Author Archives: mkelsch14

About mkelsch14

I work for the COMET Program at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. I am the NWS cooperative climate observer and the local CoCoRaHs network coordinator. I have an MS degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma, and a BS in meteorology from the State University of New York, College at Oswego.

Weekend weather update

6 AM MDT, Friday, July 23, 2021

It has been a while since I’ve posted, and that’ s because we have been in a typical (and not very interesting) July pattern with a small percentage of the Front Range receiving a late day thundershower and low elevation temperatures reaching into the 90s.

I don’t have any big changes to report, but there is a small change today and Saturday that may increase the chance for a late day thunderstorm, and the extra clouds will probably keep some portions of the Front Range a little below 90. The flash flood watch currently in the foothills is mostly to keep us aware that if a thunderstorm moves across an area recently burned by wildfire, there could be very rapid and dangerous runoff. Thunderstorms are likely to become more scarce again by Monday, along with low elevation temperatures rising back into the 90s.

You may have noticed that smoke haze from western fires is mostly gone. Don’t get too used to that. The fires are still there, it’s just that the wind direction is steering it more to the north of the Front Range region. I’m dreading its return sometime next week.

Thunderstorms, some locally heavy

1PM MDT, Thursday, July 1, 2021

There is plenty of moisture in the atmosphere today, so numerous showers and thunderstorms this afternoon means that just about everyone will hear thunder and get at least a sprinkle. A few locations are likely to experience heavy rain for an hour or two. Be alert for local flooding.

The weekend looks warm with a scattering of afternoon thunderstorms. The chance for rain is less than today, but it might still be good to have a plan B for your outdoor activity.

In the longer range, we may be heading for a hotter, drier period by the middle of next week.

Cooler, some rain likely

5 AM MDT, Thursday, June 24, 2021

A cool stretch begins today, but really kicks in tomorrow and should last through the weekend. An increased chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms will accompany the cooler weather.

Today will still be warm, but cooler than yesterday, with more clouds and thunderstorms scattered around in the afternoon and evening. Then for Friday through Sunday the afternoon, maximum temperatures could remain below 80 in the lower elevations of eastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. It is very likely that measurable rain will occur at least once at all locations this afternoon through Saturday night, and many areas could see measurable rain more than once. A few spots could even experience a strong thunderstorm.

Although western Colorado won’t cool off as much, less hot weather and small chance for thunderstorms will occur there as well.

Brief cool spell Sunday night through Tuesday morning

9 AM, Saturday, June 19, 2021

As the Little River Band once sang, “time for a cool change.” That change is coming, but it won’t last long.

Today is likely to be another hot day (but not record hot) with a considerable amount of clouds around and some locations getting an afternoon thunderstorm. Sunday will be warm at first, but the cold front may move into southeastern Wyoming and northern Colorado before evening, and then south through eastern Colorado during the evening. There may be a few thunderstorms around during the afternoon, and then a period of low clouds and some areas of drizzle or light rain Sunday night or early Monday. Monday’s high temperatures in the lower elevation may struggle to reach 75. But drier and hotter weather should be back by midweek.

The solstice occurs Sunday, June 20th, at 9:32 PM MDT. That will be just in time for the start of our 36-hour cool spell.

Western Colorado, where the drought persists, will not see much cooler weather or rain from this cold front.

Record heat today; a little less hot by weekend

6:10 AM MDT, Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The heat wave will continue across the Front Range today and tomorrow. There will probably be some clouds that briefly interrupt the temperature rise, but high temperatures in the low elevations are still likely to be upper 90s to around 100. The record highs today and tomorrow in Denver are 96 and 98, and in Boulder they are 94 and 98.

Less hot weather (but still quite warm) is coming up this weekend with a small chance for afternoon thunderstorms. It looks like there will be a real cold front late Sunday, so Monday might actually be noticeably cooler. But at this point it appears that very warm or hot weather will return after Monday.

Cooler Friday; generally hot and dry into next week

1:15 PM MDT, Thursday June 10, 2021

A cold front tonight will make Friday cooler, but still warm. No rain is expected. And then we are in for a stretch of generally hot and dry weather. Look for around 90 in the lower elevations this weekend, and well into the 90s by early next week.

It is not unusual for late June and early July to bring a prolonged period of hot, dry weather, but it seemed to kick in a bit earlier that average this year. This is particularly bad news west of the continental divide where they did not benefit from a wet May like eastern Colorado did. And remember that some of the Front Range water comes from the West Slope. As you go west down the Colorado River, snowmelt contribution to Lake Powell (Utah) is forecast to be only 25% of average this snowmelt season.

Enjoy the weekend, and bring your sunscreen along when you go out.

Wetter and colder by Sunday

10 AM MDT, Saturday, May 29, 2021

Hopefully you are not reading this blog right when it publishes, but instead you are enjoying the beautiful Saturday morning, which may be the nicest weather of the weekend. A cold front has moved through the Front Range region this morning and temperatures should level out or even begin to fall during this afternoon. Moist air behind the front will lead to showers and thunderstorms later this afternoon and evening.

A storm moving through the Central Rockies late tonight through Sunday night will cause upslope (easterly) flow along the Front Range. The result will be a generally cloudy and cool period with at least one multi-hour period of steady rain or drizzle (wet snow above treeline). Temperatures on Sunday may struggle to reach 60 even in the lower elevations. Monday will probably see some breaks in the overcast after some low clouds and fog in the morning, and maybe some showers redeveloping in the afternoon.

Because precipitation will be rain in the foothills, be alert around recent burn scars for muddy water or rocks flowing onto the road during periods of heavier rain.

Cooler/wetter during holiday weekend

5:30 AM MDT, Friday, May 28, 2021

After a warm-than-average and dry Friday, the weekend will trend cooler and wetter, with that trend most obvious on Sunday.

The trend toward less warm will begin on Saturday accompanied by a chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Sunday and Monday are likely to be cooler than average (no warmer than the 60s in the low elevations) with a good chance for afternoon and evening rain. In fact, Sunday could end up being a mainly cloudy and damp day.

The chance for rain on the West Slope is not a great, but even there some late day thunderstorms are likely to be scattered around.

Afternoon-evening showers and thunderstorms this weekend

12:15 PM MDT, Friday, May 14, 2021

We are in a pattern with a higher-than-average amount of atmospheric moisture over the Front Range region, but without an organized storm system, at least through the first half weekend. The result for today, Saturday, and Sunday is generally party sunny and dry mornings to early afternoons (except for some localized fog or low clouds in the early morning), and then a scattering of showers and thunderstorms from mid afternoon through early evening. Not every location will get wet each day, but by Sunday night most places will probably see rain at least once.

By the end of the weekend there may be an organized, slow-moving storm system moving into the Front Range region that taps the moisture and leads to a more steady period of clouds and rain late on Sunday and/or on Monday. It’s not looking to be cold enough for snow except the higher elevations (above Nederland and Estes).

Rain and snow Monday-Tuesday

12:30 PM MDT, Sunday, May 9, 2021

The moist, cooler-than-average weather is likely to hang on until Wednesday, and it is likely to get wetter (and snowier) before it dries out. It looks like late Monday and Monday night may be the wettest period, and the period when the snow works its way to the lower elevations.

For today and part of Monday, expect cool weather with occasional breaks in the overcast, but also with some showers of thundershowers (rain below 6500 feet, snow above 8000 feet, and a mix between).

Late Monday afternoon into early Tuesday morning is when we may see some steady precipitation with the snow level lowering. Right now it looks like we should see 6-12 inches in areas above 7500 feet, and a highly variable 2-8 inches from 6000-7500 feet. In the lower elevations it looks like there will be enough snow after that changeover so that many areas will get 1-3 inches on vegetation, cars, and picnic tables.

There may be additional showers along with some periods of sun Tuesday and Wednesday, rain in the lower elevations. Warm weather is expected to return Thursday.