Hey y’all. The website is getting a bit of a redesign so excuse any weird things and let me know of anything you’d like to see available.
It was a chilly morning this morning! A lot of folks had their first freeze of the season. Some areas around Boulder hit 32º this morning but many from Denver to Boulder didn’t technically see a freeze.
Today and the rest of this week will feature a warming trend. Dry air will stay in place as a ridge of high pressure stays put. This pattern is pretty amplified (meaning it’s strong and will take a lot to change it) but something is coming down the pipeline that could switch things up. More on that in a bit.
This month has been pretty normal in terms of temperature and precip, statewide. We will quickly slide into the warm and dry category this week but hopefully we’ll be spared as the pattern changes before the months end.
Below, you’ll see a GIF of the atmospheric heights over the next week. Generally, stormier weather is associated with the blue color while calm weather is associated with the yellows/oranges.
There’s a stubborn low over the Great Lakes and Eastern US which usually means there’s a strong ridge in the Western US which is pretty clearly happening. Some areas around the Great Lakes, mostly the UP of Michigan, will be seeing its first significant snow of the season this week.
Chicago saw its first flakes of the season today. So, what about us? Well, this will be a dry week across much of Colorado. Denver’s average first snow typically comes on October 18 but that’s not happening this year. Frankly, Colorado has not seen any substantial snow of the season yet which is a bit abnormal for this time of the year. Ski areas usually are gunning to be opening by now but the wait continues. Temperatures are going to be marginal at best for ski making this week. Here’s a look at temperatures expected across Colorado.
I want to point out Berthoud Pass because this high elevation temperatures are important for snowmaking. I think it’s clear why you can’t man-make snow when temperatures are in the upper 30s to low 40s. As temperatures cool, making snow becomes easier. Snowmakers across the state look to have a Wet Bulb temperature of 25ºF to make good snow. The longer these conditions last, the better. Usually you can get a good snow base down when conditions last for longer than 36 consecutive hours. Wet Bulb Temperature is what the temperature would be with 100% humidity in the air. We’ll have sporadic snowmaking conditions this week – mainly at night.
For the rest of the state, there will be warming temperatures with the warmest temperatures Thursday and Friday. I wouldn’t count out the chance of there being a few 80º readings on the Plains.
This weekend is when things are starting to get interesting. We’re about a week out from a possible pattern shift so A LOT can and will change between now and then. There are a few outlier model runs that are showing a lot of snow and some that are showing none so those are worthless to see right now. But I will show you a peek into next week.
It looks a bit intense, but the above images are showing multiple storms or at least multiple pulses of energy moving through the Rocky Mountains next week. This is a very favorable setup for mountain snow and would start our snowpack season. This would bring generally cool and unsettled weather to much of the state as well.
The outlook for this time period looks good so the thought of next week being different than next week is aligning nicely with the Climate Prediction Center.
I’ll keep watching for any fluctuations or nuances in this storm but I think we have a good shot at seeing some good mountain snow stack up.
For the lower elevations and I-25 corridor, this pattern isn’t perfect for a big snowstorm or really precipitation in general. Western flow means winds will be downsloping off the mountains which causes warming and drying but again, any nuances in the pattern could change things up a bit.
I’m excited to be tracking a solid storm chance!