Sunday Update

After one run of the GFS starting to show some promise for a more southerly storm track, the model has abandoned ship and now and the Euro is trending north as well showing the bulk of the precipitation falling north of Red Mountain Pass. 12 hours ago the Euro brought light rain as far south as Durango with accumulating snow north of Rockwood and as far south as Wolf Creek Pass.

Usually, I expect differences between the GFS and the Euro. I don’t talk as often about the Canadian model, but in the days leading up to the event the Canadian usually casts the winning vote. Right now the very latest Canadian is walking right in line with the GFS. Unless or until the Canadian comes over to team Euro, and by that I mean team “12 hours ago Euro”, it will be difficult for me to believe a nice precipitation event is on the way.

The one thing every model agrees on is that Monday and Tuesday we will see the coldest overnight lows of the season so far.

There are about dozens of model runs left between those three models before the storm affects Colorado so it is too early to worry. As I said yesterday this is a very common storm tract for Fall storms and it would be more unusual for the storm to track far enough south to hit us.

If it becomes clear that a miss is on the way I have some new thoughts on Winter I will share later in the week.

Thanks for following and supporting the site! Next Update Thursday afternoon.

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First Look At Sunday

Another early Winter system in NW flow will be arriving to our forecast area between late Saturday and  Sunday midday. This system will be similar to the one that came through a month ago. At the moment it appears the best areas for snow will likely be Telluride and Hwy 550 areas north of Coal Bank Pass.

I could just repost my Updates from September 6th and 7th but let me refamiliarize you with the set-up.

A potent storm system will come ashore in the Pacific Northwest, from Northern California all of the up to Vancouver BC. The system will start to drop down the California Coast as it is coming onshore. How far south it drops will determine how far south the cold and precipitation will end up.

Here is what the Euro projects the storm will look at Noon on Saturday.

Jump ahead 18 hours and here is how the Euro positions the system by Sunday morning at 6 am.

We will need to see that low drop near the Utah-Arizona border before we can start talking about significant accumulations South of Coal Bank Pass. It can’t be ruled out, but for early season storms like this, it would be highly unusual.

The Euro shows the heaviest precipitation between 12 pm and 8 pm on Sunday. Here are forecasted conditions for 3 pm. The snow level at that time will between 8,000-8,500 feet.

The GFS and Canadian seem to be lagging the Euro at this point. The Euro has been the most consistent model over the last 48 hours.

Depending on the storm’s timing, temps on Sunday may struggle to the low 50’s for highs in the lower elevations before steadily dropping during the afternoon and evening hours. Temps will be much cooler next week, so enjoy the warm temps this week.

Keep your fingers crossed. Thanks for following! The next will be Update Wednesday afternoon!

 

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Freeze Warning Tonight And Tomorrow Morning

Two things came up today. There was a press release regarding the location being picked for our new radar. It will be located near Bondad. I did not know about it until the Herald called. I missed the call and tried to return the call but only got voicemail.

I am the wrong person to talk to as I was only on the first couple of conference calls after the grant was announced. I am by no means a radar expert but this seems like an excellent choice because there is a weather monitoring station at the same location.  When this started, many of the folks involved were hoping to get a site that would give decent coverage from Wolf Creek to the Utah border.  With all of the sites that were under consideration, they were able to simulate coverage results. I am sure the many powers that be with this chose the location for a reason. Again, I am not an expert on that process.

The second news was the Freeze Warning that was issued with the afternoon forecast package. Yesterday the forecast discussion said since most of the areas had already had freezing temperatures, so there was no reason to issue a warning. I thought that was an odd approach and apparently, they had second thoughts.

Here it is:

COZ001-021>023-290700-
/O.NEW.KGJT.FZ.W.0012.200929T0600Z-200929T1600Z/
LOWER YAMPA RIVER BASIN-FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER- ANIMAS RIVER BASIN-SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF RANGELY, DINOSAUR, CORTEZ, DOVE CREEK, MANCOS, DURANGO, BAYFIELD, IGNACIO, AND PAGOSA SPRINGS
248 PM MDT MON SEP 28 2020

…FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 10 AM MDT TUESDAY…

* WHAT…SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES AS LOW AS 25 TO 30 DEGREES ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA IS EXPECTED.

* WHERE…LOWER YAMPA RIVER BASIN, FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER, ANIMAS RIVER BASIN AND SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN.

* WHEN…FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 10 AM MDT TUESDAY.

* IMPACTS…FROST AND FREEZE CONDITIONS WILL KILL CROPS, OTHER SENSITIVE VEGETATION AND POSSIBLY DAMAGE UNPROTECTED OUTDOOR PLUMBING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TAKE STEPS NOW TO PROTECT TENDER PLANTS FROM THE COLD. TO PREVENT FREEZING AND POSSIBLE BURSTING OF OUTDOOR WATER PIPES THEY SHOULD BE WRAPPED, DRAINED, OR ALLOWED TO DRIP SLOWLY. THOSE THAT HAVE
IN-GROUND SPRINKLER SYSTEMS SHOULD DRAIN THEM AND COVER ABOVE- GROUND PIPES TO PROTECT THEM FROM FREEZING.

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Checking In

If I don’t call my Mom often enough, I usually hear from her and she always asks me the same thing “what’s wrong?”. I must have a few blog Moms out there because if I don’t post for a while I usually get a few emails from people asking “is everything OK?

On a daily basis I comb through the models looking for something of value or promise. Late September and October in SW Colorado typically bring  pleasant weather with a dominant ridge of high pressure over the western 1/3 of the Continental United States. Frequent storms are not common this time of year and for me, while enjoyable, it is the most boring time of year for for weather.

Today’s highs will be slightly below normal today as the cooler air filters in from the cold front that swept through. Temps will be on the rebound starting on Tuesday and the ridge will pop right back into place bringing warmer temps and dry air. The dry air will lead to cooler overnight lows just slightly higher than what we will see Tuesday morning.

I don’t see any precipitation on the models in the next week and that may very well extend into the following week.

I will be heading out of town mid-week but I will be keeping an eye on things as always.

Hang in there, enjoy the boring weather before Winter arrives because it will, even this year! Thanks for following.

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Slight Chance Of Light Showers The Next Couple Of Days

There is a chance we could see some light isolated showers today, with a better chance of scattered showers Tuesday. Today most of the activity will occur at or above 8,800 feet. Tuesday we may some of the light shower activity drift off the mountains into the Valley areas and or mid-elevation areas.

I am not expecting any significant accumulations. A few of the higher elevations may accumulate.30-.50″. The lower elevations may squeak out a few hundredths of an inch.

Here are the max CAPE values for today. 561 at DGO around 3 pm could be enough available energy to get some storms forming. I am going to wash my car today, that might do the trick.

If you are enjoying this period of what I refer to as boring weather, good news, it looks like it is going to continue. When I look at the long-range models, there are some signs that precipitation will pick up a bit after October 7th. That is a long time from now, so no promises just yet.

I spent some time going back through precipitation records (back to 1895) and I saw no correlation between low precipitation August and September and low precipitation October through December. If anything I noticed some large anomalies pop up after drier than average Augusts and Septembers. I mention this because people are starting to get nervous about Winter. Wait to worry, I have not given up on an “average” snowfall Winter for SW Colorado.

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Weather Withdrawal

The pendulum has swung back and once again we find ourselves in a boring weather pattern. Sure, the higher elevations will get some pop-up high elevation heat-based thunderstorms during the afternoons, but for the most part it looks like a boring week ahead for most of us.

The only thing on the horizon is a trough of low pressure that will come on shore on the west coast this week. The models are not in agreement how far south the low will be when it passes. The Euro is showing it dipping just far enough south to increase instability and cause some showers over the weekend. The GFS currently shows the low heading further north with very low chances of precipitation in the area.

I have not been posting about Hurricane Sally. There seems to be a heightened sense of awareness on this very dangerous storm. The biggest news will be the flooding. This storm is going to run into an atmospheric wall and will likely stall out, bringing areas between New Orleans and Gulfport, MS a tremendous amount of rain. 12-20″ will be possible in some areas.

BTW it looks like the rollover crash south of Ouray will keep 550 closed for quite a while this morning. Those planning on driving through that area should monitor CDOT.

Thanks for following, next update later this week unless something significant develops!

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A Great Early Season Precipitation Event!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s start with some!

Even the eastern areas of the forecast area finally got some decent rain. Scattered showers will continue as the low lifts out of the area to the northeast. So northern and eastern areas will be the last to see their showers end late today and tonight.

Temps are going to warm back up starting Friday. Temps will be back to average for the weekend and above average by next week. Don’t worry, we should be done with 90 degrees temperatures for the year in most areas–Cortez and New Mexico could be the exception.

While I am not expecting precipitation after today, there may be enough moisture in the soil in certain areas to fuel some convection. I will have to look at that on a daily basis.

I already have my eye on the potential for another system between the 18-22nd. A long way out but at least there may be something to talk about in the near future.

Thanks for all of the great reports the last couple of days and thanks for supporting and following the site.

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Wednesday Afternoon Update

In case you missed my morning update, this system is not done with SW Colorado. I expect later this evening the precipitation will pick up as the low becomes stationary then starts moving back towards us tomorrow morning. We should have periods of precipitation continuing through midday tomorrow. I see two other shortwaves that may lead to some heavier leftovers tomorrow as the low begins its departure–we’ll see. The low has not yet been as close to us as it will be tonight and tomorrow, the heaviest precipitation and storms are always closest to the center of the low (just like a hurricane).

The models were showing mostly minor precipitation through 6 pm but picking up in intensity after dark and throughout the overnight hours. The models continue to botch both the daytime highs and overnight lows. So if you were close to or below freezing this morning expect the same for tomorrow.

I have a very busy day tomorrow but I should be able to get in an early update or two. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Wednesday Morning Update-It’s All About The Low

It’s always difficult to predict the positioning of where a low pressure system will cut off (stall). Yesterday, after the initial push of several waves off precipitation, the system moved into an area where it actually drew dry air in and cut off precipitation from many of us in the forecast area.

The initial waves were great, but as I saw some late model runs I knew there was at least a possibility of the dry air wrapping in. In my last update I said not to worry about lulls in the precipitation.

The low is moving south again and looks like it will retrograde a little west as well. This path would put us right back in a favorable position for another 24 hours of unsettled weather.

Here is the approximate low position. The moisture wraps in counter clockwise around the low.

Here it is at noon.You can see it has moved south and retrograded to the west slightly

Here it is at 6 pm.

By Thursday morning it is finally starting to move north.

The NWS likes this scenario, and has cancelled many of the the advisories and warnings for some of the northern and central mountains.

The current warnings in our area are in place and the NWS is maintaining the storm totals, and calling for up to 4-8 inches of additional snowfall above 9,000 feet. The NWS in Pueblo is calling for 5-10 additional inches of snow over Wolf Creek Pass.

Thanks for all of the email reports. I can’t always respond to all of them but I read them all and it helps shape my analysis of the models and the overall storm. Thanks also for following, supporting and recommending the page. Next update later today.

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