Forecast Discussion:

**Note, I’m sitting in the middle of the Hopi Reservation presently with just a trickle of internet. Good thing is, not much is changing with the weather… see you tomorrow! **

Clear weather continues as does the great melt. Figure 1 shows high pressure dominating the entire state. A small, weak, cold front inches back into the state this afternoon (Saturday) and briefly cools us down. Overhead, we still have northwest flow (air from the northwest – as all wind directions are defined by their source direction in meteorology – Figure 2) aloft and a ridge in the west. A storm system is passing Colorado over the next few days, but it is going through northern Mexico.

Figure 3 shows the clouds and cool down Sunday into Monday… the mountains will get a bit more snow (yea.).

The longer range forecast:

The ridge strengthens over the west and we warm to the low 60’s F in time for spring to start on Wednesday 3/20. There are indications of rain showers at the end of the week with a low that tracks over Denver and brings more snow to the mountains. We’ll watch that over the week.

Figure 1: The forecast surface map for Saturday PM from NCEP.
Figure 2: the 500mb map and how anomalous those heights are (red is much higher than normal, blue is lower than normal).
Figure 3: 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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