In Brief:

We ride a roller coaster temperature-wise this week. We stay dry through Thursday morning with (in these runs) at least three cold fronts of note. We are cool Tuesday (and not so much at the end of the week, as it appeared a few days ago. We have real heat before the cool-down on Sunday – pushing close to 100F.

Forecast Discussion:

Moisture is now far from the state (Figure 1) and a transient ridge will bake us on Sunday. Temperatures will be up to 12-15F above normal around Longmont (Figure 3).

Relief is visible up in the Pacific northwest with an approaching cold front (Figure 2). We are dry and hot today, then we cool down but stay mostly dry into Tuesday.

The Longer Range Forecast:

Models differ and model runs differ every few hours, but this snapshot of the long range forecast has a cold front Sunday and Monday afternoons and another on Thursday. The BIG cool down at the end of the week is not visible on the weatherunderground model run – but is still not impossible (Figure 4).

Figure 1: the water vapor satellite image (browns/reds are dry air, whites and light grey is moist air, purple/blue is ice and high cloud tops). From the the Weather Channel from Saturday midday.
Figure 2: The forecast surface map for Saurday midday from NCEP.
Figure 3: the surface temperature anomaly (departure from normal) from the GFS for Sunday PM.
Figure 4: the graphical forecast for the next 10 days for Longmont, CO from weatherunderground.com
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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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