Somethings Are Catching My Eyes

Saturday 4/10/21 10:45

Two weeks ago was my last post. I said as things catch my eyes I will post. As is more often the case than not, this shoulder season has brought a lot of boring weather.

The last few days I have been seeing signs of a pattern change starting early this week which could bring a better chance of precipitation for the state in form of mountain snow and lower and mid-elevation rain.

A series of systems will start to cross the Northern Rockies beginning tomorrow. Initially, the biggest factor will be wind. As the northern jet starts to drop back south, the pressure gradient tightens and our winds increase. When you look at a surface map from a weather model you can “see” the wind, long before it arrives.

Below is the Euro’s forecast for precipitation type and “thickness”–which is basically an indication of air pressure in the atmosphere. The squiggly red and blue lines on the map show the tightening pressure gradient. The closer the lines are together, the windier it will be. I circled the compression area in yellow.

Also, the lower the number associated with the lines, the colder the air. That blue 540 line indicates snow reaching the ground at 5,000′ elevation.

With that in mind, I will put the maps in motion to see what is ahead for us, at least according to the Euro model.

This is the period beginning  Monday morning 4/12  through Monday, April 19th.

Here is what the Euro show for precipitation totals during the same period.




And here is the snow before melting.

So there may be some issues with mountain travel during the period. The other models are slowly evolving into this pattern change. At the moment, it looks like the first bout of precipitation will enter the forecast sometime on Tuesday.

At this point, any precipitation is going to be great. Everything I am reading and following shows below-average precipitation from April through June. But the good news is that nearly there is widespread agreement that the monsoon will make a return this year and lead to normal to slightly above normal precipitation this summer!

I got a number of emails asking whether or not I was going to do another contest and drawing this year.  Why not? Tomorrow I will unveil all the details but it will be similar to last year. I am planning on drawing the Wednesday before Memorial Day. I am also planning on the same prize structure with $250, $150, and $100. Donors who are on a monthly plan are already entered. Vendors if you want to contribute gift cards/certificates or merchandise, email me and I will add them to the prize list.

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