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Chinook

Mountain West Discussion

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On 6/12/2019 at 10:26 PM, Chinook said:

It has been above 85 degrees once this year. Meanwhile on the West Coast,

 

Craziest thing is that it's June, the water temp must be in the 50s, and Oakland Airport is in the middle of the freaking bay. I imagine that 100 feet above the surface it must have been 105+ degrees to create a surface temp that high on the ground!

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I got a video of a brief thunderstorm SE of Loveland and SW of Greeley. It was right at that time in the evening when you can easily see distant lightning bolts. I guess the lightning wanted to go down, then up.

qqukGiI.jpg

 

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Lots of scattered thunderstorms affected eastern Colorado and eastern New Mexico today, including the southeast Denver area. I heard there was a hail-soaked parking lot at NCAR (Valmont Drive, Boulder)

9RQMTi7.png

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Flying into DEN last night about 10 PM from the east, passed about 50 miles south of a cluster of severe thunderstorms over western KS that is still wreaking havoc this afternoon 400-500 miles further east. The lightning was not just continuous, but when I could count I saw between 5 and 10 strikes per second. Should have gotten a video- duh.

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I did a little bit of storm chasing after taking a picture of a towering cloud (vertical picture)

towering cloud

ydAFNPT.jpg

 

 

 

low clouds

s5NfM8l.jpg

 

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radar (6/20, severe hail in Fort Collins. Low cloud pictures above are my view of this from the south, on State Highway 392 (road to Windsor) west of I-25

 

xkz1NKm.png

 

 

 

radar from today (6/21) . A storm developed rotation and large hail southeast of Denver

 

kkiOmod.png

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4 minutes ago, Chinook said:

 

radar from today (6/21) . A storm developed rotation and large hail southeast of Denver

 

 

That got going pretty quick, in a pretty cool environment too. The north side of the Palmer Divide always seems like the hail capital of the world. Fortunately we live about 20 miles north of Castle Rock, so we miss the biggest ones.

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On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 9:07 PM, raindancewx said:

Happy late June.

D9nz0wrVAAEGQre.png:large

Being report some areas got up 2 feet of snow! Steamboat Springs et al

Question for you Folks in the Mountain West areas..

How often does snow occur this late in the year? Much less than 2 feet!

My SIL recently moved out there with Her Husband, (Denver),, they have resided here in the SENC, NOT used to weather like that, certainly not in the Summer,.. I'm certain She is lovin this..  

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Highest amount recorded was north of Kremmling at a mountain SNOTEL location with 13.3 inches. Many higher passes from I-70 north got 1-2 inches.

It's unusual but not super-rare. This late spring/summer however (so far) is the coldest and wettest in our now 10 summers here. But it's supposed to be 90 by Thursday. :)

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In New Mexico, some of the populated towns, Red River (8600 feet) and Las Vegas (7,500?) have reported accumulating snow in June on more than one occasion in the past 100 years.

Last snow is usually February-March in southern valleys in NM, March-April in northern valleys, but April/May isn't unheard of. Southern mountains last snow tends to be Apr/May, northern mountains it tends to be May/June. Late June is very rare, but it did snow a bit north of Los Alamos as recently as June 17.

D9Vy9LtWkAAloBN.png

The Taos Powderhorn site is almost melted out now, but it has had measurable snow non-stop from Halloween to now, at 11,000 feet. Our top peaks are 13,000 feet here, so presumably there is some snow to melt yet. It does seem like the very late / early snows in the West need "help" typically when they occur - either a volcanic year or a low solar year with the ENSO/PNA signals right.

 

 

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I could see some nice small lenticular clouds this morning. From the satellite image, it looks like there was a wide lenticular cloud around Boulder. The mountains look white again. Normally the satellite image would show more gray above timberline.

xgYqgRa.jpg

 

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XwvcxtG.jpg

 

 

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That's a great picture!

Today, Fort Collins was at about 90, with the CSU thermometer at 89.7 degrees, (probably 90 or 91 will go in the record book, with analog thermometer). We have had no temps at or above 89 before today. This will be the latest in the season that Fort Collins reached 89 in any of the years I have been here. In 2009, Fort Collins was 89 in May and then only got to 89 as a maximum temperature for June 2009. 

In the time period of 2007-2018, the month of June has been at least +1.0F above normal, 9 out of 12 times.

This past weekend was dreary, with a very unusual 50's and low 60's on Friday and Saturday, with some rain, and some partly cloudy skies with upper 60's on Sunday. The official high temperature was 64 on Saturday (6/22) which was the coolest June 22nd high temperature since 6/22/1948 and 6/22/1947, which had 64 and 59.

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Today, we have had dew points up to 55-60F and normal warmth. Dew points this high are indicative of mid-summer and heavy rain, maybe indicative of the SW Monsoon season. Then we have had numerous thunderstorms in Larimer and Boulder County, southern side of Denver (Littleton). My place hasn't gotten much rain yet.

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June finished with a high of 87.9F in Albuquerque, and it never topped 95F on any day of the month - which is very rare, tied for 9th lowest individual June high since 1892 I think. Historically half of our 100F readings (or hotter) happen July 4th or earlier - so looks pretty promising if we make it to 7/4 without getting to 100F as forecast. After July 8th, only 35% of years will hit 100F at any point, and then it rapidly falls off from there, to less than 10% by the end of July.

Cold Junes are substantially more likely to precede cold winters in New Mexico than average or warm Junes. That has my attention - but its still only like a 12/19 frequency relative to a 6/69 thing. Cold meaning a high 2F or more below the 100-year average. None of the El Ninos or borderline El Ninos that follow El Ninos are cold here historically - 1930, 1940, 1941, 1952, 1953, 1958, 1969, 1977, 1987, 1991, 2003, 2004, 2015. Neutrals are a different story though, and it kind of looks like we could see a Neutral, +PDO, +AMO, low solar, with a flat Modoki signature (0.0 in Nino 3, -0.2 Nino 1.2, +0.2 by the Philippines?) at the moment. 

 

 

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So- this is really cool. Since early AM it struck me that it was more humid than normal (and definitely more than predicted). Dewpoints have been in the upper 50s all along the Front Range as far south as northern CO Springs, pretty unusual. Then when the clouds broke a couple hours ago, you could see the shear- clouds close to the ground are continuing to move from NE to SW, and higher clouds are moving W to E more or less. The temp has gone up 10 degrees in the last hour and a half, with dewpoints holding steady. And they just issued a tornado watch for the foothills on north and east, as far south as CO Springs. Naked eye observations FTW. We'll see what initiates.

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Denver has had 1" hail yesterday and today, at 6pm-8pm. Right now, severe-warned hailstorms from Denver to Longmont. Yesterday I got a pic of some of the mammatus clouds at 8:30, and a video of some lightning. Storms developed in a NE-SW line near Denver yesterday, and one storm tracked straight northward to Fort Collins and Cheyenne. I only got a trace of rain, or a bit more. When the storm was gone, and the sun had set, I watched the Loveland city fireworks to the SSE. And even then, I saw distant lightning behind the fireworks. Radar showed the rain was close to Denver.

 

Edit: 

more thunder and rain within about 1 mile of downtown Loveland

 

Edit:

Tonight, the storm expanded northwards, much like last night. My place got 0.10" to 0.15" I think, with small hail. I narrowly avoided large hail again. Hail reports in Loveland and Fort Collins.

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On my white water rafting trip today, the highest peaks in Northern New Mexico still had a little bit of snow. The guides for the trip were saying the run off on the Rio Grande was the best this late in the season in over 20 years. The rapid were pretty nuts, and the water was still very cold for July.

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Hello All, I just joined, enjoying the thread.  We had 3/4" hail in Boulder, late yesterday.  I have a new car so I'm kind of anxious about taking it out ever day.  I wonder at what size does hail start to leave dents in a car?

I also have a belated anecdote about the 5/20 snowstorm.  I had planted 6 tomatoes just a couple days before.  I went out that evening to find a couple inches of wet snow accumulated on my plants, on the tomato cages and surrounding soil.  Thermometer outside kitchen window said 30*F so temperature-wise at least, it seemed like there was a chance.  But I figured, which that much snow sitting right on the plants, surely they will have suffered frostbite.  The situation seemed kind of hopeless, but just as an experiment I decided to see what I could do.  I hosed off all the snow, which took quite a while, since I tried to get it all off the ground too, and there was plenty.  Then I put a tarp over the plants.  I was really surprised to find that all 6 plants survived.  Although, they haven't grown as fast as they usually would, due to this prolonged cool spell.

Is there an explanation for our cool, wet spring/early summer?  I did not see any comments about this.

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I tend to look for extended periods of blocking / unusual patterns at the solar minimum. That seems to be what is happening, the NAO has been negative pretty consistently since May. Prior to the NAO help, you tend to have severe Oct-May periods in the SW when an El Nino follows a La Nina at the solar minimum. People dispute it, or say it is auto-correlation or whatever, but all the solar-minimum periods (<55 sunspots from July-June) featured at least one severe winter in the US for extreme cold, it's much more common statistically for the US to be cold by the minimum.

The snow also seems to be self-reinforcing for cold. The ground stays white, longer. Then wet, longer. Harder to build heat. So Albuquerque has yet to hit 96F as of July 6 (we won't on the 7th either since it rained a lot today), which has happened like seven times this late into the year since 1931, and only three times since 1950. It has snowed more or less every 10 days to three weeks in our mountains (NM) from mid-Oct to mid-June.

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19 hours ago, Bugs said:

Hello All, I just joined, enjoying the thread.  We had 3/4" hail in Boulder, late yesterday.  I have a new car so I'm kind of anxious about taking it out ever day.  I wonder at what size does hail start to leave dents in a car?

I also have a belated anecdote about the 5/20 snowstorm.  I had planted 6 tomatoes just a couple days before.  I went out that evening to find a couple inches of wet snow accumulated on my plants, on the tomato cages and surrounding soil.  Thermometer outside kitchen window said 30*F so temperature-wise at least, it seemed like there was a chance.  But I figured, which that much snow sitting right on the plants, surely they will have suffered frostbite.  The situation seemed kind of hopeless, but just as an experiment I decided to see what I could do.  I hosed off all the snow, which took quite a while, since I tried to get it all off the ground too, and there was plenty.  Then I put a tarp over the plants.  I was really surprised to find that all 6 plants survived.  Although, they haven't grown as fast as they usually would, due to this prolonged cool spell.

Is there an explanation for our cool, wet spring/early summer?  I did not see any comments about this.

Welcome!

1. In my (fortunate and unfortunate) experience, you start to worry about dents when hailstones get to 1.5" or greater. and broken windows over 2".

2. Snow fell when temps were right around 32" so it probably insulated the plants somewhat. That's good, and often happens with late Spring snowstorms- a hard freeze without snow is much more damaging.

3. El Nino and some other stuff- raindancewx and Chinook have the good info on that.

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OK, thanks for the replies.  I never heard about NAO before, starting to read about it now.  Online, I see this "blocking" phenomenon is used to explain snowy weather in the East, so I guess I can imagine that in turn "blocks" things in our region, although there are a few missing connections in my understanding as yet.

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Also I have the luxury of parking in two places at work, one in a garage but more time consuming to get in and out, and another closer to the door but outside. If the SPC has us in a slight risk or greater, it's inside for me. That's worked pretty well for the past 5 years. At home, it's inside. 6 years ago we had 2+" hail in a surprise late Sept storm and our one outside car was, shall we say, made more aerodynamic by the weather, with $6500 damage to the house.

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June 20 looking southwest. This is the same day and same time as I took the picture of the shelf cloud type thing

o8poBmh.jpg

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