In Brief:

We spend the next (almost) 5 days a bit warmer than normal and mostly dry (with a few cloudy days). A front arrives Saturday for a chance of rain (snow?) and another front does the same next Tuesday. We’ll watch those for signs of further development this week.

Forecast Discussion:

The forecast for last nights storm came out well. A pretty notable layer of ice got laid down before 1-3 inches of snow fell across Longmont (Figure 1). Boulder did better (like normal) with 2-4 inches. Our storm has blasted all the way down to Texas giving us clear skies and warming temperatures as the western ridge returns Tuesday (Figure 2).

The Longer Range Forecast:

That’s the story through Saturday – a bit warmer than normal and dry. There is a hint of a Saturday cold front with rain/snow and another front on Tuesday for more rain/snow (Figure 3). It’s sort of boring again, so let’s look at the last long range forecast (as promised) and the next even longer range forecast…

The Ultra Long Range Forecast:

At the start of October, the NOAA outlook was for above normal temperatures here (Figure 4). What happened was nearly the opposite (Figure 5). The NOAA precipitation forecast was somewhat spotty and was for normal amounts around Colorado (Figure 6). What occurred was near normal precipitation around here (but most of it came as snow, which was above normal) (Figure 7). The NOAA forecast busted as far as temperature trends went.

The NOAA forecast for November-January is for above normal temperatures (Figure 8). Weatherbell has an outlook that gives us near normal temperatures and massive cold in the upper Midwest (Figure 9). Weatherbell did much better for October (not shown).

As precipitation goes, NOAA has us wetter than normal (Figure 10) while Weatherbell paints us as near normal (snowfall-wise Figure 11). I might lean towards Weatherbell personally with the record of October to look back on – very close to normal snowfall and temperatures for the rest of the winter.

Figure 1: 24 hour snowfall reports through 7am Monday in Boulder Co. from CoCoRaHS.
Figure 2: The current surface analysis map from the Weather Channel Monday night.
Figure 3: the graphical forecast for the next 10 days for Longmont, CO from weatherunderground.com
Figure 4: The temperature outlook for October 2019 made in the end of September and posted in this column from NOAA.
Figure 5: The actual temperature anomaly that occurred October 2019 from NOAA/NCEI Climate Division.
Figure 6: The precipitation outlook for October 2019 made in the end of September and posted in this column from NOAA.
Figure 7: The actual precipitation anomaly that occurred October 2019 from NOAA/NCEI Climate Division.
Figure 8: The temperature outlook for Nov 2019 to Jan 2020 made in the end of October from NOAA.
Figure 9: The Nov 2019-March 2020 temperature forecast from WeatherBell screen capture from their free online video.
Figure 10: The temperature outlook for Nov 2019 to Jan 2020 made in the end of October from NOAA.
Figure 11: The Nov 2019-March 2020 snowfall forecast from WeatherBell screen capture from their free online video.
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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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