Forecast Discussion:

To follow up with my spot-reporting from CoCoRaHS in the update yesterday, the NWS analysis for water content accumulation with this storm is in Figure 1. There are impressive amounts topping an inch of liquid west and south of Denver and up around RMNP. That is a wonderful shot in the arm. I’m sad the western and southwestern slopes didn’t get anything.

We do have another storm passing to the south of us Saturday PM into Sunday (Figure 2) which will bring some moisture in down there. The upper air pattern shows a big high pressure center over the western states (Figure 3). That system’s low center is way down in the southern California/Arizona area.

 

Figure 1: NWS Precipitation analysis posted by weather5280.com for Friday liquid accumulation.
Figure 2: The forecast surface map for Sunday PM. From NCEP.
Figure 3: NCEP 500 mb upper air map from Saturday PM. Blue lines are ridges, red lines are troughs.

The longer range forecast:

The next storm on the horizon comes late Thursday PM into Friday. The upper air pattern shows a trough in the southern branch passing right overhead Friday AM (Figure 4). The long range forecast shows temperatures right around 50° F all week (under that ridge) with Friday cooling only to around 40° F and dropping later in that storm Friday PM (as the trough arrives). Go do your snow-dance now.

Figure 4: The 500mb forecast upper air analysis for Friday AM. Pink dot is Longmont. Red lines are troughs, blue lines are ridges.
Figure 5: the graphical forecast for the next 10 days forecast 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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