Forecast Discussion:

What are you doing here reading about the weather, instead of enjoying it outside?! It is warm to almost hot, but not too bad. Really clear blue skies returned. Winds are mild. It is really nice! (But I grew up in Phoenix… so this is typical Halloween to Thanksgiving Day weather to me.)

Briefly, Figure 1 shows the very dry air over northern Colorado (reds and oranges). The upper level high has become quite stout (the big blue H in Figure 2). You can catch a glimpse of the merged tropical systems way down in the southwest corner of the image.  That moisture might return next week with the next approaching (stronger) upper level trough.

Smoke is thick off to the west and north of our state. It is currently very light over Colorado. I don’t see it returning for a few days (Figure 3) at least.

Figure 1: the water vapor satellite image from Friday night. Reds/Oranges are dry air, greys/whites are moist air regions.
Figure 2: The 500mb upper air analysis for Friday PM. Pink dot is Longmont. Red lines are troughs, blue lines are ridges.
Figure 3: The HRRR (high resolution rapid refresh) model forecast of smoke at all levels for Saturday night.

The longer range forecast:

There will be a tiny bit of moisture and a minor upper level short wave on Sunday that gives us a small chance of an afternoon storm (Figure 4) – but I wouldn’t place bets on it. We hover around 90° F each day until that next upper level (stronger) trough approaches on Tuesday. We only drop to lower 80’s F for a high and have a small increase in storm chances after that. It is just quiet!

Figure 4: 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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