Scattered showers and storms continue into the weekend

Zack Webster's KJCT First Alert Weather - 5/19
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 11:35 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Our same old, same old pattern from the week with scattered showers and thunderstorms mostly over the mountains each afternoon continues through the weekend.

Scattered Weekend Showers and Storms

Scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue to pop up mostly over the Western Slope through the weekend. Similar to the past week, most of the rain falls over the mountains, but we could see some showers and potentially a few downpours over some of the valleys on Saturday as a little better lift and moisture moves through. Better rain chances will still overwhelmingly favor the mountains, but be on the look out for some of those downpours and thunder if you’re out and about in the valleys as well. Drier air starts to fill back into the region on Sunday and we’ll see a transition back toward the pattern that we’ve seen through the week with showers and storms in the mountains while the valleys stay almost completely dry.

Next 24 Hours

Partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies continue through the rest of the day in the valleys with highs in the middle to upper 70s and lower 80s, but we’ll once again have to watch for scattered showers and thunderstorms in the higher elevations of the region. Most of the rain ends tonight, but some could continue to fall in a couple of locations. We’ll continue to stay mostly dry, but some clouds could stick around tonight over the valleys with lows in the upper 40s and lower to middle 50s. Scattered showers and thunderstorms once again mostly develop over the mountains on Saturday, but there is a slightly better chance of seeing some of that rain in the valleys as well. We’ll see partly to mostly cloudy skies otherwise with highs in the middle and upper 70s.

River Flooding Alerts

The Mancos River and the La Plata Rivers south of the San Juan Mountains have become the latest rivers to be placed under a Flood Advisory. The Flood Advisory for the Mancos River continues until further notice while the La Plata River Flood Advisory is in effect until 6 PM Sunday. Flood Advisories continue for portions of the Colorado, Gunnison, Dolores, San Miguel, and Yampa Rivers until further notice. Rivers are expected to continue to rise through the weekend and into early next week.

River Updates

The Colorado River near the CO-UT state line was at 13.02 feet on Friday morning, over its 12.5-foot action stage. It will have some ups and downs, but it will generally rise toward a crest near 13.45 feet late next Friday morning.

  • 6 feet: Some lowland and meadow flooding is possible near Fruita
  • 10 feet: Water will approach sections of I-70 near Fruita
  • 12 feet: Considerable agricultural flooding is likely between the Redlands and Fruita
  • 14 feet: Flooding is likely in the Redlands

The Gunnison River near Grand Junction - just south of town - was at 11.92 feet on Friday morning, well above its 10-foot action stage where minor flooding starts to occur. It is forecast to increase to 11.99 feet later today.

  • 7 feet: Water inundates sections of the river walk near Redlands Dam
  • 8.6 feet: Water reaches the top of the left bank of the west side of the Hwy 141 Bridge, and water begins to fill the gravel quarry upstream from the bridge.
  • 9 feet: Lowland flooding near the Redlands Dam is likely, including some low-lying agricultural land.
  • 10 feet: Considerable agricultural flooding is likely between Whitewater and Orchard Mesa and water flows into the quarry downstream of the Hwy 141 Bridge
  • 11 feet: Water nears the bottom of the Hwy 141 Bridge and it reaches the base of the bridge near Redlands Dam.
  • 13 feet: Residential flooding begins near Redlands Dam

The Gunnison River at Delta was at 8.76 feet Friday morning. It is expected to rise and fall over the next week, reaching a crest of 9.18 feet early Thursday afternoon.

  • 8 feet: Minor lowland flooding is likely along the banks of the Gunnison River in the vicinity of Delta.
  • 9.45 feet: Flooding of low-lying agricultural land possible upstream of Delta
  • 10 feet: Water reaches the base of the berms in the Four Seasons River Inn RV Park and Riverwood Mobile Home Park. Water nears the top of the berm separating Confluence Park from the Gunnison River. The right bank across from Confluence Park floods
  • 10.5 feet: the river gauge site is flooded
  • 11 feet: Flooding of low-lying agricultural land begins; portions of Confluence Park near the river are flooded. Some hiking trails near the confluence with the Uncompahgre River are covered by water.

Dolores River near Bedrock is holding steady just below its 9.7-foot action stage. Little change is expected over the next week, but if the dam upstream at McPhee Reservoir has to be opened to increase flow into the river, a sudden spike is likely downstream near Bedrock soon after.

Plateau Creek near Cameo was at 6.26 feet on Friday morning - below its 7-foot action stage. Some ups and downs are likely in the water levels, but the general rule is rising water over the next five days. The creek is expected to reach around 8 feet early Sunday morning, then potentially crest early next Friday morning at 9.25 feet. At 8 feet, flood waters begin to reach homes near the creek.