Good morning from Silverton on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.
As of this morning, the National Weather Service in Flagstaff has issued a "Dust Storm Warning" for Kayenta and NE Arizona, on strong SW'ly winds developing today. (See screen shot below). Kayenta has a 40% chance of rain showers and thunderstorms today, but little if any precipitation will fall farther south in the Little Colorado River valley near Leupp and Winslow. As of 0800 this morning, winds were already averaging SW 26 mph and gusting 37 mph in Flagstaff. Moab, UT also will see SW'ly winds today averaging 20-30 mph and gusting to 45, with 30% chance of scattered rain showers (high of 66 F).
The NWS Grand Junction office is also forecasting strong SW-to-W winds throughout the Colorado mountains today through Thursday, in conjunction with a Winter Storm Warning. So, this is a large, synoptic scale weather system and wind field that could sustain high average wind speeds through Thursday at most Colorado mountain passes.
We will be on alert for a new dust-on-snow event at Senator Beck Basin and, as always, would welcome any observations of new dust from other locales. Then, early next week we will be on CODOS tour, verifying dust conditions at our ten other sites.