Forecast Discussion:

The storm is past and the cold air is being modified (warmed by the sun) and pushed to the east. High pressure dominates the region (Figure 1).

On Thursday we were some -25°F below normal (Figure 2). By Friday (today) noon, we’ll only be about -15°F below normal. Wow! Heat wave.

The longer range forecast:

Sunday, another shot of cold comes from western Canada and the northern U.S. Rockies. Figure 4 shows the maximum extent of this cold air – it is not extending as far south and is not as impactful to Longmont.  That has us about -15°F below normal again. This next cool down drops us from a high in the lower 40’s F on Saturday to right about freezing for Sunday (Figure 5).

The snow chances are pretty minimal, at this time, with this front. They don’t print a snow amount on the weatherunderground site – the GFS gives us a coating to 1 inch Saturday PM into Sunday AM (Figure 6).  We probably won’t have to shovel much this time.

Figure 2: The forecast surface map for Friday AM. From NCEP.
Figure 2: The forecast temperature departure from normal map from the GFS and weather5280.com for Colorado, Thursday noon.
Figure 3: The forecast temperature departure from normal map from the GFS and weather5280.com for Colorado, Friday noon.
Figure 4: The forecast temperature departure from normal map from the GFS and weather5280.com for Colorado, Sunday noon.
Figure 5: the graphical forecast for the next 10 days for Longmont, CO from weatherunderground.com
Figure 6: the forecast accumulated snow map from the GFS and weather5280.com for Colorado, through Sunday noon.
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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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