Wondering what is up with the weather? Durango’s humidity reached around 25% Saturday, and the city’s recent afternoon showers are similar to monsoon season – only the season hasn’t officially started.
“We’re about a month ahead of schedule,” said Kris Sanders, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Grand Junction.
The monsoon season starts between mid-June and the beginning of July. Other areas of the desert Southwest, in southern California, Arizona and New Mexico, have already declared the season’s start mostly to remind people of the threats that come with thunderstorms, Sanders said. Thunderstorms can cause cloud-to-ground lightning (which can spark wildfires), gusty wind, heavy rain and flash flooding.
In La Plata County, the regular pattern of afternoon storms will continue into next week. The storms are most likely in higher elevations, and it is unclear if some will appear in valleys, Sanders said. The storms are created by high pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere, moisture from the south and daytime heating.
A weather system coming from the California coast might cause more widespread showers until the end of the week, but the strength of that system is still uncertain, Sanders said.
Durango precipitation only measured 0.2 inches in May – about 0.57 inches below the 30-year average. June, which receives 0.54 inches of precipitation on average, is Durango’s driest month.
“It’ll be interesting to see how June bears out, especially if we continue this monsoon-like pattern,” Sanders said.