Crestone Weather Center
Keno's Home and Crestone's Official Weather Station

Crestone Weather Photos

This page shows some of the more interesting weather that we have experienced here in Crestone. Anybody reading this who has any cool photos of storms or weather events from years past - or up to the present - and who would like to share them here, please send them on in to me. Photos of interest would include snowstorms, floods, hail, ice fog, rainbows, etc. Please send photos in via email, along with: where and when the photo was taken; and who took the photo, so I can give the proper credit. Please include "Crestone Weather Photos" in the email's subject title. Only rule is that the photos must be local, preferably taken in and around Crestone. Also if possible, the resolution for the photos should be set at 72 DPI. However, if you don't have the means to lower the DPI, send the photos as is and I'll take care of it on my end. 

Thanks to all who have sent in photos!

- Crestone Weather Photos -
(Page last update in September, 2016)

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Funnel Cloud, just before it hit the mountain above Crestone, April 24, 2005
(Photo sent in by Jeanne Sullivan)

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Back Deck of Keno's House... (1)
...after 31 inches of snow fell on March 13, 2003, located south of the Baca Fire Station in the Chalets.
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Front Deck of Keno's House (2)
From March 13, '03 - Can you make out the burried 2 1/2'  tall table? It's in the middle of the photo.
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Frozen Artesian Spring next to Casita Park
Notice the ice fog just behind it. This was taken by Bill Hill
in the early 1960s, where the lake bed now sits.


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Frozen Artesian Spring w/water shoting out
Wish we had a larger photo of this one! Located across T Road from Casita Park, and taken by Bill Hill in the early '60s.

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Flood Damage to road on Panorama, in Chalet One (1)
Caused by a flash flood that hit on July 28, 2003, after 1.5" of rain fell in less than 20 minutes.
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Flood Damage to infrastructure in Chalet One (2)
After flash flood hit on July 28, 2003
(This photo and the one to the left sent in by Janet Woodman)
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Duststorm getting ready to hit - June 3, 2005 (1)
Looking North on Hwy 17 it's about to hit Hooper , CO
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Duststorm Hitting Hooper, CO  (2)
Taken again on Hwy 17 seconds later
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Duststorm hits Hooper, CO, Crestone is next! (3)
Storm is heading Eastward with winds between 50 & 70 MPH
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Hwy 17 between Hooper & Moffat, Co (4)
Inside the storm, all photos taken by Fred Farrell

- Some Double Rainbows over Crestone -

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June 24, 2009

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June 26, 2006


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A hawk flies by a building cumulonimbus cloud over Mount Crestone, July, 2006
(This and rainbow photos taken by Keno)

- The following photos are of the Flash Floods that hit on July 3, 2006 -
(All photos below taken by Keno)

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Flash flood as it was taking place by our front door
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Damage to side of Camino Baca Grande Rd
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Car eaten up by flood on Panorama Way

 

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Panorama Way
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Looking down Panorama Way
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Panorama Way
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Panorama Way

- For more flash flood photos from the July 3 storm, click here -

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The Meadow at Willow Park w/ our mountains in fog
From the trail heading up to Willow Lake, August, 2006
(This photo sent in by Fred Farrell)

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Bottom of Rainbow on Baca Grant Way
July 26, 2006 - Lets dig for the gold!
(photo by Keno)

(Next 2 photos by Keno)

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Baca Grant Way after October 2006 snowstorm
14.2" had fallen on the 2 days prior to this photo

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More from October snowstorm - our back deck
3 days later, Zach with my two grandsons Colton and Cooper. Snow does melt fast in October, less than a foot is left.

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Morning freezing fog at Crestone's Dragon Mountain Zen Temple
December, 2006 (Photo by Steve Allen)

- The following photos are from a 23.6" spring snowstorm that hit on April 23, 2007 -

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Backyard of house on Moonlight Way
Taken as the storm was on-going

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Brothers Tahca & Rainbow Zephier in snow on Moonlight Way
(This photo and the one to the left sent in by Eri Zephier)

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Photo taken from 2nd floor window...
Looking out onto garage roof as the snow was at its peak
(this and the next 2 storm photos by Keno) 

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Our weather station in the storm
Some of the equipment is buried, but they still recorded the storm anyway.

 

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Grandson Cooper gets stuck in a snowbank...
Off to the side of Camino Baca Grande Rd, just after the storm had ended.  

 

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Lighting strike near Poncha Pass
Photo taken near the Welcome Center at Valley View Hot Springs (Photo by John Lorenz, July, 2007)

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A thunderstorm moves into Crestone from the Valley....
as the sun sets, July 14, 2007 (Photo by Fred Farrell)

 

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4th of July (2007) Double Rainbow
Taken by Wayne Clark out at the Ranchetts, looking SE towards the Baca Grande.

- Next, tree struck by lighting -
(Both photos by Keno)

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On Aug 29, 2007, this tree, about 200 yards from our home in Chalet 1, was struck by lighting. The tell-tail sign left from the lighting hit is the stripe running around the tree.

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Close-up of same tree. When the lighting hit, our weather stations' anemometer was destroyed as its solar panel connected to it was fried and shorted out the entire unit.

- We see a lot of hail storms here in Crestone -

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Hail Storm hits Sept 2, 2007
1" plus accumulated on ground on our deck.
(This photo and the next one by Keno)

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Damage to vegetable garden from hail
This photo was taken 4 hours after the storm ended, hail remained on ground for over 30 hours in this garden.


Video of same hail storm as it hit:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE_1VoPDIF0)

- Crestone Deer in the Snow -


Lookin' out my back door... December 12, 2007. There are 8 deer in this picture, can you spot all of them?
5 foreground, and 3 in the rare.

- Next, one sunrise, one sunset -

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Clear skies makes for one fine sunrise!

(September 2009)

(Photo taken by Fred Farrell, from Hwy 17 near Villa Grove, looking southeast towards Crestone)

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Colorful Clouds at Sunset (November, 2007)
(Photo by Benjamin Byer looking east from Dragon Mountain)

 

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One More Sunset (December 3, 2007)
(
Photo taken by Sylvia Hazlerig from Chalet 1, looking west)



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Rare White Rainbow (aka Fogbow) (October, 2008)
(Photo by Julian Stollmeyer near Crestone Park, Chalet 1)

 

 

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Rainbow over Chalet II (2007)

(This photo and the next one by Fred Farrell)

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Snowy Thanksgiving Morin' w/ clouds hangin' low (November 2008)
(Looking north on Camino Baca Grande Rd. in Chalet 2)

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Freezing Fog Hangin' low out in the Valley (January 18, 2009)
(Photo taken from our weather tower in Chalet 1 by Keno)

 

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Clear skies, Moon and Venus Over Crestone (February 27, 2009)
The skies here in Crestone are among the darkest and clearest skies anywhere in the USA. (Photo by Keno)

- Easter Sunday Snowstorm -
April 12, 2009

The two photos below were taken as this snowstorm, which produced 28.6" of snow, was taking place. 30 other excellent photos of this storm were sent in to me by locals, and they can be found on a special photo page I set up by clicking on Easter Snowstorm.

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Early in the morning as the storm started up
Cotton Creek, 3 miles south of Valley View Hot Springs, off the SE corner of CR 65 and DD, on the mountain side.

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Just how deep is it?
Waylon Jepsen measures the snow at Cotton Creek, as the storm is not yet at its midpoint, with lots more to come.
(This photo, the one to the left, & below right sent in by Jason Jepsen)

- April 17, 2009 Snowstorm -

The second snowstorm to hit Crestone in five days brings in another 18+ inches before it ends the next day.

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Heavy snow a-fallin'! Again!
About a foot of snow is on the ground at this point.
(This photo taken by Keno up in our weather tower in Chalet 1)

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April in the Rockies
Cotton Creek, by Valley View Hot Springs

 

Snow avalanching off our roof during the storm

(http://youtu.be/EbSOQdXaor0)

 

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Thunderstorm w/hail about to hit! (1)
June 26, 2009, this photo and the next taken at Casita Park.
.42" of rain & hail fell in 20 minutes from this storm.

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Thunderstorm w/hail about to hit! (2)
This shot and the one left is looking north.
(This photo and the one to the left sent in by Michael Scully)

 

- Dragon Cloud -
Under the mountain some locals call Dragon Mountain, July 26, 2009


Others might call this a lizard or snake cloud.
(
Photo taken from Casita Park by Kelly Hart)

 

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Okay, so what is this strange phenomenon?

This is a very rare kind of double rainbow, that some call a "low bow". You can see the faint "normal" rainbow on the top, and the phenomenon near the horizon, well, it's a rainbow that is half on the ground - very rare indeed! This kind of a rainbow can only take place with the right condiations, either at or within one hour of high noon. This picture was taken on the Baca Ranch near the Great Sand Dunes National Park (looking north) just after 11 am, on October 7, 2009 by Larry "Animal" Garner. Had this happened right at noon, the rainbow would had been totally on the ground.


Sunrise, Thanksgiving morning, 2010
-9°F with 4" of snow on the ground. (This photo sent in by Tom "Tee" Burton)


Flying saucer cloud over our mountains
Officially called a lenticular cloud, this photo was taken on December 8, 2010

(These 2 photos [above and below] were taken by Kelly Hart)


Snowdunes
The Great Sand Dunes National Park, Crestone's next-door neighbor to the south, after a light snow, April 7, 2011

- October 8, 2011 Snowstorm -

It didn't really seem like a "storm", as there was almost no wind blowing most of the time, and most of the snow fell in the early morning hours before town residents started their days and missed seeing the heaviest of the snow fall. Still, the 9.5" in Baca 1 was a record snowfall for the day.


Samten Ling Retreat Center
 Above Pyramid Point, 1 mile from the end of Summit View Way.The elevation is exactly 9000 feet. 15" of snow fell here.

Camino Baca Grande Road
The Baca's main road is deserted at noon as the snow is coming to an end and the skies are clearing, but the view of the mountains are still obscured by fog.

(Photo on the left sent in by Kelly Smith. Above photo by Keno)


Phantom Sun over the Grants/Crestone sky
On the left is a sundog, aka "a phantom sun", and officially called a "perihelion". Sundogs are formed by ice crystals aloft. Photo taken on December 6, 2011 by Buddhist monk Tenzin Yeshe at Tara Gonpa, near the Ziggurat.

 


Early morning Ice fog
December 9, 2011. This photo and the next taken at Casita Park, this one looking to the southeast.


Early morning fog
This shot is looking east, and was taken on April 7, 2012
(This photo and the one to the left sent in by Kelly Hart)



Cool White Rainbow (aka Fogbow)
Photo taken on December 27, 2012, out in the valley, west of Crestone, near the POA building.
(This photo sent in by Mark Talbot)

- Now a Mirage as seen from Casita Park! (2 photos) -
(1) This first photo is of the mirage, looking east from Casita Park, taken on January 20, 2013, at 808am

(2) This second photo below, was taken about 15 minutes later as the mirage faded; you can see the actual buildings now, one of which is a  dome.


Both photos taken by Kelly Hart
(If you would like to read up on how mirages form, check out this old Eagle article I wrote back in 2003. The article is about a Fata Morgana mirage, which is a bit different than this one above since a Fata Morgana mirage can only be seen on the horizon, but it's formed in the same matter)

- Dust Devil out in the valley -


On late Thursday afternoon, May 16, 2013, this dust devil was spotted from Moffat and appeared to be on the ground near US Hwy 285 and County Road T (south of Saguache, Colorado), for around 20 minutes. The part hitting the ground looks more like a tornado, but its top looks like a classic dust devil. The National Weather Service in Pueblo has declared this to be a very large dust devil. Although the San Luis Valley sees a lot of dust devils in the spring, they are usually nowhere near this tall. Dust devils usually average around 30 or so feet high in the valley, but it isn't unusual to see taller ones of around 100 feet from time to time. But rarely in the valley are they as tall as this one. Very large dust devils of around 300 feet high do occur from time to time in some areas, and in a few in places like in the Middle East, they have been reported as tall as 3,000 feet. This photo was taken by David Chubirka.

- Smoke from West Fork Fire invades the greater Crestone area -


Looking out into the San Luis Valley, but the valley is gone, well, it's lost in the smoke!
For four afternoons and early evenings in a row - from June 19-22, 2013, smoke from wildfires burning across the valley in the San Juan Mountains near Wolf Creek Pass, sent smoke into our area, bringing the visibility down to less than 200 feet at times. Below are 3 more photos. (Photo above taken from our weather tower in Chalet 1 on June 20 by Keno. Photo below to the left taken on June 22 by Michael Scully just before smoke hit town, middle photo below taken by Kelly Smith on June 21 and is looking west, and photo below on right taken on June 19 by Keno, looking east)

- Click on thumbnails for a larger view -

Pyrocumulus cloud

 As seen from Casita Park
Ridge above Pyramid Point

Town of Crestone, below, is gone!
Smoky Crestone Mountains

5 minutes later there was no view at all

 - Wall Cloud Approaches the Crestone Baca -

This wall cloud out over the valley is about to hit the Crestone Baca on Sunday afternoon, September 22, 2013. With it came damaging winds and large hail of up to one inch in some parts of the Baca. Most of the damage occurred out by the retreat centers located around 10,000 feet, with the biggest hail being reported around upper Chalet 1. This photo was taken by Dave Miller in Chalet 1, looking southwest. Below is a another wider shot of the same wall cloud.

- Click on thumbnail for a larger view -


(This photo by Noreen McCracken)

- Sun Halo -


AKA a "Sun Ring", this optical phenomenon, just like sundogs, are produced by ice crystals aloft. This photo was taken on October 24, 2013, in the southwest corner of the Grants by Ryan Wiedemann.


November 24, 2013 Snowstorm
This photo taken out in the Grants the next day, after the 25.5" storm ended. Lots more photos from this storm can be found here!
(This photo sent in by Joleen Borgerding)


Spectacular November Sunset - November 25, 2013
Looking out across the valley towards the San Juan Mountains on
(This photo sent in by Noreen McCracken)


Hail Storm about to hit Crestone Chalet 1 - May 6, 2015
This photo was taken by my grandson about 5 minutes before the first hail storm of 2015 was about to hit the Baca.
(This photo taken by Cooper Goodhart)

- Next 4 photos from the 18.3 inch snowstorm that hit on May 8, 2015 -


Looking north at Baca Chalet 1 from our weather tower after the storm ended (photo taken by Keno)


This photo shows some of the damaged trees off of Baca Grant Way (This photo by Cooper Goodhart)


Heavy snow on the trees after the storm ended off Camino Real
(This photo sent in by Noreen McCracken)


Buddha lends a helptng hand in clearing the snow out in the Grants (photo sent in by Tenzin Yeshe)


Yak in flood waters off of T-Road, July 2015
It's normal to see the valley floor outside of Crestone flood each spring from the snowmelt/runoff, but not in July!
(This photo sent in by Noreen McCracken)


Samten Ling Retreat
After about 16" of snow fell on April 30, 2016
(Photo sent in by Kelly Smith)


A rare Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud formation over Mt. Blanca, on August 5, 2016 (photo sent in by Philip Tarlow)

 

- Crestone Flash Flood Photos Easter 2009 Snowstorm Photos | November 2013 Snowstorm Photos -

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