Forecast Discussion:

Note, I’m at the end of a 2 week family camping vacation near Red Feather Lakes, CO at this time.  Internet availability is very limited, so these discussions are shorter and simpler than normal.

The moisture is finally here and the temperatures are down a bit.  As I write (internet of opportunity at the library) the afternoon storms have yet to form on Thursday, but hopefully Longmont saw some rain.

Figure 1 shows the returning moisture from the deep southwest as the high pulls off to the east.  The severe weather chances are minimal and would be brief under heavier cells, but both Friday and Saturday, storms are expected to be more of the normal storm strength (Figures 2 and 3).

Figure 1: the water vapor satellite image from Thursday AM. Reds/Oranges are dry air, greys/whites are moist air regions.
Figure 2: the day 2 SPC thunderstorm and severe weather forecast made Thursday (valid Friday).
Figure 3: the day 3 SPC thunderstorm and severe weather forecast made Thursday (valid Saturday).

The longer range forecast:

A short wave ridge crosses the state on Saturday and depresses storm chances. A bit of moisture returns Sunday and beyond—temperatures return to just a bit above normal with afternoon thunderstorms chances.

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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