Monthly Archives: October 2016

Near Record Warmth Thursday and Friday

7:20 AM, Thursday, October 27, 2016

Warm, dry weather should continue right through the weekend. The warmest days will be today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) when we should approach and might reach record levels. The records are as follows:

 

Denver, 80 both today and Friday.

Boulder, 79 today and 80 Friday.

Colorado Springs, 79 today and 77 Friday.

 

Saturday and Sunday will probably be a little less warm but still well above the average. The average afternoon high temperature is around 60 for the lower elevation areas. It’s looking like a cool front on Monday will only make it a little cooler but with some gusty winds, so it might be a good idea to have electronic candles for the jack-o-lanterns.

 

Although the cool front on Monday might bring some light precipitation to the mountains,  it is looking likely that the Colorado Springs-Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins corridor are likely to stay dry for the rest of October. The 4-month totals (since July 1st) at the climate stations in both Denver and Boulder are showing only 1/3 of the average precipitation. And what about snow?  The Denver-Boulder area makes it to November with no measurable snow (0.1 inch) about 1 out of every 4 winter seasons. This will be the second season in a row that we make it to November in Boulder, and the 3rd consecutive season at DIA. Neither location has ever made it to the 4th week of November without the first measurable snow.

Long, dry spell continues

2:30 PM, Friday, October 21, 2016

The good news is that we are in for another nice weekend with mainly sunny skies and warm temperatures throughout Colorado. In the Denver-Boulder area the average high temperature this time of year is in the low 60s, and we will likely run nearly 15 degrees higher.

 

The not-so-good news is that we really need rain or snow, and there are no major storms on the horizon for the next week. There will likely be a cold front at midweek, but that will probably bring only a small, temporary cooling and little or no precipitation. Most locations in the Front Range region have been remarkably dry from July through now (although the Colorado Springs area had a wetter mid-summer than most).  The Boulder climate station has received less than 40% of average precipitation since July 1st. So fire danger remains with us for at least the near future.

Another brief cool down at midweek

12:45 PM, Monday, October 17, 2016

 

A cold front on Tuesday evening is likely to bring a cool day on Wednesday, just like last week. Unlike last week, Wednesday is not likely to be overcast all day and there is even less chance for rain this week. The cool down should be short. After a cold start on Thursday morning, temperatures are likely to be above average again by the end of the week. Since precipitation is likely to be light, if it occurs at all in the foothills and plains, we will still be dealing with elevated wildfire risk when warm weather returns at the end of the week. In the higher mountains there is a better chance for light snow accumulation, but nothing very big.

 

Today’s warm dry wind in and along the foothills should relax a little bit by Tuesday, but the cold front Tuesday evening may bring a renewed period of gusty northwest winds for a few hours.

Quick cold snap Wednesday

1:30 PM, Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A cold front this evening is likely to make Wednesday at least 20 degrees cooler than today. The front is already through Casper, WY at 1PM and will likely move through Cheyenne late this afternoon and down the Front Range this evening. But it won’t last long. After a frosty start on Thursday, warming weather should return for late in the week.

 

We are not likely to get any precipitation of significance with this cold front. But, the surge of cooler air does stand a good chance of triggering some low clouds Wednesday morning, and maybe a few areas of drizzle.

 

 

Prepare for widespread frost Friday morning

11:55 AM, Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Another cold front will move in from the north tonight and cool the Front Range region a bit more. So far incidents of frost and freezes have been isolated to the cold spots of the Front Range and eastern plains. A lack of clear skies and calm winds in many areas will probably prevent widespread frosts and freezes on Thursday morning. But on Friday morning the chances are better for frosts and freezes across many parts of eastern Colorado, including the Front Range region.

 

Tonight’s cold front is not very strong or moist, but it will probably be enough to trigger areas of clouds and showery precipitation in the Front Range region on Thursday. Because long-duration, steady precipitation is not expected, it should not get cold enough for snow in the lower foothills or plains. There may be a dusting in the higher foothills and mountains.

 

It appears that a nice mid-autumn weekend is shaping up. Assuming we don’t get much rain or snow Thursday, elevated fire danger may still be with us through the weekend. In Boulder the July-August-September total rainfall was a mere 2.12″, the driest for that period since the current climate station was established in 1990, and likely the driest July-August-September in at least 67 years.

Two cold fronts this week, maybe widespread frosts by Friday

12:45 PM, Monday, October 3, 2016

Cold fronts Monday night and Wednesday night will send the temperatures to autumn levels for a change. We are not expecting significant widespread precipitation to quench the extreme dryness of the Front Range, but some spotty precip is probable Wednesday night or Thursday.

 

The first front is bringing a few areas of showers to the mountains right now, but the amounts are not that great, and little or no precipitation is expected along the Front Range and northeastern plains.

 

The second cold front Wednesday night maybe associated with more north-northeast winds, so clouds and some areas of mainly light precipitation are more likely. Mountain areas will probably see some light snow accumulation. For the Front Range urban corridor the air mass could get cold enough to mix in some snow, but only if it rains long enough to help cool the lower atmosphere, and it’s not the middle of the day. Since the confidence regarding the precipitation is still low, let’s say the first small possibility of snow is Thursday, but it’s not likely.

 

By Friday morning there may be widespread frost in the lower elevations of the Front Range and northeastern Colorado. That would be pretty close to the climatological average if it happens.