Monthly Archives: May 2016

Cool, thundery end to week, nicer on weekend

9:00 AM, Thursday, May 26, 2016

Today and Friday should be cool days with some wet periods (and maybe some strong thunderstorms this afternoon). The weekend is looking nicer with sunny periods, mild temperatures, but still the chance for an afternoon shower or thundershower.


Severe weather: It has been a week with lots of hail and some violent tornadoes on the high plains of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and eastern Colorado. And like Tuesday, today’s thunderstorms will likely kick off near the Front Range before moving east. Severe thunderstorms are possible in parts of the Front Range region, with the chances greater east of I-25, and north of the Palmer Divide.


Today and tonight: showers and thunderstorms beginning this afternoon, some severe weather possible, especially on the northeastern Colorado high plains. There may be a period of steady rain or drizzle during the night along the Front Range.

Friday: possibly some areas of lingering clouds and drizzle or rain early, then a relative dry period before more showers in the afternoon. Cool.

Weekend: sunny periods, near average temperatures (around 70 Denver metro), but some clouds and thundershowers around, mainly afternoons and evenings.


If you are driving east, pay attention to the possibility of severe weather over the next couple days in the Great Plains. Also, an early season tropical storm (Bonnie) may form and impact the southeastern U.S. coast (GA, SC, or NC) this weekend. Tropical storms in May are unusual but not unheard of. What is really unusual is that if it forms it will be the 2nd tropical storm this year! A very unusual Hurricane Alex already occurred back in January in the central Atlantic.



Active Spring pattern in place this week

1:00 PM, Tuesday, May 24, 2016

We are in an active late Spring pattern that will result in some severe thunderstorms on the high plains of eastern Colorado and adjacent states of Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma each day this week. A few areas along the Front Range may experience a strong thunderstorm this afternoon. In fact the NWS has a tornado watch currently in affect for northeastern Colorado and includes Denver and Weld counties, but not El Paso, Douglas, Jefferson, Boulder, Broomfield, or Larimer counties. There may still be thunderstorms in areas outside the tornado watch. A quieter day is likely along the Front Range on Wednesday.


The probability of more clouds and some shower and thunderstorm activity is likely to increase again for the Front Range on Thursday. It’s a little early for high confidence on the holiday weekend, but it is very unlikely that there will be any significant cold front or periods of steady rain. We can’t rule out the daily occurrence of afternoon showers/thundershowers.


If you are somewhere with good star gazing over the next week, Mars appears very bright in the nighttime sky due to its relatively close proximity to Earth.

Cool, wet pattern into midweek

1:30 PM, Sunday, May 15, 2016

It sure seems to be the season of cloudy weekends. Yesterday (Saturday) there was no storm around, but the western edge of an impressively cold high pressure system in the central U.S. was able to push enough cool, moist air into the Front Range to trigger a very persistent stratus cloud cover. If you were west of the continental divide it was a different world with bright sun and valley temperatures that reached 80 in many places.


Today, Sunday, the stratus clouds have thinned a bit, but areas of showers & thundershowers are in progress in parts of Colorado due to a storm developing in the West. So any spells of sunshine should be limited, and some periods of rain are likely (or already occurring).


Monday-Wednesday: The storm system to the West will be a very slow mover, like several others this spring. So our cool, unsettled weather should continue with only limited areas of sunshine. In fact, it appears likely that the Front Range region will experience a long period of steady cold rain on Monday and/or early Tuesday.  Accumulating snow of over 6 inches is likely above 10,000 feet. Some minor accumulation may work its way down into the foothills by Tuesday morning. The lower elevations will likely stay rain Monday night, but the snow level may get really close.



Nice (but maybe not perfect) spring weekend

12:40 PM, Friday, May 13, 2016

The good news is that we are not looking at a slow moving storm for the weekend. The less good news is that it will likely be a bit cooler than today with some clouds and a small amount showers around.


At noon Friday a well-defined cold front was moving south through northeastern Colorado, so the midday temperatures are probably as warm as it will get for the next few days. No rain is expected.


Saturday and Sunday are expected to be cooler (but not much below average) with a small chance of showers or thundershowers developing in the afternoon or evening Saturday, and a slightly better chance on Sunday afternoon. There is a small chance that the cold front will trigger a period of low clouds late tonight and Saturday morning, but I think that is unlikely. If you are heading west, the cold front should have little or no effect west of the continental divide.


Right now it appears that Monday-Wednesday may bring a cool and somewhat wet period.

Weekend: cooler, and wet at times

12:35 PM, Friday, May 6, 2016

Once again a large storm system should move slowly from the West to the central Plains on the weekend. The good news: this storm is a bit farther north and so it won’t get as cold as last weekend, and the clouds and rain should not be as persistent. The bad news: there is likely to be some wet periods (especially from Denver north), and a few spots may get strong thunderstorms with hail Saturday afternoon or evening.


Timing: there is a small chance for a shower or thunderstorm this afternoon or evening, and a better chance on Saturday (mainly in the afternoon and evening). Showers and thunderstorms are a risk everywhere, but the chance for a multi-hour period of steady rain will increase as you go from Denver to Cheyenne.

Sunday should have dry periods but may very well bring another round of showers, but less chance for strong thunderstorms.


Snow: This system is warmer and snow should be mainly above 9000 feet, with some minor amounts perhaps moving down to 7000 feet with time.