In Brief:

Very spring-like weather is here. A ripple in the upper level flow will bring in a chance of rain showers Monday afternoon. We warm up to the 60’sF until a deeper trough passes Thursday/Friday giving us a better chance of rain (and maybe a brief shot of overnight snow). Warmness and niceness settles in right after that. Is winter gone for good!? (Probably not.)

Forecast Discussion:

High pressure dominates Sunday into Monday (Figure 1) with a small storm system moving through southern California. Our next storm (Monday PM) will be kicked off by the upper portion of the trough over Nevada passing our state (Figure 2). A weaker and quick moving low will form east of Denver again and race into Oklahoma/Kansas (Figure 3). The chance of rain showers stretches from 10am – 10pm Monday. With ridging never very far away, we stay warm.

The Longer Range Forecast:

We’ll see 60F Tuesday and Wednesday then rain (and a brief snow moment) returns Thursday into Friday (Figure 4). The main trough begins to migrate (more slowly) our way for that rainy period later in the week allowing us to cool a bit too (Figure 5). Snow chances remain up in the northern mountains and foothills over the next 5 days (Figure 6). A dusting is possible down to the western side of town. Rain amounts over the next 5 days are still pretty skimpy sitting between 0.05 and 0.10 inch (Figure 7).

Figure 1: The forecast surface map for Monday AM from NCEP.
Figure 2: The 500mb forecast upper air analysis for Monday AM. Pink dot is Longmont. Red lines are troughs, blue lines are ridges.
Figure 3: The forecast surface map for Tuesday AM from NCEP.
Figure 4: the graphical forecast for the next 10 days for Longmont, CO from weatherunderground.com
Figure 5: The 500mb forecast upper air analysis for Wednesday PM. Pink dot is Longmont. Red lines are troughs, blue lines are ridges.
Figure 6: 10:1 (snow to liquid) snowfall totals through the next 5 days from the GFS and weather5280com for Colorado made Sunday PM.
Figure 7: precipitation totals through the next 5 days from the GFS and weather5280com for Colorado made Sunday PM.
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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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