Monthly Archives: October 2015

Dry & mild weekend; when will it snow?

11:50 AM, Thursday, October 29, 2015

We are shaping up for another dry weekend with above average temperatures. It should be pretty decent for Halloween activity.  A weak storm moving through tomorrow (Friday) may bring some showery rain (snow level about 8000 or 8500 feet). But for the Front Range region, the storm is very minor and some areas are likely to stay dry. The best chance for rain is out on the high plains as you go toward Kansas and Nebraska.

For the lower elevations of the Front Range we are getting well beyond the average date for the first measurable snow (0.1 inch), which is October 15th for Boulder.  During the most recent 67 years (1948-2014) at the Boulder climate station the first snow didn’t occur until November 13 times (19% of the record), but never later than November 15th.  I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I recall that Denver’s records are very similar, and Fort Collins made it all that way to December at least once.

A storm system late next week may initially increase the chances for rain, but whether it will evolve in a way to bring snow is uncertain. It’s the next possibility for the season’s first snow, but certainly not a confident forecast at this point.

Dry weekend on the way

3:00 PM, Friday, October 23, 2015

After a wet few days the weather pattern is timed to give us a dry weekend with seasonable temperatures. Saturday may get off to a frosty start in some parts of northeastern Colorado and the Front Range, but then warm to 60 or a few degrees warmer in low elevation areas.

The next cold front next week (probably Tuesday) is not looking very moist, but it may bring in an air mass that results in widespread freezes for eastern Colorado. Right now the chances for precipitation look small, but if that changes it would likely be snow at lower elevations than we saw this week.

The big weather news this weekend will likely be from the exceptionally intense Hurricane Patricia making landfall today on Mexico’s Pacific coast. It’s intense, but small in size.  The remnants of Patricia are likely to spread flooding rains up into Texas by Sunday.

Mild for now, rain chances increase by midweek

12:55 PM, Saturday, October 17, 2015

After a long, dry and unseasonably warm stretch, the next 5 days will bring some change, but a classic October snowstorm is not in the making.

The Front Range and eastern Colorado will be enjoying another nice weekend. There is a chance for some scattered showers/thundershowers in western Colorado, and only a very small chance in and near the Front Range foothills.  A storm system to the west should slowly approach Colorado by midweek, but possibly pass to the south. Moisture levels should be on the increase. The chance for some showery precipitation, and maybe some thunder, should remain very small Monday, but begin to increase Tuesday. If we are going to get a more steady period of rain, that would most likely be Tuesday evening or Wednesday.

Although the increased clouds will keep daytime temperatures cooler by midweek, it’s not a very cold system. Snow levels should remain high. Even Nederland could end up on the liquid side of the rain-snow line.

Weekend: Warm, increasingly windy by late Sunday

12:20 PM, Friday, October 9, 2015

Warmer than average temperatures will be around Saturday-Sunday with lower elevations of the Front Range reaching around 80. Temperatures are likely to be 10-15 degrees cooler on Monday, but that is still close to the seasonal average. No rain is expected. Warmer is expected again on Tuesday.

We may be seeing an increasing tendency for gusty west winds in and near the Front Range on Sunday. Then those winds are likely to turn more to the northwest Sunday night into early Monday and spread throughout eastern Colorado with the cooler temperatures.

The average dates for first freeze, and the average dates for first measurable snow, at most lower elevations in the Front Range region (from Colorado Springs northward) tend to be between October 5th and 20th. It’s not looking like we are setting up for a first snow anytime soon.  Tuesday may bring the coldest morning so far this season, but widespread freezes appear unlikely.

Front Range Weekend, September numbers

12:45 PM, Thursday, October 1, 2015

A weak storm system is headed toward Colorado/Wyoming bringing cooler and more unsettled weather beginning Friday, but the weekend is likely to be neither cold nor very wet.

The best chance for rain, and maybe some thunder, will be Friday afternoon until early Saturday morning.  There may be some additional showers Saturday afternoon and evening, especially in the mountains, but a long-duration steady rain is not expected, and sunny intervals are likely over the weekend. Snow level will likely stay at or above treeline, possibly slipping a little below treeline in areas with more persistent showers. Temperatures will likely be close to, or a little below, average (average highs for the Colo Springs-Denver-Boulder-Cheyenne corridor ranges from upper 60s to low 70s).

September’s average temperature was the warmest on record for Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and probably Cheyenne (but I could not confirm that one yet).  Boulder had seven Septembers that were warmer between 1947 and 1963, but these were influenced by a substandard location of the thermometer in those years.  Since the current Boulder climate station was established in 1990, 2015 was easily the warmest September. Denver and Boulder also had a very dry September, but not record dry.

Hurricane Joaquin is a category 4 hurricane in the northern Bahamas that poses some threat to the East Coast. However, the most recent model guidance is certainly trending more toward a track that keeps it largely offshore as it heads north.