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Tuesday July 29th 2014 9:47am

Summary

Heavy rain will likely fall from Tuesday evening through Wednesday from Denver north to Wyoming and there is a high chance of flooding. Other areas of Colorado will see healthy rain but lower chances of flooding. Below-average temperatures will stay with us through early August.

Details

Colorado has experienced a rather typical summer so far with about average precipitation and average temperatures. Of course some areas have been hotter / cooler / wetter / drier than others, but overall it's been a normal summer.

One part of a normal summer is an increase in moisture during July due to a change in wind patterns that pushes this moisture from the south into our state. This is called the "Monsoon".

We've seen a few good pushes of moisture and rainfall over the past weeks, but we're about to get the strongest push yet. When this next wave of moisture moves into northeast Colorado Tuesday and Wednesday, it will coincide with an area of energy that will help to lift the air, and lots of rain will likely result.

First, here's the moisture pushing into Colorado from the south.

Next, add an area of energy that will spin its wave over Colorado and help to lift the moist air and convert it to rain.  You can see the area of spin on Tuesday morning centered over central Utah, moving toward the northeast.


The result will be rain steady rain mainy areas of the state, with the potential for flooding rains over northeast Colorado, north of I-70 and along and east of the highest mountains of the divide. 

Yes, this is is the same location that the flooding occured during September 2013. The models are forecasting 2-5 inches of rain for this area during the next 36 hours. The average amount of rainfall during July for northeast Colorado is about 2 inches, so we might get 100%, 200%, or even 300% of our monthly rainfull in just a day and a half. This is why we have concerns about flooding. 

Looking ahead to early August, a cool northwest flow will keep temperatures at or below average for most of Colorado during the next 10 days. If this were winter, there would be multiple powder days over the coming week. But the best I can say about this pattern during the summer is that we won't see swealtering temperatures anytime soon and there will be chances of rain most days. Fantastico!

I'll keep an eye on the flooding potential Tuesday night through Wednesday for northeastern Colorado and update as necessary. I don't want to see flooding, but I do like to see moisture in Colorado, so this might just be a case of too much of a good thing.

JOEL GRATZ

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Monday June 23rd 2014 2:03pm

Summary

  • Showers on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
  • Dry on Thursday.
  • Another round of showers on Friday and Saturday.
  • Dry next Sunday the 29th.

Details

Subtle changes in the atmosphere can make for big changes in the weather that you see.

Late last week, my forecast for this week was for dry weather west of the divide with showers along and east of the divide. While this is still generally true, the subtle change in the atmosphere was to push more moisture into the mountains west of the divide. This is translating into some rain and lighting for the mountains west of the divide. Bad for my earlier forecast, but good for the moisture.

Here's the precipitation forecast through Wednesday, showing the heaviest rain east of the divide. Look for hail, gusty winds, and a quick tornado along and east of I-25 on Monday and Tuesday afternoon.

colorado weather

JOEL GRATZ

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Friday June 20th 2014 2:29pm

Summary

  • Mountains will be dry through next week with a low chance for a weak shower on Sunday afternoon.

  • The mountains along the divide, eastern foothills, and plains will see a weak shower on Saturday, stronger storms Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, weaker showers Wednesday, and then will be dry next Thursday and Friday.

Details

No details as the forecast is pretty easy:-) But here's a beautifual satellite image from today showing very few clouds over Colorado with the high peaks still covered in snow.

colorado snow

JOEL GRATZ

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Thursday June 19th 2014 11:50am

Summary

  • Dry Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Afternoon showers Sunday > Thursday along & east of the divide
  • Dry through next week in the mountains west of the divide

Details

Enjoy the perfect weather on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the longest day of the year!

From Sunday through Thursday, moisture will hang out over and east of the divide, so look for afternoon showers and storms each day. However, the mountains west of the divide should be dry through most of next week. The map below shows total precipitation from now through next Wednesday, with a distinct line down the middle of Colorado. Rain to the east of that line, and dry to the west.

colorado weather

The most accurate model in the world (the European) is projecting that late June and early July will feature more of the same. Generally dry and warmer over the mountains, and a bit wetter and cooler over the eastern half of Colorado (including the foothills, front range, and eastern plains).

While it would be nice to see more precipitation over the mountains, I'll take this forecast as it would mean no big heat wave for Colorado, and that's a vast improvement over the beginning of the last two summers.

JOEL GRATZ

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Wednesday June 18th 2014 10:34am

Summary:

  • 9-12 inches of snow in Utah yesterday!
  • Chilly tonight in Colorado, but not as cold as earlier forecasts.
  • Mostly dry over the mountains this weekend and next week.
  • Rain showers over the divide and east from Sunday through next Thursday.

9-12 inches of snow in Utah yesterday!

A cold storm brought snow to Utah on Tuesday, with up to 12 inches reported at Alta. And yes, turns were made (video link). Here are some before and after shots from the storm.

utah snow

Chilly tonight in Colorado, but not as cold as earlier forecasts

The brunt of the storm that hit Utah will head north to Wyoming and Montana. Colorado will cool down on Wednesday night and the mountains and plains should see some showers on Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night. However, Colorado will NOT see that much snow. The latest models have decreased the strength of the cold front, so any snow that does fall will likely be above 12,000 feet.

Mostly dry over the mountains this weekend and next week

This Thursday through most of next week should be dry over the mountains west of the divide. There could be a few showers later next week as more moisture creeps over the divide, but overall look for mostly dry conditions. This is good news for outdoor fun, but it would be nice to get more precipitation as we've recored below average precipitation during June.

Rain showers over the divide and east from Sunday through next Thursday

While the western mountains stay dry, afternoon rain showers will hit the divide and the foothills and plains east of the divide from Sunday through next Thursday. Plan your adventures for the first half of the day.

JOEL GRATZ

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