I’m very excited to report that my outdoor June wedding in Denver went off without a hitch! Well, we got hitched but it didn’t rain! It was the one day without rain at 3 p.m. so I got lucky.
Hope y’all have been enjoying the rain and storms. The amount of hail and flooding and the consistency of the storms has been very impressive. The quick break we’ve had has been nice. These Colorado bluebird days have been missed! This wet pattern began in May and really hasn’t shut off. We just had a stretch of dry days but storms are back in the forecast. More on that to come.
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Speaking of heat, or lack thereof, it’s been a pretty mellow start to our hot season. Denver hit 80º on Sunday, June 18 and it was the first 80º reading this June. We’ve never gone the first half of June without hitting 80º, ever.
For rainfall, since May 1, Denver has seen 8.87″ of rain. Mind you, Denver typically gets about 14.5″ of rain ANNUALLY.
I bet all your yards look great! Mine sure does.
After our first widespread high 80s and low 90s of the season, we’ll cool off briefly into the 70s and watch severe storms erupt across our area once again. This weekend is looking hot and mostly dry.
Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon is when I’m thinking the best chances of storms will occur. Wednesday’s forecast is a bit more uncertain and Thursday’s forecast seems more reasonable at this time.
For Wednesday, there are two scenarios that could play out. Regardless, the threat of severe weather is area-wide Wednesday afternoon.
The highest threat will be across the eastern plains but even the I-25 corridor is included.
For there to be severe weather across our area, a few ingredients have to come together.
– Atmospheric Energy
On Wednesday, highs will be in the mid to upper 80s. Atmospheric energy is measured in joules and basically, anything over 1000 j/kg is enough to produce thunderstorms. We’ll have about 1500-2500 j/kg over our area on Wednesday leading to strong thunderstorms and updrafts creating large hail. The wind way up above us is important too. If it’s moving relatively quickly, it actually helps to ventilate storms and cycles the air. We will have about 20-40 kt wind shear and usually 15-20 does the trick. And you can’t get rain storms without water. Coloradans get excited when dewpoints reach the upper 40s and thrilled when they get into the 50s. Dewpoints Wednesday will be in the 50s and 60s.
So, needless to say, Wednesday’s setup looks good.
However, there are two scenarios that could happen. One producing more widespread strong storms and the other not. It’s all a bit dependent on a cool front that will trigger the storms and the timing of that front. For the atmosphere to really ripen, it needs time. The longer the sun is out and the more juice we have to work with. Storms will pop over the Foothills. If these storms get rowdy early in the day, they may produce outflow boundaries and stabilize the atmosphere = fewer big storms. If these storms stay tame, once the cold front moves through, it’ll have a lot of energy to work with and will produce a line of widespread strong storms with very large hail. This threat includes all of the I-25 corridor.
Here’s what the radar could look like Wednesday to Thursday afternoon.
All of this is a long-winded way to say, try to park under cover on Wednesday. We could even be looking at a few nocturnal storms. Here is today’s hail chance.
Maybe Thursday too if you can swing it. The chance of severe storms Thursday has increased.
We keep cloud cover into Thursday but some energy remains. Depending on if it clears out Thursday morning or not, we may see another round of strong storms develop using leftover energy. If it stays cloudy, we’ll likely still get rain but it may be more of a showery rain than an angry thunderstorm.
Friday looks to be relatively dry but a couple of isolated storms may pop.
Future rainfall looks primarily over the NE Plains. Southern and Western Colorado will largely miss this exciting action.
Temperatures will go down and up with no major hot days in the near future.
However, longer terms models are suggestion some of that Texas-sized heat squeezing into our area.
Weather News to Note
Major heatwave. The southern plains are BAKING in a record-breaking heatwave with no major changes coming.
Mean while the Great Basin to our west is shivering in cold temps.
Colorado is smack dab in the middle of these two features (hence why there’s so much energy around).
Tropics have woken up.
We have a tropical storm which is soon to be a hurricane headed into the Caribbean and a tropical wave likely to become a storm. The latter is likely to curve out to sea.
ENSO | We’re definitely in an El Niño now
El Niño conditions are likely to stay put through the end of the year. I’ll have much more on ENSO and what to expect in a future blog. But, some of what we’re experiencing this spring is in response to the quickly strengthening El Niño