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Chinook

Mountain West Discussion

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Here is the new summer discussion thread.

Today, we have had a cold front affect the area, and CAPE is developing. The CAPE may be up to 2000 J/kg near Denver in a couple of hours. Here is the first summertime SPC mesoscale discussion for our area:

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Probability of Watch Issuance...40 percent

SUMMARY...Strong to at least isolated severe storm development appears increasingly likely through 3-4 PM MDT, with large hail the primary potential hazard. It is not yet clear that this will require a watch issuance, but trends will be monitored.

--

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Last week was mostly dreary and cold, considering that it's May.

Monday: low 47, high 67, partly cloudy, cold front in the evening dropped the temperature to 49 for the evening hours. Some rain at nighttime in Fort Collins

Tuesday: low 43, high 50, drizzle, fog, overcast

Wednesday: low 36, high 48, breezy, overcast

Thursday: low 33, high 41, some snow accumulated on rooftops/elevated surfaces in the morning. Later, some melting snowflakes (rain) and some graupel showers

Friday: low 37, high 54. overcast in the morning, but partly cloudy for the afternoon and evening.

CoCoRAHS preciptation 

Monday-Tuesday: Loveland: 0.05", Fort Collins: 0.50"
Tuesday-Wednesday: Loveland: 0.04", Fort Collins: 0.03"
Wednesday-Thursday: Loveland: 0.24", 0.8" of snow, similar in Fort Collins
Thursday-Friday: Loveland 0.19", trace of snow, graupel/snow/rain, Fort Collins, 0.30"

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3 hours ago, Chinook said:

Last week was mostly dreary and cold, considering that it's May.

 

That's what I tell people not from here... if you want gloomy weather, come the first half of May. That's about the best and only chance you'll find 3 days in a row without sun. Midwesterners may feel at home, southern Californians are ready to jump out a window. Me, I just enjoy the moisture.

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GFS is still showing a lot of snow through 5/24 for CO/NM and that is consistent with the big SOI drops of late which should put a storm in the SW.

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WPC 7-day QPF is high. The last 3 GFS runs have had over 2" in 7 days for me. This could be 20" of snow for the mountains. The GFS even shows lots of accumulating snow for Laramie at 7000 ft.

First thunder of the year today!

0Heb5jS.jpg

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Two (marginally) severe storms east of I-25 right now. CAPE is 1500 J/kg in northeast Colorado. I think something is happening on the Plains.

fJkOdXB.jpg

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Local weather office is warming about high run off on the Rio Grande into June for the Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico, highest since 2005. More snow coming this week, with rains too. Doesn't look like Albuquerque will hit 90F for at least another week. Last year first 90F was on 5/8, this year, at least two weeks later. Late May is typically when the first 90F happens - will be interesting to see if we can make it into June without reaching 90F.

The Taos Powderhorn site at 11,000 feet above sea level is still reporting 67 inches of snow on May 18th, with more coming. Elephant Butte Water Level is up 40+ feet since last October, and the Rio Grande Compact restrictions are over with the lake well over 20% of capacity now. It may get to 30-35% by mid-June, up from 3% last October.

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It is snowing heavily through much of the Denver metro area. I’m starting to wonder if there will be power outages.

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My area had rain and snow recently. this is the latest I have ever seen snow. Previous record for me was May 18, 2017 (I think.) I only saw snow in May once in Ohio or Michigan.

Loveland: 1.08" of precip, 2.4" of snow

Fort Collins: 1.13" of precip, 2.0" of snow

Look at how wet the US has been. Back in Ohio, I think they are having trouble planting the corn and other crops. 

The Sierra Nevada and Rockies just had a big snowstorm

boEx9bN.png

 

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2 hours ago, Chinook said:

My area had rain and snow recently. this is the latest I have ever seen snow. Previous record for me was May 18, 2017 (I think.) I only saw snow in May once in Ohio or Michigan.

Look at how wet the US has been. Back in Ohio, I think they are having trouble planting the corn and other crops. 

 

Yeah we got 4.5" or a bit more at 5650 feet in south metro Denver. Latest I've seen measurable snow in 50+ years, spent mostly in New England (I have seen snow squalls in July in CO and New Hampshire, but that was on hikes). I was in southwestern Ohio 3 weeks ago and they hadn't been able to plow yet because it was just too muddy.

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GFS actually still has quite a bit of snow for the high terrain of the west over the next ten days. It's not completely unheard of for snow to fall in June in New Mexico down to about 7,500 feet. Red River and Las Vegas are both populated and have had snows in June.

Yesterday was actually the latest I've seen the Sandias covered in snow since I've lived in Albuquerque.

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Scattered severe storms could affect the Front Range and plains of Colorado and Wyoming tomorrow.  2000 - 3000 J/kg of CAPE should exist with daytime heating. Dew points will be 50 degrees and above.

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One of the tornadoes in Colorado was about 1 mile south of FTG airport, that is, 1 mile or more from the radar tower. I wonder how close it got to doing damage to the radar or the hangar/terminals at FTG.  Otherwise, it seems that other tornadoes in NE Colorado had no damage to structures.

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Interesting night in Denver --- multiple post-Midnight rounds of storms that dropped up to 1.5-inch hail, accompanied by some of the more vivid lightning and loud thunder I've seen here.

Definitely not a night for sleeping!

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We'll see how 5/31 highs/lows end up, but if Albuquerque comes in colder on 5/31 than in 2015, which looks likely, since it was 88F in 2015, this is probably the coldest May for Albuquerque in like 40 years, or more, again depending on 5/31. 

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16 hours ago, raindancewx said:

We'll see how 5/31 highs/lows end up, but if Albuquerque comes in colder on 5/31 than in 2015, which looks likely, since it was 88F in 2015, this is probably the coldest May for Albuquerque in like 40 years, or more, again depending on 5/31. 

Yup, DEN looks like it will be a couple tenths either side of 51.6 for May, which would be about 5.5 degrees below normal, 7th coldest all time and coldest since 1995.  Wet too, but not in the top 20. Funny also that the coldest temp this month was 30, so not that bad for plants, just consistently cool. Cool high temps are probably the biggest story. We only got into the 80s a couple times. 

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CPC final June outlook ended up pretty similar to my Summer forecast idea for June from a few weeks ago. Taos Powderhorn still has 63 inches of snow (11,000 feet up), so will be interesting to see if it lasts into late June or July if we verify with a cold wet June as CPC expects. May marked the 8th month in a row in Albuquerque with colder highs year over year, and seven of eight dropped by 4-10F, not small amounts. I can't find any Junes in the last 120 years that are more than 18F warmer than the preceding May, so can pretty definitively rule out a very hot June for this area of the world. Expecting June to come in with a high of around 90F - about average. That will feel pretty warm if it verifies since we haven't had temperatures above 85F here yet. Latest first 86F reading since 1931 here is June 9.

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On 5/31/2019 at 2:42 PM, mayjawintastawm said:

Yup, DEN looks like it will be a couple tenths either side of 51.6 for May, which would be about 5.5 degrees below normal, 7th coldest all time and coldest since 1995.  Wet too, but not in the top 20. Funny also that the coldest temp this month was 30, so not that bad for plants, just consistently cool. Cool high temps are probably the biggest story. We only got into the 80s a couple times. 

Fort Collins was -5.9 F for the month with 2.92" of precip and 3.0" of snow. So, once again, very unusual to have so much of this year below normal. I think most days since February 1st have been below normal. My place got 2.12" of precip and 3.2" of snow. (Loveland Co-op observer had 2.69" for the month, so I may be a bit wrong on my calculation.)

Mayjawintastawm, (as of 3:16) it looks like you have now had some storms at or near your place for 3 straight days

Raindance-- did you get those hailstones in your yard??

Edit: 4:14PM - another heavy rain storm coming though Littleton

 

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I actually didn't have any hail at my place. The hail I showed was from the other side of the central mountain chain. Rarely have more than pea sized hail at my house.

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On 6/3/2019 at 3:20 PM, Chinook said:

Fort Collins was -5.9 F for the month with 2.92" of precip and 3.0" of snow. So, once again, very unusual to have so much of this year below normal. I think most days since February 1st have been below normal. My place got 2.12" of precip and 3.2" of snow. (Loveland Co-op observer had 2.69" for the month, so I may be a bit wrong on my calculation.)

Mayjawintastawm, (as of 3:16) it looks like you have now had some storms at or near your place for 3 straight days

Raindance-- did you get those hailstones in your yard??

Edit: 4:14PM - another heavy rain storm coming though Littleton

 

I just got back from a trip to the East Coast Sat-Tues. The Saturday severe thunderstorm absolutely nailed us with accumulating 1" hail. We lost 1/3 of the leaves on our trees and I picked up 4 big bags of pine needles this morning. Fortunately we have a steel roof and hail-resistant skylights, the cars were under cover, and we had procrastinated about planting the tomatoes. We did get rain the next two days too. Our yard is the muddiest it's been in June since we moved here in 2010. No need for watering for a while!

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11 hours ago, Chinook said:

Nice storm chaser pic of a lightning bolt near Fort Collins and Loveland

 

I know, the storms last evening were quite high-based so the lightning display overachieved for the amount of rain! The flashes lit things up 20-30 miles away from the actual storms.

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That particular picture was from June 5th, when it rained in Fort Collins, but not much at my house. Last night (June 6) I saw a distant storm with bright lightning within the cloud at 10:00PM, to the south. The radar said it was near the north Denver Metro, so it was farther away than I thought.

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Looking back at my winter analogs, three of the five years (1986-87, 1994-95, 2006-07) had 0-1 highs of 90F or hotter in Albuquerque through June 7th. That's dead on. Looks like we did finally hit 90F today, our latest first 90F reading since 1999 (20 years ago).

Taos Powderhorn still had 51 inches of snow this morning at 11,000 feet, so we're now retaining snow much better than the 2016-17 season, even though that season had a higher snow pack at its peak, at the highest elevations. It is an amazing turn-around from last year when all the snow was completely gone by mid-May, even at 11,000 feet. Going to go white water rafting on the Mighty Rio Grande later this month.

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Storms have blown up around Denver. There have been some hail reports near the north side of DIA. I'm sure there were a few delayed flights this afternoon.

vUnQzER.png

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It's pretty much a lock at this point that my June high in 2019 will be colder than in June 2018. So that is the 9th month in a row with colder highs year over year (Albuquerque). Virtually unprecedented in the context of the last 100 years. The hottest highs for month to month here are all East based La Ninas like 1933-34 or 2005-06, but even 1934-35 and 2006-07 has less consistent cool downs year over year.

Taos Powerhorn, at 11,000 feet still has 3+ feet of snow by the way as of 6/13. Well ahead of any year for at least the last ten. Not surprisingly, New Mexico had its best ski-visit numbers in over 20 years (since 1997-98), with 20 feet of snow from Oct-May at Taos, and an average of 185 inches at the eight ski resorts (Angel Fire, Apache, Pajarito, Red River, Sandia, Santa Fe, Sipapu, Taos). The state had over 1 million ski visits for the season.

https://snowbrains.com/stellar-snow-year-taos-best-season/

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