Forecast Discussion:

What?! I just put snowfall totals up in Sunday’s forecast discussion from our last storm and ANOTHER front and storm is moving in for Monday (today).  Figure 1 is the (long ignored here) water vapor satellite image showing our next storm, circled in green, rolling towards us.

The trough driving that will be over the Great Basin by this morning (the big red line -Monday AM – Figure 2). The front will be through late Sunday night and temperatures drop into the 20’sF for a high today.  Very similar to our last storm, we’ll see up slope flow and periods of freezing fog and freezing drizzle again.  Figure 3 shows the front past Longmont Monday morning and a good amount of snow on the Western Slopes. Figure 4, Monday evening, shows ice and snow snow spreading out onto the Plains of NE Colorado.

Figure 5 is the GFS’s take on snowfall. Some choice spots in the West and high mountains will get a foot. Ft. Collins might see 1/2-1 inch, but Longmont is in the dusting to coating area.  Denver might see a coating to an inch of snow while Estes Park might get a couple of inches. This is also not a big storm.

Figure 1: The water vapor satellite image from the weather channel. Browns/reds are dry air. White and grey are moist. PInk/Blue are cold high clouds.
Figure 2: Forecast 500mb upper air map for Monday morning (today). Troughs are red lines, ridges are blue.
Figure 3: Forecast surface map for Monday midday from NCEP.
Figure 4: Forecast surface map for Monday night from NCEP.
Figure 5: The GFS total snowfall prediction between Sunday PM and late Monday night from weather5280.com

The longer range forecast:

Our next storm comes in with a trough pushing in Wednesday giving what “looks” like a 1-3″ storm on Thursday.

Figure 6: Forecast 500mb upper air map for Wednesday morning. Troughs are red lines, ridges are blue.
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John Ensworth works from Longmont as the Principle Investigator for the NASA Science Mission Directorate Earth and space science education product review through the IGES (The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies – www.strategies.org) . He is in his 14th year running this review. He is an astronomer (from the 2nd grade onward) and became a meteorologist (in the 5th grade) when a thunderstorm in Arizona rained on his telescope when the weather service had only forecasted a 10% chance of rain. He has college degrees in physics and astronomy and climatology and a graduate degree in meteorology and earth science. He lectures at the Little Thompson Observatory in Berthoud, the Estes Park Memorial Observatory in Estes Park, and for a number of online universities. He built and runs a backyard observatory near Pace and 17th in northeast Longmont where he has lived for 8 years with his wife, daughter, son, and two cats. Invitations to open house nights at this observatory, LTO, and EPMO will be posted with future discussions when they are scheduled. Forecasting severe weather and snow amounts via text lead to this column. He began texting friends about the weather right after the September 2013 flood. The readers of this column will, hopefully, keep him honest in what he ‘thought’ he had forecasted for ‘the most recent’ storm.