May 10, 2016 Pagosa Springs Area Storms
Pretty Structure, Up to Dime-Sized Hail, and a Double Rainbow

by John Farley

While we were eating dinner early the evening of May 10, a quick-passing thunderstorm produced brief heavy rain accompanied by gusty outflow wind and small hail and possibly some graupel as well. After dinner, I decided to head out to get some pictures of that storm and of another stronger one that moved through a little later and farther north. Here is a picture of the initial storm, as it moved east into the San Juan Mountains from Pagosa Springs:

This storm was moving away from me, though, and others to my northwest and west were moving east into the area, so I decided to head up North Pagosa and Piedra Roads to see if I could intercept any of the new storms. The strongest ones were in and near the mountains northwest of town, backbuilding over the Piedra River valley. I began to see CG lightning and what appeared to be hail falling to my northwest, near or north of where Piedra Road crosses the Piedra River:

I continued north into the higher country a few miles past the river crossing, and soon found the ground covered by up to dime-sized hail:

Since the storm was now getting past me as it moved up into the roadless Weiminuche Wilderness in the San Juan Mountains north of Pagosa Springs, I decided to head home. Soon, however, I was treated to a view of a spectacular double rainbow:

Not bad for a local outing on which I never got farther than 25 miles or so from home!

Return to 2016 Severe Weather Observation page