Model Update For Friday Storm

5/17/22 Tuesday 7:25 am
The most significant impact on our forecast area will be wind from the pressure gradient tightening as the cold front moves through Colorado Thursday night and Friday. I expect it to be cold enough to snow in the forecast area’s northern portions, mainly above 8,500 feet. Freezing temperatures may be possible Saturday morning.
It will be a completely different story east of the divide and the Front Range. On Thursday, temperatures in the Denver area will be in the upper 80s to low 90s. 24 hours later temperature will be in the 30s. The GFS is still showing a major winter storm for the Front Range foothills. The Euro is depicting a much warmer storm with lower snow totals. The Canadian shows the cold temperatures that the GFS does, but with lower snow totals.
The biggest difference between the GFS and Euro for our area is the overnight lows on Saturday.
GFS
Euro
That is a 16-degree disparity in the overnight low-temperature forecast for DRO on Saturday morning.
As I said yesterday, if you are traveling to the Front Range on Friday you should monitor the situation. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Keeping An Eye On Friday

5/16/22 Monday 7 am
On Saturday, I talked about short-term relief from the enhanced winds that we had been experiencing in April and May. Today through Wednesday you will notice an uptick in the afternoon winds as the ridge flattens and moves east of us.
There is a chance of some high elevation nuisance storms breaking out on Wednesday afternoon. By nuisance, I mean that very little precipitation will reach the ground and there is a chance of convection producing some dry thunderstorms.
By late in the day Thursday a trough of very low pressure (for this time of year) will move through the region bringing rain and snow to much of the State. Snow could fall east of the divide down to 6,500 feet or lower which would affect many of the local mountain communities close to Denver and Colorado Springs. If you are planning on traveling to the Front Range on Friday you will want to start monitoring the situation.
The GFS and European models are handling the situation a bit differently. The GFS is digging the trough deeper into the west. The European model is moving it east quicker. This is a bit of a head-scratcher because it is uncharacteristic of both models. In other words, they are behaving more like each other than themselves.
Here is the GFS starting Thursday afternoon and ending Sunday morning.
Here is the European model during the same time period.
Either way, the pressure gradient is going to get tightened and we will see enhanced winds from late Thursday through Friday. We will also see a cooldown on Friday and Saturday. The NWS seems to be choosing the Euro model more than the GFS in its automated spot forecasts.
Just a heads up, if the GFS is correct, those forecasts are way too warm and we could see below-freezing temperatures by Saturday morning. Also, these troughs are going to lead to severe weather for much of the eastern two-thirds of the United States.
I will be posting on this all week. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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A Look At The Rest Of May And Beyond

5/14/22 Saturday 6:45 am
We will see a short break from the enhanced winds we had been experiencing. Remember, there were/are two factors affecting the winds, seasonality, and the La Nina-influenced pattern. So the seasonal winds will continue given the significant temperature changes from early morning to the afternoon. I cannot promise wind-free days. What I can say is that for the next few days the northern jet is going to retreat into Canada. This will shift the storm track much further north and we won’t be affected by the tightening of the pressure gradient. Unfortunately, this is only in the short term. It looks like after Wednesday, the ridge will flatten and the jet will drop south again. This pattern will bring cooler temps and windier conditions through May 25th.
Here are the (500MB) pressure anomalies through Wednesday. You will see a ridge of the high-pressure building to our west. The warmer colors indicate the location of the high-pressure ridge.
During the last couple of frames, you see the lines flatten, this means the pattern is transitioning from a ridge to a zonal flow. Then you can see the cooler colors dropping from the north, that is the jet and storm track dropping back south.
Here are the following 7 days (Wednesday evening the 18th through Wednesday, May 25th) picking up where we left off.
This will also be reflected in the temperatures. Here are the positive temperature anomalies for week 1.
Here are the negative temperature anomalies for week 2.
Here is the 15-day snowfall forecast. Just in case you thought winter was over in Colorado.
According to the longer range and seasonal models, the below-average precipitation will continue for SW Colorado for about the next 30 days. After that, they are forecasting above-average precipitation from Mid-June through August. This forecast has not changed in the last few months.
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Thursday Pollen and Severe Weather Update

5/12/22 Thursday 10 am
Severe Weather

…THERE IS A MODERATE RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA…PARTS OF WESTERN MINNESOTA AND SOUTHEASTERN NORTH DAKOTA…

…SUMMARY…
Severe thunderstorm gusts (some near 75 mph), large hail, and a few
tornadoes are expected today over parts of the eastern Dakotas,
eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and central/southern Minnesota.

Hail

Tornadoes

Pollen Outlook

South

North

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Wind And Pollen Update

5/10/22 Tuesday 8:10 am
With pollen production decreasing I am going to start showing a wider area of coverage.
South
North
This morning, The Herald ran a story titled “Southern Colorado is being slammed by dust and wind. They’ll lessen Tuesday, but be back later this week”. This story was written by a Colorado Springs reporter. The report is accurate for Colorado Springs. For SW Colorado, not so much.
I wanted to clarify a couple of things. The wind may not be as strong as yesterday but it will still be very gusty. It won’t seem like a break. Heads up, tomorrow may be the windiest day of the week. In the story, he also referenced April and May as being two of the wettest months of the year. In Colorado Springs and the Front Range, this is true. In SW Colorado, again not so much. Here, May is the second driest month of the year, and April is the fourth driest month of the year. FYI, June is the driest, and November is the third driest.
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The Wind (In Case You Missed It)

I have had a lot of questions today about the wind. I did an extensive post on Saturday about the wind. These winds are going to be with us throughout the week. They should start to subside a bit on Thursday or Friday. They are not going to completely go away but they should slow down a bit.

Here is a link to Saturday’s post in case you missed it.

https://durangoweatherguy.com/2022/05/07/wind-wind-and-more-wind/

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Air Quality VS Air Quality

5/9/22 Monday 10:15 am

I introduced Purple Air to people during the 416 fire a few years back. I was one of the early users. Since then there are air quality monitors all over the forecast area. I wish I would have gotten commissions on the sales of those AQI monitors!

There is one problem. Most do not pick up fine dust. Fine dust is usually classified as PM 10. This means the particulate has a diameter of 10 microns or less.  Dust can be hazardous to those with respiratory issues.

According to purple air, here is the air quality across the forecast area at the moment. Anything under 100 is considered “safe”.

 

When I look at PM 10 particulate there is a different story across the south and southwest forecast area. Here is the area of concern.

In these red areas, air quality is between 100 and 200. Some members of the general public may experience health effects within 24 hours of exposure; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. To put things in perspective, during the 416 fire, Durango experienced readings over 500.

In the coming days, I will continue to monitor the situation and post when necessary.

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Saturday Severe Weather

5/7/22 Saturday 10:15 am
…SUMMARY…
Scattered severe storms capable of large hail and isolated severe
gusts are possible across western and central Nebraska, mainly this
evening and tonight. Other isolated severe storms are possible
across parts of North Dakota, north and central Texas, and the
Florida Peninsula.
Hail Outlook
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