A Look At The Week Ahead

Sunday 8/28 8:45 am

As expected, the smoke has started to drift south. This will continue throughout the day. The smoke should stay well below dangerous levels and should not affect areas south of San Miguel and Ouray counties.

For today, there is just a slight chance of afternoon showers. Mainly, from Lake City to Wolf Creek Pass. High-resolution models are showing an uptick in available moisture after 7 pm. I don’t believe that will be enough to spark and brief shower but you never know.

That uptick in moisture will survive until late morning Monday, then we will dry back out. Moisture will start to move into the forecast area very late Tuesday. Here is the progression of the moisture from 12 am Tuesday morning until  6 pm Wednesday evening as depicted by the increase in precipitable water values (PWAT).

At the moment, it looks like there will be a slight chance of isolated showers Tuesday afternoon, scattered showers and storms Wednesday, and widespread showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday. After that, the models diverge a bit.

The long-term precipitation forecast still looks very encouraging. Here are the 10-day precipitation forecasts. The majority of the rain will fall on Thursday and Friday.



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Latest Hurricane Ida Forecast

Sunday 8/29/21 5:30 am MDT

I have had to revise some of the current local data as I write this, things are changing quickly.

Ida has strengthened to a  category 4 hurricane. 150 mph winds as of 6 am CDT with a pressure of 935 MB. Further strengthening is possible and highly likely. The model consensus shows landfall south of an area near Houma.

Here is the latest satellite imagery as of 6:20 am CDT.

Some of the outer bands are getting very close. I found a station SE of New Orleans that has been reporting 89 mph winds. It is circled in red below. This was recorded at 5:45 am CDT. *Update* at 6 am CDT there have been reports of 100 mph just west of this location. Things are changing rapidly.

Here is the latest maximum wind gust forecast from 6 am CDT through Tuesday morning. It is important to note that this model showed the maximum wind gust at this time at 71 mph. The actual was 89 mph.

Here is the maximum wind gust swath through Tuesday morning.

Here is a regional view of the maximum wind forecast.

Here is the regional maximum wind gust swath.

Here is the rain forecast. This is additional rain from 7 am CDT through Wednesday morning. Most of that rain will occur over the next 24 hours.

Here is a regional view of the same.

Here is the latest storm surge forecast. I would not be surprised to see this revised in the next couple of hours.

If you have a vested interest in this dangerous storm make sure you stay up to date with the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center as well as local emergency managers.

This concludes my Hurricane Ida coverage.

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Saturday Afternoon Hurricane Ida Update

8/28 Saturday 3 pm MDT

Hurricane Ida continues to grow,  deepen and intensify. According to the latest advisory (4 pm CDT) Ida is currently a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph.

The NHC forecast calls for further intensification right up to landfall as a category 4 hurricane. The Euro model is forecasting intensification up until landfall as a moderate to strong category 3 hurricane.

Tropical storm-force wind gusts will arrive on the southern portions of the Louisiana coast between 8 and 9 pm CDT this evening. They will continue through the night until the hurricane-force wind gusts arrive around daybreak.

Here is how that looks. Here are the maximum gusts starting at  9 pm this evening through Tuesday at 7 am.

Here is a static image of the swath of maximum wind gusts.

Here is a regional view of the same.

Here is the regional view of the swath.

Here are the forecasted precipitation totals.

Here is a regional view of the same.

If you have a vested interest in this storm make sure you stay up to date with the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center as well as local emergency managers.

My next Hurricane update will be sometime between 2 and 6 am Sunday morning (depending on when I wake up).  Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Saturday Local Forecast-Next Week Still Looks Good

Saturday 8/28 8:45 am

Slightly drier air is in place this morning. The CAPE forecast shows less available energy for storm development today. Conditions were a little better yesterday, but not that great. Despite all of that a very thin line of localized thunderstorms moved across the Durango area. Here was the radar as the storm moved through.

I got reports of up to 0.38″ from this sneaky localized storm. You just never know.

As I said conditions are less favorable for storm development today. But after yesterday, I can’t rule anything out.

I mentioned the smoke concerns yesterday. It appears the majority of the forecast area will miss out on the smoke. Later today the smoke will drift south. The heaviest smoke will be from Montrose to the north. The smoke will be less for the southern portions of the forecast area, and should not reach dangerous levels in those locations. Here is the 48 smoke forecast.

Next week still looks interesting with all of the global models showing remnants of Hurricane Nora drifting into our area. The pattern will change right before the arrival of the moisture when the high-pressure ridge slides east over the divide. This will pave the way for the moisture to stream into the region. There is some indication from the models that the pattern will remain in place for a few days afterward. There should be enough moisture left to recycle several days of thunderstorms.

Here are the models’ precipitation forecasts for the next 10 days. There should be very little if any accumulation before Tuesday with the majority falling late Wednesday through Friday afternoon.




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Hurricane Ida Saturday Early Update

Saturday 8/28 4 am (MDT)

My next local ( SW Colorado) forecast update will be around 9 am this morning.

Hurricane Ida strengthened yesterday afternoon and is currently north of Cuba with winds at approximately 70 knots (80 mph).


The models continue to show rapid intensification and strengthening to a moderate category 3 hurricane (952 mb).

The global and hurricane models differ slightly with the path of the hurricane. But most models are showing the worst wind and rain west of New Orleans. In some respect, this is good but, the greatest surge is usually northeast of the landfall so that is a big concern.

Here is the latest guidance for the track of Ida.

And here is the European model member’s guidance.

It is important to note that with major hurricanes landfall does not reflect when the dangerous winds begin. Dangerous conditions can occur long before that. That will be the case with Ida.

Tropical storm conditions will develop along the eastern coast of Louisiana by 9 pm this evening. Hurricane conditions will develop about 12 hours later by mid to late Sunday morning.

Here are the maximum wind gusts starting this evening through Monday at 1 pm.

Here is a more regional view beginning this evening and extending through Tuesday at 7 am.

Here is the area depicted in this model run showing the most damaging winds.

Here is the maximum wind gust swath.

Here is a regional view of the same.

Here is the local precipitation forecast.

Here is the regional view of the same.

Here is the latest National Weather Service guidance on storm surge.

If you have a vested interest in this storm make sure you stay up to date with the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center as well as local emergency managers.

My next Hurricane update will be this afternoon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Friday Tropical Storm Ida Update

8/27/21 Friday 11:15 am

If you are looking for my local forecast area update, I published it at 10 am.

The information I am presenting can and most likely will change. I have found the European model to be the most accurate in its forecasts, historically that has been the case. View this information as a snapshot and one particular scenario and do not rely on it solely as your source of information. I will continue to post these updates with the latest information but stay tuned to information from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center as well.

Over the last 24 hours, Ida was named and is now strengthening. Technically, Ida is still a tropical storm, however, it should strengthen into a hurricane after midnight Saturday morning.

The models continue to suggest Ida will grow into a strong category 2 or moderate category 3 hurricane, and that it will strengthen as it comes onshore on the southern Louisiana coast.

At the moment, it appears landfall will be late Sunday night or very early Monday morning. However, tropical storm conditions could start as early as Sunday morning in the overnight hours. Hurricane conditions could start as early as noon on Sunday and could persist until 5 pm on Monday at the landfall area. If the storm tracks further west it will delay these times.

At the moment the latest European model run is sticking with a landfall just west of New Orleans. In this scenario (which at this point it is still just a scenario), the most dangerous portion of the storm, the northeast quadrant, would hit between Morgan City and the Franklin/Baldwin area along highway 90. The eye would go over Marsh Island and head towards New Iberia. Not all models agree with this track, but the European model has been historically more accurate than the other models.

The latest operational run of the European model is now saying Ida will be a  category 3 hurricane with pressure deepening to 961 mb at landfall.

Here is the latest European  51 member multi-model run. The black line in the middle of the spread is the mean location track.

If you spend some time looking at that closely, you will see there is a strong west of New Orleans bias to this run. This is what I am watching closely because a large number of the model members show a track west of the scenario I outlined above.

Here are the operational European models wind maximum winds forecast.

Here is the current precipitation forecast

This is depicting 18 inches of rain near Atchafalaya Bay with 12 to 15 inches near Morgan City.

The initial projections for storm surge are 7 to 11 feet with this storm.

My next update will be Saturday. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Local Forecast Area Update

Friday 8/27 10 am

I have decided not to combine the hurricane updates with the local weather, it is just too much content. My Hurricane Ida update should be out before noon.

Smoke from existing fires should not be an issue through Saturday night. I am closely watching Sunday and Monday. The tail end of the 48 hour run time of the smoke model shows a plume descending south towards the northern portions of our forecast area. The model only forecasts 48 hours at a time so that is the extent of my vision. I should get some clarity on that tomorrow so stay tuned.

Yesterday was more show than flow. Most of the reports were in the hundredths of an inch. The largest totals were in northern Dolores and eastern San Miguel counties and were less than 0.20″. I did get some reports of a couple of nice lightning shows last night.

For today, another chance of storms developing but they will be more isolated than yesterday. CAPE is higher, surface moisture is about the same as yesterday, ranging from 110% to 130% of normal for this time of year.

Here is the forecast for CAPE today from 9 am to midnight.

It looks like the weather will cooperate for the San Juan Brew Festival this weekend. In fact, there is very little precipitation in the forecast until next week.

Yesterday I mentioned a tropical depression had formed off the west coast of Mexico. That depression now has a name, Nora (don’t get Nora confused with Ida which I will cover in my hurricane update later this morning).  We are hoping that when Nora dies off early next week that her remnants will follow a course that takes them right over our forecast area.

The models continue to suggest that will happen. Here is the latest Euro multi-model guidance for Nora’s track.

Starting on Tuesday, here is how the operational Euro model depicts the precipitation over our area.  This is Tuesday morning through Saturday morning.

It is showing the bulk of the precipitation occurring from late Wednesday through Friday morning.

Here is how that adds up



Go (dead) Nora go!  As we get closer I will be able to incorporate additional models into that forecast.

If you are interested or have a vested interest in what will soon become Hurricane Ida. My Next update will be out before noon.

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A Chance Of Storms Here, A lot Going On Nationally

Thursday 8/26 10 am

A little better chance of storms today. While I do not expect any big precipitation totals, we may see some thunderstorms develop. The storms will favor the higher terrain, but I can’t rule out a few pop-up storms over the mid-elevation areas and even the lower elevation areas. There are a couple of weather makers to our west that are going to try to shake things up a bit.

Here is the current surface map of our region.

I circled two short wave troughs in Utah. The dashed line is what indicates it is a trough. The size of them makes them short waves. They are both entrenched in small closed areas of low pressure.  They will add some instability today and help draw in some subtropical moisture from the southwest.

We have been dry lately and it is going to be difficult to saturate the atmosphere. Precipitable water values look decent for this time of year. They will range from 120% to 140% of normal today, that is the good news. Here are those PWAT values between 9 am and midnight.

The CAPE values today are just OK. Nothing to get too excited about. Here they are from 11 am to 11 pm.

The bottom line, we are looking at a chance of isolated storms developing today. Friday will be similar to today, with maybe a little lower chances than today. Saturday should be similar to Friday. A lot will depend on today. If a few storms fire up and deliver some rain to the ground, the moisture could recycle for Friday, and so on.

If I don’t seem too disappointed, it is because I have my eyes on next week. I mentioned yesterday that we are approaching the season when we see remnants of tropical storms or depressions drift into our area. I talked about the mid-September to mid-October time frame because sometimes those remnant lows meet up with early-season cold fronts. Minus the cold front, we could see remnants drift across our area mid to late next week.

There is a storm in early development off Mexico’s southern coast. The models had been sniffing out what looked like a pattern change for the middle of next week. In my last couple of posts, I have talked about that occurring around or just after September 1 st. I now believe the models were seeing that tropical development and subsequent recurving of that storm into the Southwest. Here is the latest guidance on that.

Yes, it is a week plus out. A lot could go wrong, but it is encouraging and it will be fun to track.

Hurricane Ida?

Speaking of tropical storms, I have not had a lot of storms to track. We have yet to have a Hurricane hit the US. You may have not realized that, but so far we have only had tropical storms and tropical depressions make landfall in the US. Overall, we are well below normal for ACE index. ACE stands for Accumulated Cyclonic Energy.

It looks like that is about to change. Meet Tropical Depression 9, which may become Hurrican Ida.

TD 9 was recently upgraded from a Tropical Wave. It is currently just south of central Cuba. The recent model spread for landfall has been from Galveston to New Orleans. The landfall has been indicated between Sunday and Tuesday. I am confident that this is going to develop into a strong category 2 or weak to moderate category 3 hurricane as it makes landfall. This will be a dangerous hurricane because it could be strengthening right before it makes landfall.

As I said the models have shown this making landfall anywhere from Galveston to New Orleans over the last couple of days. For the last 24 hours or so, the models are converging on a solution that would have it making landfall west of New Orleans maintaining its strength well into Lousiana.

I want to preface this by once again saying that this path could change dramatically. I would not at all be surprised for the models to flip back to Texas, but here is where the latest operational run is showing landfall early Monday morning.

Here is a more detailed map of that affected area.

If you are new over the last couple of years and are wondering why I am covering this, it is because I have followers from Brownsville, Texas to Jacksonville, Florida. It is not unusual for me to cover what could be major landfalling hurricanes, I have been doing it for 4 years now. I will be watching this very closely and posting all weekend on it.

Locally, I would appreciate any storm reports over the next 72 hours. Thanks for following and supporting the site!


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8/25 Wednesday 1 pm

Another day of boring weather today. Smoke from existing fires will continue to be a non-issue for the next 48 hours. There will be a chance of isolated convective showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons favoring the higher elevations. I will update each morning before 9 am for the next 3 days. The short-term daily models handle afternoon convection better than the global models.

At the moment, the weather looks good for the long-overdue return of the San Juan Brewfest this weekend.

We are approaching what can be an interesting time of year (mid-September to mid-October). That is when we are most likely to see remnants of tropical depressions from the Pacific work into the mix. We can also see some of the first cold fronts of the season drop south and reposition the dominant high pressure so that it pulls the Gulf of Mexico moisture across the area.

With the lack of other weather to look at today, I had to glance at Monday night’s run of the Euro weekly. This model run is available to me Tuesday and Friday mornings. It starts getting interesting to track it this time of year. It has a warm and dry bias compared to what usually verifies.

Here is the Euro weekly 46-day snow forecast (before melting) ending October 8th.

Nice to see some blues and purples on the map.

Next Update Thursday morning, thanks for following and supporting the site!

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The Week Ahead

8/23/21 Monday 1 pm

I am sick of the boring weather we have been having the last few days. I am over summer. Meteorological fall starts in 9 days, bring it on! Early indications are September will give us above-average precipitation and near average temperatures.

Unfortunately, that starts a little over a week from now. Our best chance of precipitation this week will be Thursday. Today there will be a very slight chance of a few storms firing in the higher elevations this afternoon. At the moment, Tuesday looks dry. Wednesday there will be another chance of showers. I mentioned Thursday earlier, Friday looks like another chance of light showers. The models are largely undecided beyond Friday and into next week. There is good agreement that we will be transitioning into a wetter pattern on or around Wednesday, September 1st.

Air quality from existing fires looks very good through Wednesday morning. Next update Wednesday, thanks for following and supporting the site!

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