Typical late summer weather, eclipse outlook

1:00 PM, Friday, August 11, 2017

A small trend toward warmer/drier

It was quite a cool week, but not one that was record setting. The risk of afternoon showers and thunderstorms won’t go away this weekend, but it’s a slightly smaller chance. Daytime temperatures are likely to rise into the low 80s (average this time of year for Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins is 84-85, and a couple degrees warmer at DIA).  There is indication that next week will be fairly warm and mostly dry.


Will clouds eclipse the eclipse?

Of course it’s much too early to forecast August 21st cloud cover in Wyoming/Nebraska. Clouds can be even more difficult to forecast than precipitation. Forecasting clouds when a big organized storm system is coming is much easier than forecasting the transitory nature of summertime cumulus and cirrus. At this point I am looking for signs that we will be in a somewhat westerly flow aloft with an atmospheric ridge in the West because that increases the chances of a relative dry continental atmosphere. Southerly flows from the Gulf of Mexico or the Southwest monsoon would increase the risk of clouds.

So the good news is that the long range model forecasts are suggesting a pattern more conducive to a dry atmosphere above the high plains and northern Rockies. But that is a 10-day forecast, so the reliability is fairly low.

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