Afternoon storms are expected through the remainder of this week in a weather pattern that resembles the monsoon, but it is not the monsoon, according to the National Weather Service.
There is a 30 to 40 percent chance for thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, said Scott Stearns, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. High temperatures will stay in the 80s.
These storms usually start at higher elevations and then drift to lower elevations, he said. Therefore, the mountains north of Durango can expect rainfall earlier in the afternoon.
Because of a chance for heavy rain on the 416 Fire burn area, the NWS issued a flash-flood watch on Thursday. More than 300 homes north of Durango remain on pre-evacuation notice because of a threat for flooding.
Stearns describes the current weather pattern as a transitional period before the monsoon. It’s not certain when the monsoon will come, but it isn’t here yet, he said.
“The whole monsoon discussion is a really gray area,” he said. “It’s not black and white.”
In that regard, there is no way to pinpoint a certain date. However, the weather is transitioning toward the monsoon pattern of daily rain, he said.
The region remains in an “exceptional drought,” however, recent rain has led to La Plata County downgrading from Stage 3 to Stage 2 fire restrictions.
Stearns said summer storms can be spotty, and with only a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain, it’s anyone’s guess where the moisture will land.