of the project. Motorists can expect congestion in the area and should allow for extra travel time. Motorists may consider finding an alternate route.

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Tuesday Morning Update–Extended Outlook Radar Stuff And More

8/9/22 Tuesday 5:15 am

For today, expect a similar setup to yesterday. Isolated to scattered afternoon storms throughout the forecast area. As usual, the higher terrain will be favored but a few storms will roll off to the mid and lower elevations. High pressure will be slowly moving to our east this week. This should put the area into a more favorable position for widespread showers and thunderstorms as the week progresses.

Yesterday an impressive-looking band of storms moved from the central portions of the forecast area to the southern portions of the forecast area. I was eagerly watching on radar waiting for the rain to dump on my house. The blue dot is where I live.

0.01 inches. That is all I got despite the impressive radar returns. I am beginning to think the Grand Junction radar has gotten worse since their last two “fixes”. However, half an hour later, I heard from a loyal follower in the Shenandoah subdivision which is south of me. He received an inch of intense rain in under an hour. The moral of the story is, that we still cannot trust the Grand Junction radar.

This led me to reach out to the County gods and check the status of our radar. Here is what they told me.

The radar will be housed at the Durango La Plata County Airport. In July, they released an RFP (request for proposal)  seeking bids for a vendor to provide a solution and manage the project. Unfortunately, they were not able to select a vendor based on the responses. So, they are re-releasing the RFP by the end of this month. The timeline remains to have the project complete no later than March 2024.

Ugh, don’t shoot the messenger…maybe we should include hiking trails and bike lanes around the radar facility, I am sure we would be able to find a favorable bid then…sorry, could not resist.

It’s Tuesday, time for the extended outlook. As I mentioned yesterday, there is plenty of August left and the monsoon is not over. There is still a positive precipitation anomaly forecasted for the next 6 weeks.

Here is the forecasted anomaly through September 22

The same model is projecting a dusting of snow in the higher elevations between 9/10 and 9/22.

I’ll take it.

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Same Story Different Month

 8/8/22 Monday 9:15 am
Although it is not reflected on the models, today looks like a better setup for scattered showers when I look at the surface map. Yesterday, the showers were isolated but were impressive. The biggest storm was in La Plata County west of Durango. It developed west of the Twin Buttes subdivision. It was a very intense storm. Lightning struck 3 nautical miles from my house, the ensuing thunder was so powerful it set off car alarms all over my neighborhood. Over 1.50 inches of rain fell on Twin Buttes. It was a slow mover and nearly rained out there. A few leftovers made it into Durango and points east where 0.30 to .070 inches fell. Not a single drop fell at my house.
CAPE values will peak between 2 pm and 5 pm this afternoon. That is when there will be the most energy for thunderstorm development. Any storms that do develop will be slow movers again today. They will be capable of producing flash flooding conditions. As always, we don’t know where they are going to set up, if at all.
I went back and looked at the last couple of months. Each month there has been a considerable lull in the monsoonal flow. Here are some graphs from the weather station in my neighborhood.
Notice the large lulls in June and July. There is a lot of August left, so don’t worry that the monsoon is over.
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Sunday Morning Update

8/7/22 Sunday 7:15 am
This afternoon, there is a slightly better chance of isolated to scattered showers. The favored areas will be the higher terrain in the northern portions of the forecast area, as well as eastern portions of the forecast area, namely Archuleta County.
Monday’s storm chances look slightly better than today. I will talk more about that Monday morning.
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Low Confidence Forecast

8/5/22 Friday 7:45 am
Just a couple of days ago it still looked like we would get the long touted surge of deep monsoonal moisture today, Saturday, and Sunday. That no longer appears to be the case, at least for today and tomorrow. Does that mean it will be dry? No guarantees. Sunday looks like it will be the most active day of the three. Does that mean it is going to rain on Sunday? No guarantees.  Things should start to dry out a bit today. Depending on what time the sun decides to come out, we may see some isolated storms fire again this afternoon. Most of the action yesterday was limited to the higher terrain, I expect that to be the case again today. However, it seems like every day an unexpected storm fires up somewhere it is not supposed to. That was the case late afternoon and early evening, around and just outside of Cortez. 0.50 inches to over 1.00 inches fell in a very short period of time.
You may sense my frustrations. I take pride in trying to provide some guidance to my followers. This season I have spent more time on monsoon-weather forecasting than I ever have in the past and it has been a humbling experience at best. I have learned a lot though. I am ready for winter! Give me a deep SoCal low-pressure system drifting across the southwest getting ready to integrate with a cold front from the north. That’s what I am looking for. It will be here soon enough. Check out the 46-day snow map ending September 18th.
I know it is a minuscule amount, but I will be posting it as it updates every week.
Speaking of snow, I have been getting a lot of questions about winter. People want to know if the wet summer will carry over to winter. I would also like to know the answer to that question. The truth is it is too early to tell. The summer engine and winter engine use different fuels. They are mostly unrelated. I usually start digging into winter by mid to late September.
My next update will be on Saturday. I am sure everything will change by then…Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Models In Flux

8/4/22 Thursday 3:15 pm
I am not going to delve too deeply into the weekend because things seem to be evolving into a drier forecast. This could be good news for a few people who have reached out to me about their weekend wedding forecasts.
The Euro is leading this charge. Because the Euro carries so much weight meteorologically forecasters are sitting up and listening–including me. The GFS and the German model are still showing a wet weekend. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let’s see what tomorrow brings.
One thing that gives me caution is the very active storms now firing over the higher terrain to the north, and the pop-up isolated local storms that fired yesterday afternoon. On storm popped up over Lakewood Meadows (Electra Lake area) and dropped over 1.50 inches of rain in a very short period of time. Rainfall rates approached 5.0 inches an hour at one point.
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Wednesday Afternoon Update

8/3/22 Wednesday 1:30 pm
Storms have started to fire this afternoon. The most productive storm is currently in the higher terrain north of Vallecito. Rain has spread down to lake level and over half an inch has already fallen this afternoon on the north side of the lake. Lemon is also getting in on the action, but there are no sensors for me to determine how much rain has fallen. Dewpoints have been back on the rise throughout the day all across the forecast area, but clouds may limit convection.
A deeper push of moisture is expected late Thursday and Friday. However, the models are not as overly enthusiastic as they were with rainfall totals for the weekend. That being said, the short-term models have not handled these monsoonal surges well all season. My money is still with the extended models which have trended towards an anomalously wet August.
Another 24 hours from now the models should have a better handle on the weekend weather.
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Tuesday Update-Short Mid And Long Term Outlook

8/2/22 Tuesday 6 am
Yesterday a few thunderstorms developed throughout the forecast area. One was severe, it was located east northeast of Durango, flash flood watches were issued. The highest total I have seen so far was 0.75 inches. It would not surprise me to see a higher total surface as the day wears on.
Today, “drier” air is supposed to work its way north into the forecast area. For what it’s worth, PWATs (precipitable water values) will remain above 100% of the climatological average. There is still residual moisture around and the soil is still saturated. If we do see more sun and daytime heating we will have more of a possibility of convection developing. CAPE values are forecasted to be very high this afternoon, I can’t promise an uneventful completely dry day. PWAT is already forecasted to be higher tomorrow before rising significantly on Thursday. Late Thursday through the weekend still looks wet.
Speaking of wet, the Euro extend data is out, as I expected it shows a very wet August. Here are total precipitation forecasts for August.
Here is the positive precipitation anomaly through August
Here are the totals through September 15th.
Here is the positive anomaly through September 15th.
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Monday Afternoon Update

8/1/22 Monday 1 pm
Dewpoints have been on the rise all morning. Dewpoint temperatures are in the mid-50s to 60 throughout the entire forecast area. Mid-50s at the higher elevation locations are very impressive! This should indicate storm development across the forecast area over the next couple/few hours.
Tomorrow drier air is set to move into the forecast area. If we get widespread showers late today/tonight the residual moisture could lead to isolated showers Tuesday afternoon. At the moment it looks like that will be confined to the higher terrain, we will see. Wednesday afternoon the shower coverage may tick up a bit more than Tuesday.
Thursday will be a transitional day as deeper moisture arrives throughout the day. This should lead to more widespread late day, evening, and overnight showers. This will continue Friday and extend through the weekend.
Tomorrow I will be covering the extended outlook through August and into September. The model data will be out tonight but I can already tell you that based on other parameters I am tracking, I expect to see significantly positive precipitation anomalies!
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