Thunderstorms in Northeast Colorado – May 21, 2020

May will be categorized as a slightly warmer than normal month with slightly less than normal precipitation for the Denver area. We have a decent chance to make up some of that lacking moisture but the chance of seeing cooler temperatures is not looking as good.

The Setup

We have a ridge of high pressure that will continue to slowly grow and trek from the Great Basin to the broad Four Corners region between now and next week. A ridge of high pressure is characterized by clearer and warmer conditions on a large scale. So what we can expect over the next several days are warmer conditions. This ridge is the culprit for the above-average temperatures we are expecting. As for the “dry” component of the ridge, that will be there but not as pronounced for our area.

Temperature Forecast through June 2

Temperatures between now and early next week will be 5-10-degrees above normal (except for Thursday). Over night lows will also stay warmer-than-normal.

Look ahead into the first half of June, above average temperatures will continue to be expected.

This map ultimately shows the warmest temperatures will be expected just off to our east but we’ll be close enough to feel those impacts. I hope you enjoy some good ole dry heat!

Thunderstorm Chances

Above normal rain chances are looking decent for central and western Colorado. That is great news for the ongoing drought they are seeing. Do an extra rain dance for them! For areas around the Denver metro, it looks like pretty normal rain chances to below normal rain chances will be with us. Although we are lacking moisture, the south and west areas of Colorado are suffering pretty badly so we can spare this round of rain for them.

Although we’ll be under a ridge of high pressure, smaller features such as terrain and wind shifts will be enough to spark some thunderstorms daily. One thing about heat is that there is energy stored in heat. That energy gets released as clouds, rain and thunderstorms when provoked. We’ll have just enough moisture under that ridge to tap into.

Ultimately, that means that thunderstorms can be expected almost daily. This is a pretty normal setup for us so just be ready for a random thunderstorm at times. Of course, those come with really heavy rain and strong winds and almost always come with at least small hail.

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