Wind Wind And More Wind

5/7/22 Saturday 7 am
Lately, most of the questions I get are about the wind. Winds can be seasonal,  they can also be affected by the pattern that we are in, or just by storms. I moved to Durango in April of 2008. I was happy to be here, but everyone was complaining about the wind. April, I learned, was the beginning of the windy season, at least according to the long-term residents of the area.
If you feel like the winds have been worse than you have experienced in the past, you are mostly correct. I think that more people are sensitive to the winds in our area because our area has more people who enjoy the outdoors per capita than the rest of the US. We are constantly bombarded by the winds, whether hiking, cycling, or just going for a run or walk. Let’s face it, the wind sucks. I guess technically it blows…
So what causes the wind?  The wind is caused by differences in atmospheric pressure. Seasonally, as the sun angle becomes higher in the sky the sun heats surfaces at a quicker rate than the surrounding air. It also heats those surfaces unevenly. When you think about the major temperature fluctuations just from overnight lows to daytime highs in the spring this makes sense. That is why we have seasonal winds.
Shouldn’t the winds be starting to subside? Here is where the pattern comes into play. All April I talked about the storm track clipping us to the north. That is continuing to happen. With the storm (low pressure) track to the north, it compresses the pressure gradient which enhances our winds.
Here is the current 500 MB chart (storm track). I have marked the low pressure with red L’s. The high pressure is the blue H’s. In green, I circled the compression of the pressure gradient. Those are tightly packed isobars indicating the windy conditions.
Fast forward to  Tuesday. Look at that very high-pressure dome anchored over the northeast and the low in the western US. Fortunately, the differences in pressure are further away than this weekend, but it is a windy pattern.
Now that you know what to look for I will put the maps in motion from today until next Saturday when it looks like things will subside a bit.
So why is this pattern occurring? There are a number of factors that affect our weather. This pattern is closely associated with the classic La Nina. We have been in a La Nina pattern since June of 2020. La Nina is currently strengthening, and it looks like we will have some level of La Nina present until at least December.
My stance on La Nina and El Nino has always been the same. I think that people overestimate the effects of El Nino and La Nina on our (local) winters. Historically, El Nino winters have slightly higher precipitation than La Nina years. But, there are many exceptions to that and many other factors that equally influence our winters. Statistically, the heaviest snows we have had in SW Colorado have come in Enso neutral winters, or La Nada as some people now call them.
I hope that, despite the wind, everyone has a good week, and Happy Mothers Day to the Moms out there. My other daily updates will be out soon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Boring Local Weather And Thursday’s Pollen Forecast

5/5/22 Thursday 7:30 am
There is no local weather to talk about until (maybe) Saturday night. I will do some type of local post on Saturday.
Red= 5 Very High
Orange= 4 High
Yellow= 3 Moderate
Light Green= 2 Low
Dark Green= 1 Very Low
No Color= 0
South
West
Central
North
Northern San Juans
East
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Wednesday Severe Weather Outlook

…SUMMARY…
Numerous severe thunderstorms are expected across parts of the
southern Great Plains this afternoon through tonight. A few strong
tornadoes and giant hail is most probable across southeast Texas
Panhandle into portions of southwest Oklahoma and north Texas.
Tornado Outlook
Hail Outlook
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Tuesday Local Forecast

5/3/22 Tuesday 7:45 am
A quick wave will pass to our north later today. Another will pass early tomorrow. Between the two of them, Telluride and Red Mountain may get a couple of inches of snow before melting on the grassy surfaces. Light snow could fall over Wolf Creek tomorrow as the second wave moves out. I mentioned the other day that this pattern looks to last throughout much of May. Southwest Colorado will get very little beneficial moisture.
A totally different story will be playing out to the north as well as east of the Divide. I talked to my sister in Denver yesterday. She is itching to plant some flowers. It started snowing there while we were talking. I told her she probably needs to hold off on planting for now.
Watch below the number of storms that will come through (mostly) Northern Colorado over the next couple of weeks. You can see them passing through every couple of days.
Unfortunately, most of the precipitation stays to our north and east. As I said the other day, the good news is that historically May and June are our driest months of the year.
Here are the two-week precipitation forecasts for the state.
Liquid
Snow
My next local forecast will be on Thursday. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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