Monthly Archives: November 2014

Colder, cloudier, maybe just a little precipitation

6:30 AM, Sunday, November 30, 2014

As of 6:30 AM a sharp cold front is through Cheyenne and it will move south through the Front Range this morning. Temperatures are likely to fall through the 30s this afternoon and into the teens this evening (maybe a few single digits in the cold spots by Monday morning). Monday should see some sun and temperatures will likely rise above freezing with mild weather by Tuesday.

Some light snow is likely in the Cheyenne area, but the chance for accumulating snow along the Front Range is small. Front Range residents should expect some low clouds and a little light freezing drizzle in the lower foothills and plains by this evening.

The impact in western Colorado should be pretty minor.

Near record warm today, cooler Sunday

10:00 AM, Friday, November 28, 2014.

The record high for Denver today is 72 and for Boulder it’s 69. We will get close, but may not quite reach it due to a large amount of cirrus clouds in the area. Saturday will be mild and dry statewide again, and then Sunday should turn cooler but stay dry.

No significant storms or severe cold are expected over the next week. A storm that brings beneficial rain & snow to California early next week will likely bring at least some light snowfall to the Colorado mountains, especially west-facing slopes, in the mid-week period.

Mild Thanksgiving, Cool & WINDY ’til then

1:00 PM, Monday, November 24, 2014

It’s looking like a mild, dry period statewide for Colorado from Thanksgiving Day through Saturday, and maybe colder Sunday.

Until then, cool and windy will be the theme. Those west-northwest winds may become quite strong Tuesday beginning in the pre-dawn hours. Prepare for frequent gusts to 50 mph and maybe some local areas reaching 70 mph in and immediately along the foothills.

Some periods of snow are likely in the high mountains. Most Front Range areas will be dry, but some brief flurries or sprinkles are possible through Tuesday night.

If you are traveling, there is a major East Coast storm Wednesday and Wednesday night. It should be mostly rain in the coastal cities with snow inland. Expect some delays for airports in the Washington DC to Boston corridor, and possibly a ripple effect of delays to other airports as well.

Mild Saturday, Colder Sunday, Snow in Mountains

12:30 MST, Friday, November 21, 2014

Front Range foothills and eastern plains:

Enjoy a mild Saturday and then a change to colder weather Sunday-Tuesday, but not bitter cold. After low 50s in the lower elevations Saturday, we are likely to be mainly in the mid 30s to around 40 Sunday -Tuesday. Lots of Pacific moisture will be affecting the mountains, but the air mass will be drying as it moves east of the continental divide. So little or no snow is expected on this side except as you get close to the continental divide (west of Peak to Peak Hwy). It may be breezy at times.

Mountains and western Colorado:

Pacific moisture will likely bring occasional widespread snow to western areas and the mountains from Saturday afternoon through Tuesday night. There will be lull periods alternating with periods of significant accumulation in the mountains, especially west-facing slopes where three day totals are likely to run in the 10-20 inch range. Some of that should make it over to the higher areas of the Front Range like Brainard Lake.  The periods where significant accumulation appear most likely are Saturday evening into early Sunday, and again on Monday.

Thanksgiving:

There was some uncertainty over the last couple days regarding a storm system moving in from the Pacific next week. It now appears likely that Wednesday-Friday next week will see pleasant late autumn weather statewide.

If you are traveling there are no obvious huge storms for Wednesday and Thursday, but there is a big storm just skimming the East Coast that will be watched.  It is very likely that bitter cold weather will be in place over the upper midwest, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley.

Cold Weekend, Light Snow Saturday

12:30 PM, Friday, November 14, 2014

A cold front will be moving southward down the Front Range Saturday morning. Light snow is likely to develop behind the front and end before Sunday morning in most areas except maybe down near the New Mexico border. There may be a few short periods of moderate intensity snow.

Accumulation: generally 1-3 inches for the Cheyenne to Colorado Springs corridor, but some local areas of 3-5 inches are possible in and near the foothills. This time around the mountain areas near and west of the continental divide are getting snow too, with many mountain areas likely to get more than 6 inches beginning this evening.

Cold: Saturday afternoon is likely to drop into the teens and Sunday’s temperatures are likely stay in the 20s. Sunday and Monday mornings are likely to be in the 0-10 range with some high elevation valleys going below zero.

And now, for the climate enthusiasts… Denver’s record low on Thursday of -14 and Boulder’s record of -11 were both historic and the earliest it had ever been so cold. But observations can be tricky. Denver’s records have only been at DIA since 1996 and its previous locations (Stapleton, and downtown before that) tend to run warmer than DIA on calm, snow-covered nights. Boulder’s official climate station was established in 1990. The pre-1990 record in Boulder was often in non-standard exposure, like rooftops, which introduces a warm bias, especially on very cold nights. For that reason, neither of these locations are suitable for detailed studies of temperature trend. But one thing is for sure, we are having a historic November cold wave.

Record Cold into Thursday, More snow Saturday

12:30 PM, Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014

Thursday morning may be the coldest morning. The temperature in Casper, Wyoming this morning was -25, the coldest November reading of record. Remarkable considering it’s early in the month. Fairbanks, Alaska is expecting low 40s today and their average high is closer to what we are getting here!

The temperature will likely vary between -5 and -10 tonight with a few valley areas a bit colder than -10. Boulder’s record low for Thursday morning is -6 (not -2 as I erroneously stated in yesterday’s blog).  There is a chance we will break that and also set a record for the coldest so early in the season. Denver’s record low on Thursday is -3, and they will likely break that. If they get to -9, it will be the coldest for so early in the year. Nederland is not likely to get as cold in this kind of situation, but it may still be in the zero range up there.

Snow has been quite variable, with some of the highest amounts (3-6 inches) immediately along the foothills and less to the east and to the west. The west side of Boulder has seen 7-12 inches! The clouds will begin to thin today, and there may be peaks of sky tonight through Friday. But more Pacific moisture is likely to bring mountain snow to the western side of the continental divide Thursday night with only a slight chance for a little bit getting to the Front Range lower elevations. The Front Range region may see temperatures go above freezing on Friday, But don’t get used to it yet!

A storm system on Saturday is likely to bring more cold and snow. Snow is likely Friday night and Saturday in the western mountains (especially north of I-70) with 6+ inches in many mountain areas. For the Front Range, snow is likely Saturday afternoon into early Sunday. It’s still uncertain how bad it will be, but right now it’s looking like 3-6 inches in and along the foothills and 1-3 across eastern Denver Metro and Weld County.

Brrr! More snow, maybe a record low.

12:30 PM, Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More cold air will push down through eastern Wyoming into eastern Colorado giving us our coldest 36 hours beginning Tuesday night. And there will be more snow accumulation too. Morning lows on Wednesday should be mostly in the 0 to 5 degree range and on Thursday morning expect mostly -6 to 0 readings. Wednesday maximum temperatures are likely to be within a few degrees of 10.

The snow has been and will continue to be very fluffy, so just a small amount of moisture goes a long way. From Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon expect additional totals to range 1-4 inches, with the higher end of that range more likely in and near the foothills and Palmer Divide of Boulder, Jefferson, Gilpin, and Douglas counties, as well as north of the Wyoming state line into the Cheyenne area. The best chance for accumulation on roadways will be this evening through Wednesday morning.

On Thursday we may see occasional thinning of the overcast and on Friday we will probably see temperatures rise above freezing. But it still looks like another cold front and chance for snow arrives sometime Saturday.

The record lows on Wednesday and Thursday for Denver are -4 and -3, and for Boulder they are -6 and -2. We probably won’t break records on Wednesday morning, but there is certainly a chance on Thursday morning.

Monday cold wave update

NOON, Monday, November 10, 2014

As expected, temperatures really plummeted across northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming this morning, and the cold front will push its way through southeastern Colorado this afternoon. The areas of snow have been sparse, but the snow is organized in east-west bands where there is local accumulation occurring. Through this evening the snowfall is likely to range from barely a dusting in many places to about 3 inches in some localized areas. Most of the Front Range corridor will probably get around an inch. Later tonight there may be areas of freezing drizzle and ice fog along the Front Range.

The coldest air is likely to be in place Tuesday evening through Thursday morning, with another round of light snow likely late Tuesday into Wednesday that can produce 1-3 inches in and along the Front Range. Nighttime temperatures should drop into the single digits, and the high temperature Wednesday will only reach the teens. It’s possible that the overcast will thin a bit Wednesday night. If it does, there may be a few valley areas on the plains that dip below zero.

The cold will remain but become a little less intense by the end of the week. Another cold front Saturday should prevent any big warm up and maybe bring a little more snow.

Very Cold with Light Snow by Monday evening

NOON MST, Sunday, November 9, 2014

Yes, the cold wave is still on the way Monday for the Front Range and eastern plains and is expected to last at least through the week. Several periods of snow and maybe a little freezing drizzle are expected throughout the week. The best chance for accumulation is Monday afternoon and evening, and again Tuesday night and Wednesday.

TIMING, THREE COLD FRONTS:

The arctic front will be making its way southward through eastern Wyoming in the predawn hours Monday, and then through eastern Colorado during the day. Cheyenne is likely to be in the cold air by daybreak. Colorado Front Range residents should not be fooled if it’s still mild in the early morning. The front will move through and temperatures will quickly tumble through the 30s and 20s and probably into the teens by evening. This is cold, dense, low-level arctic air, so Nederland might not get the front until several hours after Boulder. West Slope areas will have much less impact.

Another cold front Tuesday night will likely make Tuesday night through Thursday morning the coldest period with temperatures struggling to get into the teens Wednesday, and falling to the single digits Thursday morning. In fact, on Wednesday the high temperature in Denver and Boulder might be colder than the low in Fairbanks, Alaska where they are on the warm side of this weather pattern.

There is likely to be still another cold front in the series by next weekend, but the timing is less certain and temperatures might moderate a bit before it hits. But in any case, it is very likely that temperatures will remain below average through next weekend.

SNOW:

Snow, mainly light, is likely to develop within a few hours of the front, especially near the foothills. Snowfall through Monday evening should be enough to whiten the ground throughout eastern Colorado and Wyoming with about an inch. Some local areas may see 1-3 inches, especially near the foothills.

Another round of snow is likely to bring 1-3 inches more Tuesday night and Wednesday with the second surge of cold air. Although the timing is less certain, it appears that we may be dealing with another round of snow next weekend.

Cold wave begins Monday

1:00 PM MST, Saturday, Nov 8, 2014

Enjoy an unseasonably warm Sunday because a cold wave beginning Monday will bring temperatures that would be below average even if it were January. It will be felt very strongly for the Front Range mountains and eastern plains of Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, with lesser effects in western Colorado.

There is a chance the cold front won’t be through the Front Range area by Monday morning, but it is expected to be much colder by Monday evening with a good chance for light snow or snow grains developing by then. Beginning Monday night, low temperatures will likely drop to the teens or lower, and daytime temperatures will struggle to get into the 20s even in the lower elevations.

There is likely to be widespread 1-2 inches of snow throughout the Front Range and eastern plains beginning Monday afternoon or evening. There may be some localized areas in and along the Front Range that may see 2-4 inches, but a major snow event is not expected. Areas of freezing drizzle and ice fog may develop along the Front Range, especially during the nights and early mornings.

When will temperatures recover? There may be some moderation by the end of the week, but all indications right now are that another cold front next weekend can keep the below average temperatures in place. So the bottom line is that while some days may not be as cold as others, the 5-7 day period beginning Monday will feature below average temperatures and icy conditions at times.