Forecast Discussion:

Yes we got the top amount of snow I forecasted… and it lasted longer than even the NWS guessed.  Figure 1 shows we approached or surpassed 1 inch of snow across most of the town.  With temperatures remaining in the upper 20’sF, the roads were icy/snowy for quite a while.

The the jet stream is far to the south (shown a few times this last week in these discussions) and a very juicy storm is rolling to the south and east of us along the Mexico border (Figure 2). We have a front in place and southwest winds moving in (looking like a warm front) but not much in precipitation.  We warm up for a few days now.

Figure 1: The CoCoRaHS water reports by Thursday 7am.
Figure 2: The forecast surface map for Friday night. From NCEP.

The longer range forecast:

We warm almost to the 50’sF over the next 6 days before another front brings in colder air and a chance of snow (Figure 3).  Looking out 6 days (next Wednesday), the western and higher mountains get snow, but we don’t see anything quite make it to Longmont (Figure 4).  With the next front coming in (circled  in blue) we do get a chance of snow around here.  Figure 5 gives us 1-2″ day 6 and 7 from now (Wed – Fri AM).  It’s not much to look forward to, but I’ll take it.

Figure 3: 10 day meteogram from weather5280.com for DIA.
Figure 4: The forecast accumulated snow map from the GFS and weather5280.com for Colorado, through the next 6 days.
Figure 5: The forecast accumulated snow map from the GFS and weather5280.com for Colorado, through 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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