Forecast Discussion:

Before we look at the quiet and warm weather ahead of us, let’s look back at the snow totals. Figure 1 is the 24 hour snow total before the morning of 3/14 (Pi day). I circled the down-slope snow-hole that was featured in the forecast maps for days last week. It was there! The yellows and reds are 6 to 12 inches of snow. Figure 2 is the 48 hour total which is pretty impressive and features our mega-snow hole again (circled).

Looking Figure 3, we received about 3-4 inches across town. I forecasted 2-6 inches, so … pretty good. Figure 4 is Larmier county where the foothills got significant snow. You can scan across the Denver Metro in Figure 5.

Today we are high and dry with mainly high pressure around the state -Figure 6. Boring, but a nice break.

The longer range forecast:

We are sitting with northwest flow aloft into the weekend with a ridge inching toward the state (Figure 7). Each day will be a bit warmer into next week. You can see the temperature trend from the mid-40’sF climbing to the low 60’sF by the end of next week when a bit of rain may arrive. Spring showers?

Looking out 5 days, there is just a small amount of mountain snow now and then, but nothing significant around us.

Figure 1: 24 hour snowfall interpolation map from National Weather Service National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center
Figure 2: 48 hour snowfall interpolation map from National Weather Service National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center
Figure 3: total new snow totals for Wednesday/Thursday up to 7am for Boulder county from CoCoRaHS.
Figure 4: total new snow totals for Wednesday/Thursday up to 7am for Larimer county from CoCoRaHS.
Figure 5: total new snow totals for Wednesday/Thursday up to 7am for Denver metro from CoCoRaHS.
Figure 6: The forecast surface map for Friday PM from NCEP.
Figure 7: The 500mb forecast upper air analysis for Sunday AM. Pink dot is Longmont. Red lines are troughs, blue lines are ridges.
Figure 8: the graphical forecast for the next 10 days for Longmont, CO from weatherunderground.com
Figure 9: the forecast accumulated snow map from the GFS and tropicaltidbits.com for Colorado, over the next 5 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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