6pm Update: Next Storm/Next Snow Forecast Discussion from the Cherrywood Observatory – May 24-25, 2019

Figure 1: The snow season trace averaged over all of Colorado. Bright red line is normal. Dark Blue line is 2018-2019. From NRCS and SNOTEL.

In Brief:

The rain showers mostly faded out Thursday night. We return to our regularly scheduled Spring with mild temperatures and only a slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms through the long weekend.

That changes Monday afternoon when a front comes in, kicks off better rain and thunderstorm chances and set us up for another cool and wet week.

Forecast Discussion:

Friday 6pm Update:

I’m going to take a break again this Friday evening – the forecast is on track for a warm weekend with afternoon thunderstorms Sunday and the front arriving 1pm on Monday with a mostly dry and mild BolderBoulder and Memorial day morning. Enjoy the weekend – I’ll be back tomorow!

I thought it would be fun to check on our state snow pack after this week of cold precipitation. The SNOTEL graph for Colorado shows us far above the snow-pack of the last 3 years. We are at 252% of normal snow-pack for the state (Figure 1). Little surprise there.

For today (Friday) high pressure moves in as does a ridge (Figure 2) and we pop back into warm dry weather. There is always a chance of afternoon thundershowers moving out onto the plains to blow things around, get you wet, and spook you with a few lightning bolts. Keep an eye to the west each afternoon (Figure 3).

The Longer Range Forecast:

For the BolderBoulder – the forecast is now for temperatures getting into the lower 50’s at race start (55F at 8am, an hour later). Skies will be mostly clear and rain chances are very slight. A front comes in in the afternoon and rain chances jump way up at 3pm as rain and thunderstorms form.

We drop to the 60’sF and 50’sF for highs for much of the next week with a wet period Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning. Ah Spring – why won’t you stay awhile…?

Figure 1: The snow season trace averaged over all of Colorado. Bright red line is normal. Dark Blue line is 2018-2019. From NRCS and SNOTEL.
Figure 2: The forecast surface map for Friday night from NCEP.
Figure 3: the graphical forecast for the next 10 days for Longmont, CO from weatherunderground.com
Figure 4: a snippet of the graphical forecast for the next 10 days for Boulder on Monday, 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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