In Brief:

Cool but dry weather is the story for Tuesday night and Wednesday day. A front comes through (dry) in the afternoon with wind and cooling temperatures. Clouds move in later in the afternoon followed by drizzle and then freezing drizzle overnight. Precipitation (with maybe a few flurries later in the night) comes to an end before dawn. Bridges and driveways and shaded spots might get pretty slick by morning Thursday. Drive safely before the sun warms things enough to melt that glaze. We stay cool and dry until another front might do this again Sunday afternoon into Monday.

Forecast Discussion:

A dry and not too cold cool front will blow things around Wednesday afternoon (Figure 1). Clouds will begin to increase a few hours later with light drizzle beginning in the evening. As temperatures drop below freezing, it will change to freezing drizzle (Figure 2 and 3). We only drop to the mid 20’sF Thursday morning. This isn’t super cold. Bridges and cool roadway surfaces might be very slick for the Thursday morning commute. The sun will be out again by late morning Thursday and melt most of those spots. The total snowfall and rainfall over the next five days is below the minimal shaded threshold (Figure 4 and 5). This won’t make much of a water impact.

The Longer Range Forecast:

We slowly warm until another front slides over Sunday afternoon. Will we get snow, or freezing drizzle Monday morning? We’ll watch it all week.

I’m in Leesburg, VA for my annual work meeting – but I am watching Colorado from here!

Figure 1: The forecast surface map for Wednesday PM from NCEP.
Figure 2: The forecast surface map for Thursday AM from NCEP.
Figure 3: the graphical forecast for the next 10 days for Longmont, CO from weatherunderground.com
Figure 4 : The forecast snowfall totals for the next 5 days from the GFS and weather5280com for Colorado made Tuesday noon.
Figure 5 : The forecast rainfall totals for the next 5 days from the GFS and weather5280com for Colorado made Tuesday 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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