The Next Storm/Next Snow Forecast Discussion from the Cherrywood Observatory – August 10th, 2018

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Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes
Figure 1: the water vapor satellite image from Thursday night. Reds/Oranges are dry air, greys/whites are moist air regions.

Forecast Discussion:

And we get drier, and drier, and drier. Figure 1 is the satellite image showing atmospheric moisture. There is good moisture down south but it is not expected up here until middle next week (maybe).

We do have a bit of smoke from the western fires (Figure 2). The upper level ridge overhead is keeping the smoke out in the Pacific Northwest. I feel bad for them, and California.

Figure 1: the water vapor satellite image from Thursday night. Reds/Oranges are dry air, greys/whites are moist air regions.
Figure 2: The HRRR (high resolution rapid refresh) model forecast of smoke at all levels for Friday noon.

The longer range forecast:

The ridge that has warmed us up and dried us out is still here through Saturday, good and strong (blue line over Colorado – Figure 3).

The ridge is still here on Tuesday, but a trough in the west (red line on the West Coast in Figure 4) may start to bring moisture in by Tuesday. Figure 5 is rainfall through the next five days – there is virtually no precipitation except down in the drought zone (yea!).

Figure 6 shows temperatures remaining right around 90° F for the next 5 days, then that western trough brings a hint of a cool down and more moisture. That IS a long way out though. You’ll have to come back for more weather another day!

Figure 3: The 500mb forecast upper air analysis for Saturday AM. Pink dot is Longmont. Red lines are troughs, blue lines are ridges.
Figure 4: The 500mb forecast upper air analysis for Tuesday AM. Pink dot is Longmont. Red lines are troughs, blue lines are ridges.
Figure 5: The total accumulated precipitation between Thursday PM and Monday night (5 days out) from the GFS and weather5280.com
Figure 6: the next 10 days of the graphical forecast 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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