finnster

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  1. I keep telling my wife that the area just east of the Colorado Rockies (i.e. here) has become the place where good storms come to die....
  2. K I might also add: although the Dust Bowl may have jarred folks back to reality for awhile, many have since conveniently forgotten or ignore what history has taught us when there is a pile of money to be made. The amount of land being scraped for new development requiring more water is going on like there is no tomorrow. Many farmers on the plains increasingly abandon conservation practices learned after the Dust Bowl era to grow more and more row crops (eg corn for bio fuel). Even Colorado State University, who preaches about climate change and water conservation, recently sold its old football stadium site along the foothills to a developer that will build 600-700 new homes there - complete with blue grass lawns of course. Examples could go on and on. All this going on in an era of frequent droughts and decreasing precipitation and snow packs. These dry spells historically have and will continue to happen in Colorado, the difference now being millions of people live here with more and more water demands.
  3. Good post. I haven't posted here for awhile - been staying away intentionally as hoping for any storms on the front range is pretty much an exercise in futility and disappointment. I am not a native but have been here longer than most (55 years). I can say from experience that the last 3 years, and the last 2 decades in general, have not been kind to the front range - to the point that my wife and I considering moving else where. The things I've liked about the climate here are no more: heavy fall and spring snows (at least once in a while!), upslope storms, thunderstorms in summer afternoons, and more moderate temps in the summer (as noted above June is now just scorching hot - didn't used to be that way). It seems that storm tracks are to the north of CO or south, and the front range remains in no-mans land. My brother lives in Payson, AZ and called this morning saying they got 27" of snow. I am very happy to see the SW get these storms they've truly needed it. I know everything changes, nothing stays the same. For whatever reason it just seems the CO front range is bearing the brunt of the bad things about climate change, and who knows if/when that will actually turn around.
  4. Thanks for your update and good to hear your region is doing well with storms. The CO front range only manages to get wind out of these storms due to the inability to get any semblance of upslope flow. It seems the front range upslope phenomenon continues to be a casualty of climate change :-(. I had been thinking Denver and the northern front range would do well to reach 30" of snow this season. Due to the predominant split flow and lack of any strong storms in our region, I'm thinking we'd be fortunate to reach 20" this season. If/when the pattern changes more favorably, we'll probably be past the point where it is reliably cold enough for snow - but at this point I would be grateful for any form of precip....
  5. Hey good to hear that hope you get some good snow. I also hope the CO mountains get in on some snow. As far as the front range we’re likely to just get windstorms out of it. I just watered the plants in my yard today for the second time this season, and probably will have to again in a couple of weeks. Anything else I put in will be cactus and rocks ;-)
  6. Just have to stay hopeful that things will turn around. I beginning to think it won’t be this winter though. Seem to be stuck in the same pattern although it’s been good for our friend in NM ;-). Maybe spring will bring some beneficial storms to these parts.
  7. Yes, this end of year "storm" was very underwhelming for most of the front range. I just saw the official precip numbers for Dec. for Denver and Fort Collins and both came in at .03". Denver recorded less than an inch of snow. This puts Dec 2018 tied for the 4th driest Dec in Denver's recorded history - and for Fort Collins probably in the top 10 driest Decembers. IMHO, December was a fitting end to one of my least favorite years of weather on the front range, in the 55 years I've been here. Other years on that list are 1976, 2002, 2012. All had in common very little snow, heat/drought, plenty of forest fires, and lots of wind. I'm trying to stay hopeful and patient that 2019 will bring better weather patterns, or at least a sign that things will start to change for the better. Having said that, the outlook for the first part of January is not encouraging for the front range - sunny, mild, and dry. I guess if it isn't going to snow it may as well be mild and sunny....
  8. Rain dance - thanks. I’m glad to hear ABQ and much of NM are catching some storms. The way things are going ABQ will surpass Denver for snowfall this season. In fact Denver is about to have its third consecutive year (calendar) of below 30” of snow. If you look at the records all the way back to the early 1880’s this appears to be unprecedented. Even the dry periods of the 1930’s and 50’s even those years produced more snow. So yea the CO front range is hurting in a big way for snow....
  9. Snowfall, Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I like you have not been one to be too quick to attribute the downward trend of snowfall to climate change (which is really not a new term because climate is always changing). The net effect of the climate change, whatever the cause(s), is very unfavorable for the front range and other areas of the west/southwest US. The problem is compounded by the ever-increasing population in these regions. This growth will not/cannot be sustained, where will the water come from? This of course is a whole different discussion. You do mention the sea surface temperature distribution may be a culprit in our lousy weather patterns the last few years. I’m just curious about what would be a more favorable distribution to look for?
  10. Hi thanks for the reply. I agree about missing the upslope storms. They used to occur with some regularity but now are quite rare - especially the last few years. If this is a more or less a permanent feature of our front range climate I think our ‘semi-arid’ climate Is/will be considered an ‘arid’ one. That transition seems to have already started IMHO.
  11. Agreed, hugely disappointing. I think it is beyond disappointing it is alarming. Are we (the front range region) just incredibly unlucky getting storms, or has the climate changed to the point where we we’re just not going to see snow seasons of more than 30” (or years like this one that may be even much less than that)? i’m really interested in opinions of those on this on this forum that know more about the weather and climate than I... Thanks
  12. Snofan you're quite welcome, and you're absolutely right we must be thankful for the early strong snow pack in the Colorado mountains. These are just tough times for winter weather fans on the front range. I don't know how else to put it the weather in this region is just consistently boring and has been for quite some time. Beyond being boring, there are truly serious implications for water (or lack thereof) and for those who farm the high plains. The last truly big winter storm in the Fort Collins was 12 years ago, December 2006. Should never say never, but I'm feeling we won't see anything approaching that again. As I said before the big, slow-moving upslope winter storms seem to be a thing of the past. Why? Who knows.... I do know one thing: a watched pot never boils, as they say. Personally, I'm making weather sites, forums, models off limits for a while. It used to be fun but more and more just leads to frustration and disappointment. I'll remain hopeful that at some point this winter we front-rangers will actually see a good storm (6" or more would be dandy). If/when that happens you'll probably see me on this forum and jumping for joy
  13. Thanks Chinook. I don't care so much about the plains/midwest getting cold air for snow storms as I do the central Rockies and front range. Unfortunately, the trend you point out will likely also affect our neck of the woods. If it's not going to snow here it might as well be pleasantly mild - cold with no snow is not that fun, IMHO.
  14. Snowfan I do feel your pain. You've already received some good responses here. As a long time resident and snow fan in northern CO I can share a few more thoughts. Back in October I was feeling more optimistic about the front range getting at least an average snow season this year. Now not so much. The winter pattern seems to be getting established now and it has not been favorable for the front range - mainly wind and downsloping now for the past several weeks and that looks to continue. Thankfully the mountains are off to a pretty good start. You are right the past two years were very poor snow years for the front range - for Denver in particular. Their totals the past two seasons were well below 30" which is historically low - you have to go way back in the records to see anything that low. Now we're in December and denver is at about 50% of average so it seems to happening again this season (Fort Collins is fairing a bit better). One thing I have noticed increasingly is the lack of strong upslope storms that benefit the front range in particular. We just don't see those very often and that's where the front range gets its snow. With a developing El Nino this year I thought we would have seen some decent fall storms for the front range - but those have not materialized. I know winter hasn't even arrived officially, but it seems the front range doesn't do well historically with El Nino in the core winter months. We can however get some big storms in the spring months with El Nino and that's what I'm looking toward....
  15. I'm showing my age now, but I remember the 1972-73 winter in Colorado pretty well (even just getting out of high school I followed weather patterns closely). Starting later in fall 1972 there were a series of storms that formed in the southwest, and tracked northeastward hitting the central Rockies and then out into the plains/midwest. One after another. That snow season Denver recorded about 95" of snow, followed up with about 92" in 1973-74. Can you imagine what that amount of snow would do to Denver (and front range area) now with the greatly increased population and traffic? You would probably see some folks packing up and moving to warmer climes .