October 13 Southern Colorado Thunderstorms

by John Farley

In the late afternoon and evening of October 13, a line of strong thunderstorms developed over northwest New Mexico and southern Colorado, producing copious amounts of rain, mixed precipitation, or wet snow, depending on altitude. The storms continued through the night and into the next day, affecting much of northern New Mexico and southern and eastern Colorado.

In the Pagosa Springs, CO area, near the line where the storms initiated in the late afternoon, I was able to capture some nice double-rainbow pics. The first one was taken as a storm initiated and intensified right over Pagosa Springs; just after taking this picture I was forced in by a downpour from the next cell down the line, moving in from the south/southwest. After that passed over, there was another double rainbow.

By the time sunset neared, the line of storms had shifted somewhat to the southeast, with storms forming in Rio Arriba County, NM and training northeastward over the San Juan Mountains. It was a colorful scene with, first, a rainbow in the precipitation area under the storm and, later, the setting sun lighting the precipitation with a red glow - undoubtedly enhanced by the fact that some of that precipitation was in the form of snow. As John Denver put it, "I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky!" The storms were still quite electrified at this time, too, and the moon also got into the act above the tops of the storms.

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