Denver on a sunny late-April day

The weather has been very nice lately and it has been following what was expected this week. Monday was our warmest day of the year, so far, with a high temperature of 79º being recorded at DEN. Mainly sunny skies will continue through the week as high pressure takes hold and really begins to warm us up. But then, some rain is in the forecast for this weekend.

The current pattern bringing us warmth in the west

The above image shows the setup that is currently impacting us. We have a ridge of warmth building in the western half of the country and a trough, or cooler and wetter conditions, to the eastern half of the country. Being squeezed in the middle of these two features means that we have some windy conditions to contend with. You’ve probably noticed it’s breezy outside today and this is partly why. We had a cold front move through last night – you probably didn’t notice. All it brought was some clouds and this wind..

Continuing through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the heat will really begin to build. The all-time hottest temperature ever record in Denver during the month of April is 90º and we may hit 90º on Thursday as the heat builds. Las Vegas has been battling some all-time heat records for April as well.

Forecast through May 4

The forecast through May 4 (May the Fourth be with you) is calling for above-average temperatures both during the day and at night. The best chance we have at breaking afternoon heat records will come on Thursday and Friday. Although, Thursday is arguably the best shot as that will be the time when the ridge is strongest over us. So, cheers to record highs? Didn’t it just snow, literally like 12 days ago? (it did) 🙂

So, the heat breaks once the weekend hits. A cold front will move through and as you can see, will drop our temperatures, but not by a huge amount. Mainly, it’ll bump us back to near average. The biggest concern is the moisture that is going to be coming with this front. Not the fact that it’ll be a huge amount of rain, but with the rain, comes spring time energy. We could be talking about the first decent severe weather setup happen this week. That means, it’s time to remind you that it’s hail season.

Let’s Talk Severe Weather

Severe weather has already been occurring across the south and southeast. Between April and August we see varying degrees of severe weather. “Peak” severe season for us here in the Metro and Front Range occurs on June 10th. Check it out:

The main type of severe weather that we see here in Colorado is large hail. We’ve had some very extreme large hail events over the last few years. We also get very strong winds – like 50-60 mph commonly. Tornadoes do happen here in Colorado. They are some of the most photogenic tornadoes around due to our normally dry atmosphere. Be on the lookout for severe storms in the coming months.

Be sure to know where your tornado shelter is.
Know what to do if you’re caught out in large hail.
Understand the threats so you don’t get caught unprepared.

What Else To Know

The mountains are doing well. There is no snow expected for quite some time. Mountain locations will also see quite the warm period. That means snow melt will continue to increase and water levels in the lakes, reservoirs and rivers will continue to rise and for rivers, will continue to get faster.

Current River and Stream standings

All of the river gauges across the state are experiencing no flooding. We’ll see how that changes as more snowmelt enters them.

Lastly, May sometimes comes with a random bout of snow…I’m not saying it’s coming but I’m saying it’s possible.

Enjoy the warmth and come back for an update on the severe weather later this week.

~Rain or Shine
I’m Andy Stein

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