What a night! The storm came in with a vengeance and was a big-time upslope storm. These types of storms come in from the opposite direction as the normally would (aka upslope). Our usual wind direction here at Monarch is primarily Southwest or West. This storm delivered a wallop with a peak wind gust of 71 mph out of the NE.
Those of us in the weather forecasting and reporting roles here at Monarch keep talking about how surprising some of these storms have been this season. The long range forecast this season called for a La Niña year. Typically, this season long pattern brings storms in from the NW that clip the northern and central mountains with a NW or W wind direction. This storm pattern usually reduces the likelihood of upslope storms developing along Colorado’s Front Range, the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, and the Sawatch Range. The San Juan Mountains and northern NM can be missed during these types of seasons as well. However, we have seen a number of upslope storms this year with storms tracking through the 4-Corners region and NM. We had a few big upslope storms in the Fall and have had several now again in March.
For the latest updates on the ENSO discussion, check out the link here. Meanwhile, let’s enjoy all these unexpected storms and the moisture they bring!