Forecast Discussion:

We saw some high-based showers move by Friday PM. I don’t think Longmont even saw a sprinkle (Berthoud may have been splashed briefly). Today (Saturday) will be very much the same. [Correction, we got a bit of real rain around 9pm, after I wrote this!] You can see showers on the western slopes in the late afternoon today (Figure 1) with very small chances of precipitation in the late afternoon (Figure 2). Some thunder is possible given the cold air aloft. Overall, we are dry and getting warmer and warmer.

Because readers of this column are probably outside playing this weekend, and things are so quiet, I’ll pick it up again Monday when we can set our sights on the next storm better.

The longer range forecast:

By Monday PM we are some 20F above average (Figure 3). Wonderful temperatures.

We’ve been seeing thata big change coming mid-week for a few days now (Figure 2). The GFS (that has often over predicted precipitation this far out) gives us about 1/4th an inch of water over the next 10 days (but 1 inch amounts are in the nearby foothills -Figure 4). The GFS DOES give us a coating to 1 inch of snow over the next 10 days – so we are probably not done with winter-like weather yet. More on Monday!

Figure 1: The forecast surface map for Saturday PM from NCEP.
Figure 2: the graphical forecast for the next 10 days for Longmont, CO from weatherunderground.com
Figure 3: The forecast temperature departure from normal map from the GFS and weather5280.com for Colorado, Monday PM.
Figure 4: the forecast accumulated precipitation map from the GFS and weather5280.com for Colorado, over the next 10 days.
Figure 5: the forecast accumulated snowfall map from the GFS and weather5280.com for Colorado, over the next 10 days.
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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.

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