Drier and warmer pattern settles into the region

Zack Webster's KJCT First Alert Weather - 5/25
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:32 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Afternoon showers and thunderstorms will be much fewer and farther between as a drier and warmer pattern starts moving in across the Western Slope.

Still a Few Mountain Storms

While we won’t see as many showers and thunderstorms this afternoon, there will still be a few moving across portions of the Western Slope this afternoon. Most of them will stay out across the High Country and the Continental Divide, but one or two could pop up back toward the Grand Mesa or the San Juan Mountains. We’ll see much of the same on Friday with most of the area seeing mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies, but a few showers and storms are possible out across the High Country and close to the Continental Divide.

Next 24 Hours

Mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies continue across the valleys of the Western Slope through the day today. Grand Junction reached the middle 80s yesterday, and I expect us to do the same with a high around 87°. We should also see Montrose jump up into the lower 80s with a little bit more consistent sunshine. Upper 70s and lower to middle 80s will be the general idea around many of the lower elevation locations. Skies will clear out again overnight tonight with lows in the lower to middle 50s. Partly cloudy skies are back on Friday, and it should be just as warm with highs in the lower 80s to the south and middle to upper 80s to the north.

JUCO World Series Forecast

Saturday still looks like an amazing day for baseball here in Grand Junction. We’ll start off the day at 9 AM with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s for the opening game between 4-seed Weatherford and 7-seed Delgado. Temperatures will warm through the 70s and into the lower 80s with a small increase in clouds by around noon when game 2 between 1-seed Central Florida and 10-seed Andrew. Mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies continue with temperatures climbing into the middle 80s for the late-afternoon game at 3 PM between 2-seed Johnson County and 9-seed Shelton State. 3-seed Wabash Valley and 8-seed Salt Lake finish up the day starting around 7:30 PM. Skies will start clearing out again with temperatures starting in the lower 80s, then cooling through the 70s and potentially into the upper 60s by the end of the game.

River Flooding Update

Rivers are still high, fast, and dangerous today, but we are continuing to see signs of improvements by the end of the weekend and into early next week. Memorial Day weekend is usually a popular one for outdoor recreation, but this may be a Memorial Day weekend where you’ll want to avoid the area rivers.

The Colorado River near the Colorado-Utah state line was at 12.28 feet late Thursday morning. Small ups and downs in the water levels will keep the river near or just above its 12.5-foot action stage. It will be as high as 12.71 feet on Sunday morning, but water levels subside afterward.

  • 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 measured Thursday morning at 10.17 feet - above its 10-foot action stage where minor flooding starts to occur. The river will continue to gradually subside through the rest of the week and into the weekend, briefly falling below action stage Friday morning before dropping and staying below action stage beginning on Saturday.

  • 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 Plateau Creek near Cameo was at 6.64 feet on Thursday morning. Water levels are slowly rising amid daily ups and downs of the water level. It is expected to rise above its 7.0-foot action stage on Friday night. The highest level in the forecast is 8.3 feet on Tuesday night. That crest is a later than previous forecasts had indicated.

  • 7.5 feet: Some lowland flooding can be expected along Highway 65 just east of I-70.
  • 8.0 feet: Water approaches homes in the low-lying areas adjacent to Plateau Creek.