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Colorado Daily Snow

Cooler (not cold) temperatures came earlier than expected


A cold front hit eastern and northern Colorado on Monday morning and dropped temperatures about 20 degrees compared to Sunday. Cool temperatures will stick around through Tuesday, then the middle of the week will return to warm temperatures. This cooler air will not hit most mountains, and there is no cold air or snow in sight for at least the next 10 days (through about September 4th).

Short Term Forecast

When the timing is right, this is one of my favorite weather maps.

The image below shows the temperature on Monday at 12-noon compared to 24 hours earlier on Sunday at 12-noon. The blue, green, and purple colors show places where the air is much cooler on Monday compared to Sunday.

Areas near and east of the continental divide are about 20F degrees cooler on Monday compared to Sunday. And the mountains near and north of I-70 are about 5-10 degrees cooler on Monday compared to Sunday.

The animation below shows the cold front moving from north-to-south (top-to-bottom) as it arrived on Monday morning. This map colors capture the dewpoint temperature which is a measure of the moisture in the air. It can be helpful in tracking fronts, a place where both temperature and moisture can change rapidly.

Last week, it looked like this cold front wouldn’t arrive until Tuesday night, but then the subsequent forecasts trended faster. If this were winter, I would have posted daily updates about changes in the forecast. But we were only talking about the timing of a cold front for eastern Colorado rather than powder days, so I didn't post an update. Don't worry, during the season (November – May), I am vigilant!

Monday afternoon’s temperatures are still warm over the southwest (lower left) but have dropped into the 70s over the northern and eastern parts of the state.

Aside from the temperature change (which feels LOVELY as I sit here in Boulder), there is not much weather action to talk about.

The visible satellite on Monday afternoon is showing almost no cloud cover over Colorado. What a day!

The cool air should stick around parts of Colorado through Tuesday, then temperatures will increase 10-20 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday.

Extended Forecast

Long Term Forecast

I am searching for hints of interesting weather, but I am not finding anything.

For the next 10 days (about August 26 – September 4), both the European ECMWF model and the American GFS model agree that any shots of cooler air will stay over eastern Colorado and into the northern plains.

For the next 5 days (about August 26-30), we should see mostly dry weather. After that, there could be a little more moisture which could trigger afternoon thunderstorms, but that’s too far away for us to make a big deal about right now.

OpenSummit told me it would be windy

A friend and I enjoyed a beautiful Sunday morning hike in the Indian Peaks wilderness yesterday. The night before our hike, I checked our summertime app, OpenSummit, for a forecast for the high alpine elevations and found an alert for wind.

In the image below, I first (1) noticed that the wind icon for Sunday was colored yellow. So then I tapped on the wind selector (2) and saw that the wind forecast (3) was for winds in the 20-30mph range with gusts in the 30-45+mph range.

With temperatures in the 40s to low 50s at 11,000 feet and wind gusts in the 30-45mph range, I decided that I should pack my knit hat, light gloves, and a light wind jacket. And I wore all of these items during the hike.

We had a great time out there, but if I did not know about the strong wind, I would have been uncomfortable and pretty chilly during the 2.5 hours that we were above treeline.

Check out the OpenSummit website, iOS app, and Android app.

Thanks for reading and I’ll post again just after Labor Day, unless fun weather shows up in the models before that time. I hope that you have a great holiday weekend!


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