In Brief:

Quite warm conditions return with a ridge overhead Wed/Thur and westerly down slope flow/winds. We’ll touch 80F again! Then another cold front kicks us back to the 60’sF Fri/Sat and yet another cold front takes us down to the 50’sF for the end of the weekend. The previously mentioned snow chances seem very minimal along I-25 at this time.

Forecast Discussion:

The cold front from Monday is draped down the Front Range Tuesday (Figure 1). It won’t remain here long. An approaching upper level ridge will help kick up westerly winds and down slope flow to take us to the 80’s for the next couple of days (Figure 5 orange boxes). Very dry conditions (and fire danger) will continue.

The Longer Range Forecast:

Friday and Saturday will be another post-frontal time with things cooled about 15 F from the heat of mid-week (Figure 5 -green boxes). Another cold front takes us another 10 cooler for Sunday and Monday (Figure 5 blue boxes).

That third cold front will be powered by a fairly strong, but open, wave (Figure 3). With temperatures not THAT cold Sunday/Monday and not THAT much moisture around, it looks like snow will be confined to the mountains and foothills at present. Sorry if you were getting excited.

Figure 1: The current surface analysis map from Thursday afternoon from the weatherchannel.com
Figure 2: The forecast surface map for Thursday AM from NCEP.
Figure 3: The 500mb forecast upper air analysis for Sunday AM. Pink dot is Longmont. Red lines are troughs, blue lines are ridges.
Figure 4: The forecast snowfall totals for the next 6 days from the GFS and weather5280com for Colorado made Saturday morning.
Figure 5: 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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