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Chinook

Mountain West Discussion

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Denver hit record highs of 93 on Monday and Tuesday. Fort Collins hit record highs the last two days, Tuesday and Wedesday. It was 92 both times for Fort Collins. Fort Collins tied a record high of 92 set on 9/11/1895. Who ever said the 1890's weren't warm??  Today, my car said it was 97 at 445 PM. Gee!  I believe I may be seeing a cloud that's a smoke plume from near Rabbit Ears Pass. It shows up on satellite imagery. The smoke was over the Mummy Range, and the color looked a bit weird. I think NWS Boulder posted a tweet that said (at least) one smaller fire flared up yesterday.

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Some of my analogs have late season East Pacific hurricanes moving up from the Gulf of California in late Sept / Oct. I suspect that will be a key feature in breaking the heat in our area of the world this month. We only hit 90F today officially once again. Have not been above 90F since August. With the warm up lately, I think we're only 0.3F or so below the Sept 1-13 average here for 1981-2010. Next week looks somewhat promising for rain too, which should lower temps again.

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Denver tied a record high with 96, with a low of 64. Average high and low are 80 and 49. That makes it 15 degrees above normal for the day. The winds have been keeping Denver warmer at night.

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It's now been 30 days since there was a day with 0.1" or greater at DEN; total rain over that period has been 0.17". Even for a cactus, that's dry. They say Florence is big; perhaps if it keeps growing it will help us.

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Denver tied a record high with 92 today. High 92, low 60 puts Denver at +12 degrees for the day. Fort Collins had 93/51 on Thursday (yesterday), which was not a record for that date. So, basically, we have had 4 to 6 days of 90 degrees, going back to Sunday. Lows in the low 50s are close to normal though.

 Fort Collins has had 0.01" of rain since August 19th, but my place has had 0.15" since August 19th. In general, this area may finish the month of September with 0.10" of rain or something like that. I am not sure what will happen with future cold fronts, but certainly not much will happen soon. August + September rainfall could be quite low, and the US Drought Monitor will likely expand the D0 coverage in Colorado soon.

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Until/unless Nino 1.2 is warm relative to Nino 3.4, most of the west will stay dry. Nino 1.2 coolness has moved to Nino 3.4, so there might be some kind of pattern shift coming. Nino 1.2 has been colder than 3.4 almost uninterrupted since Oct 2017 and it has been dry for most of that period in the entire West.

If the El Nino does develop this winter as a Modoki with a fairly cold Atlantic, the storm track will be pretty far South at times, so I actually think Denver and even Northern NM and will be near average to somewhat dry, trending to wet by El Paso. I'm expecting +0% by the NM/CO border, -20% by the CO/WY border, and +50% by the NM/MX border for precipitation anomalies in DJF. In the NW, locally anomalies will be up to -40%. Areas near Guadalajara had snow in March 2016, and you had Goliath bringing MX/NM/TX their greatest snow amounts since the 1950s - that isn't really El Nino driven, its AMO driven. The AMO briefly went negative at times in 2014-15 and 2015-16. El Nino is like a hose shooting water at the West, and the AMO controls how the hose is aimed, with the PDO controlling the amount of water coming out of it.

 

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On 9/15/2018 at 11:25 PM, raindancewx said:

Until/unless Nino 1.2 is warm relative to Nino 3.4, most of the west will stay dry. Nino 1.2 coolness has moved to Nino 3.4, so there might be some kind of pattern shift coming. Nino 1.2 has been colder than 3.4 almost uninterrupted since Oct 2017 and it has been dry for most of that period in the entire West.

If the El Nino does develop this winter as a Modoki with a fairly cold Atlantic, the storm track will be pretty far South at times, so I actually think Denver and even Northern NM and will be near average to somewhat dry, trending to wet by El Paso. I'm expecting +0% by the NM/CO border, -20% by the CO/WY border, and +50% by the NM/MX border for precipitation anomalies in DJF. In the NW, locally anomalies will be up to -40%. Areas near Guadalajara had snow in March 2016, and you had Goliath bringing MX/NM/TX their greatest snow amounts since the 1950s - that isn't really El Nino driven, its AMO driven. The AMO briefly went negative at times in 2014-15 and 2015-16. El Nino is like a hose shooting water at the West, and the AMO controls how the hose is aimed, with the PDO controlling the amount of water coming out of it.

If what you are projecting this winter pans out, I would say the northern front range and northern CO mountains are screwed.  However, too early to throw in the towel now as El Nino hasn't even developed yet, and may not even.  The 2009/2010 fall/winter featured a Modoki and was a great snow year for us in Fort Collins.  Sometimes I'm not even sure what pattern to root for any more - just let me know and I'll pray for that :raining:

 

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On 9/15/2018 at 8:04 PM, Chinook said:

Denver (KDEN) reached 94° at 2:25 pm MDT this afternoon breaking the record high of 92° set in 2000.

These temperatures in September are just stupid ridiculous, and seemingly don't bode well for the fall/winter ahead.  Very similar to last year at this time (even worse for dryness this year), and we all know how last winter turned out.  :weep:

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We're going to get a widespread rain event in NM this week. That is usually a good sign that the super highs of the Summer are starting to weaken. The 3 km-NAM is pretty aggressive, but I find it is good within 60 hours here -

DnVUeciVsAAm9rm.jpg:large

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Our Front Range area got some varying amounts of rain and thunder from this organized line of storms on Wednesday evening. Phoenix, Tucson, and SW New Mexico also got rain on Wednesday

HZPpJKF.png

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Yeah, we got a sudden 0.5" from that line. A lot of it ran off because it was so heavy and fell in less than an hour. Need some less sudden rain. This morning, it's smoky and my eyes itch. No local fires I can see, must be from the Silver Creek fire and an overnight inversion.

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I went out to Twin Sisters mountain in Estes last weekend. I took this picture at 10000 ft with a few yellow aspens and up to 75 degree temperatures

gPJOj54.jpg

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It is finally cooling off. I've been pretty impressed with the steadiness of the heat this year, hardly any very hot days (never topped 100F), but three 100F days...but a total of 81 days when we hit 90F or more. 1994 had 88 days hit 90F here, have been using that as an analog. Mean is 64. Record is 92 or so. 

Only 80F or so the past few days.

Probably not a great sign for Denver's winter that the September 1-23 high (86.4F) is hotter than what Albuquerque is at for the month (85.3F). This September looks like 2002 east of the Rockies, but the West looks very different for temperatures.

Dew points have crashed into the 20s here - haven't had that in a while. Should cool off pretty nicely tonight. Those low dew points mean the monsoon is about over.

Last year...it rained very heavily the last few days of September, then a tiny bit in October. Then it stopped. No rain or snow from mid October to mid-January last year. Then we had real precipitation in late February. Can't imagine anything like that this year.

 

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"Probably not a great sign for Denver's winter that the September 1-23 high (86.4F) is hotter than what Albuquerque is at for the month (85.3F). This September looks like 2002 east of the Rockies, but the West looks very different for temperatures."

In general I'd have to agree not a great sign for Denver's upcoming winter (and for the entire CO front range, for that matter).  When Denver starts getting hotter that ABQ you really have to start wondering.  Also consider that Denver has not had even a trace of snow in September since 2000 - that's quite a stretch.  It does not even seem feasible to think of snow in Sept. any more (heck I just hope to stay out of 90 degree temps in Sept. and even that is a stretch). 

I have to admit I'm an old die-hard that has lived in CO since the early 1960's.  Many people I talk to in CO these days prefer to have little if any snow.  I guess they haven't really learned where our water actually comes from :huh:

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20 hours ago, Chinook said:

I went out to Twin Sisters mountain in Estes last weekend. I took this picture at 10000 ft with a few yellow aspens and up to 75 degree temperatures

gPJOj54.jpg

Nice.  I actually did the same thing exactly one year ago.  Quite a beautiful hike this time of year.

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On 9/23/2018 at 5:55 PM, raindancewx said:

It is finally cooling off. I've been pretty impressed with the steadiness of the heat this year, hardly any very hot days (never topped 100F), but three 100F days...but a total of 81 days when we hit 90F or more. 1994 had 88 days hit 90F here, have been using that as an analog. Mean is 64. Record is 92 or so. 

Only 80F or so the past few days.

Probably not a great sign for Denver's winter that the September 1-23 high (86.4F) is hotter than what Albuquerque is at for the month (85.3F). This September looks like 2002 east of the Rockies, but the West looks very different for temperatures.

Dew points have crashed into the 20s here - haven't had that in a while. Should cool off pretty nicely tonight. Those low dew points mean the monsoon is about over.

Last year...it rained very heavily the last few days of September, then a tiny bit in October. Then it stopped. No rain or snow from mid October to mid-January last year. Then we had real precipitation in late February. Can't imagine anything like that this year.

 

Is your prediction about Denver’s winter just based on your gut sense or instead based on an actual correlation between Albuquerque vs Denver temps in September and Denver winter precipitation and/or temps? I live close to Denver and am not enthused by how warm the past few weeks have been but am unaware of evidence showing that this merits hitting the panic button. Denver has had plenty of snowy winters after snowless Septembers: http://www.thorntonweather.com/noaa/snow.php

 

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I haven't really looked at a specific relationship. I think CO will be fairly warm and dry though - a lot of storms are going to be suppressed pretty far south this winter I think.

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Okay. Thanks. Are you planning to put out a winter forecast that includes analysis? I ask in part out of sheer curiosity and in part because some of the analog years you and others have thrown around were pretty good snow years for Denver and, more generally, Denver has had some pretty snowy weak Nino winters (Nina generally worries me more in the front range).

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On 9/24/2018 at 9:47 AM, finnster said:

I have to admit I'm an old die-hard that has lived in CO since the early 1960's.  Many people I talk to in CO these days prefer to have little if any snow.  I guess they haven't really learned where our water actually comes from :huh:

New Englander myself. Can't fathom why people would not like snow. They should have stayed in [fill in Southern or Southwestern state name here]. They complain when their tires spin. The rest of us just put on the snow tires. Easy.

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Rockies got a bit closer to making the playoffs by beating up on the Phillies.  Denver doesn't have playoff chances in -most- Septembers.

MxP9s3u.jpg

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6 hours ago, Chinook said:

Phoenix hurricane??

BcCOndQ.png

 

On 9/13/2018 at 6:06 PM, raindancewx said:

Some of my analogs have late season East Pacific hurricanes moving up from the Gulf of California in late Sept / Oct. I suspect that will be a key feature in breaking the heat in our area of the world this month. We only hit 90F today officially once again. Have not been above 90F since August. With the warm up lately, I think we're only 0.3F or so below the Sept 1-13 average here for 1981-2010. Next week looks somewhat promising for rain too, which should lower temps again.

Yay. I hope we get so much rain we show up on those "area x had 300 trillion gallons of water" bs lists that are all the rage.

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There have been few days that have featured interesting or unusual weather recently. Probably the most unusual thing in the past 2 months was the heavy smoke of Aug 20-25th, if I remember correctly. Otherwise, we had a streak of above normal temperatures in the area from about September 8th-24th, depending on reporting station. Rain has not been too much to talk about for my area.

 Today, a cold front finally made it cold. The clouds were very low today, and the temperature was about 48 degrees before noon, and we had drizzle and lower 40's in the afternoon. I wasn't expecting the drizzle. Yesterday's NAM model did in fact say it would be 43 degrees at 3:00PM and it was right. We had the coolest mid-day temperatures since April.

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Interesting question. Now that Hurricane Rosa is forecast to be in Arizona as a post-tropical low on Day 5, the confidence for heavy rain in Arizona is getting much higher. I wonder if Yuma to Las Vegas (Colorado Valley) will get more rain from this storm than they got over the entire July-August time period (main monsoon season.... maybe?) That also might happen with part of the Arizona high mountains. It seems that the GFS and Euro show some rainfall getting into Utah and southwestern Colorado. How much more beneficial rain might happen in UT, CO, and NM with the former hurricane or perhaps a second mid-latitude low pressure in the 5-7 day time period?

 

a4wGwFi.png

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