Mike's Blog Archive -- October 2008

October 29, 2008

The quiet weather we've seen over the last few days will hang with us through the weekend with no major changes in sight. A cold front will move across the state early next week and drop temperatures into the upper 50s to low 60s for midweek. Before then, warm temperatures will remain the rule with highs remaining in the upper 60s to low 70s straight through the weekend. Sunny skies will accompany these temperatures with a few passing clouds possible each day. Hazy conditions will also hang around leading to bad air quality as there will be little to clear out the air.

Halloween will be one of the nicest we've seen in quite some time! Temperatures around trick-or-treat time will be mainly in the 50s across the area with clear skies. No need for the heavy coats or umbrellas this year!

For the Bronco game on Sunday, beautiful conditions will prevail for the game with kickoff temperatures in the 60s. It'll feel more like Miami than Denver for the game, so enjoy the beautiful conditions!

October 24-26, 2008

The swirling storm system that dropped heavy rain and a mix of sleet and snow to Nebraska and Kansas over the past few days has finally weakened and swirled on to the east. The weather pattern will be quiet and pleasant for several days over Colorado. Warmer weather is on the way for the first half of the weekend, and just a bit cooler on Sunday as a weak cold front moves through. This front will not carry much moisture with it, so there will be a slight increase in clouds, but little if any precipitation.

Looking farther ahead, the overall weather pattern will stay pretty mild and dry for the upcoming week. Another cold front will arrive by Thursday, but it does not appear to have much going for it either. Friday, the 31st, does not appear too scary. Perhaps this year, Halloween will end up being mild enough for most Trick or Treaters to actually wear their costume instead of putting it under a heavy parka!

October 22, 2008

The storm system over Kansas and Nebraska continues to strengthen and will produce up to a foot of snow over portions of northwest Kansas and southwest Nebraska. The heavier amounts will be contained over a narrow north/south line from roughly Broken Bow, Nebraska southward to near Hill City, Kansas. Areas along the eastern border may see a couple inches of snow. With the high winds, ground-blizzard conditions are possible if some snow does fall.

The winds along the front range and all over eastern Colorado will continue through the morning hours before calming down after sunrise Thursday. Overnight lows will drop into the 20s with a freeze warning in effect again overnight for all of northeast Colorado. Winds will send wind chills into the teens and maybe as low as the single digits. Dress warm if you'll be out this evening.

October 22, 2008

The strong cold front that swept across Colorado on Tuesday has brought in some chilly air for today. Highs will be about 25 degrees colder today, with readings only getting into the low 40s. A strong north to northwest wind will add an extra bite to the chill, and a few snowshowers may fall at least through the morning. The storm system is a big one now, as a strong low pressure system is winding up over central Nebraska. The center of this storm is too far away from Denver and the I-25 Corridor to bring us a major snow event, but it was a close call. If this system had developed a mere 150 to 200 miles farther to the west, we would be in the grips of a major winter storm! The fact that the storm is a bit to the east means that the moisture from this storm will stay out near the Kansas border, instead of piling up along the Front Range.

This storm will be a huge swirling whirlpool of cold wind, rain and snow for the central plains and even the extreme eastern counties of Colorado. It is as big, intense and slow moving as the low pressure system that hit at about the same time in 1997. The only difference between the windy, cold day we will have today and the huge blizzard we had in 1997 is in the location of the low. The 1997 storm was located on the eastern plains of Colorado, instead of central Nebraska. The 150 to 200 miles difference makes all the difference in the world!

We will stay windy and chilly on the backside of this storm for another 2 days. By the weekend, warmer and much more pleasant weather will return once again. Saturday should be a great day to get out to Super Science Saturday at NCAR in Boulder. All the details are available under WEATHER NEWS.

October 21, 2008

A strong cold front will sweep across Colorado today, bringing wind, thunderstorms and then snow to the state. Ahead of the front, the weather will be partly cloudy, breezy and mild through early afternoon. As the front pushes through the state, showers and thunderstorms will be developing later this afternoon, with some snow mixed in the mountains. After the cold front moves to the east, the winds will shift and blow hard from the northwest tonight. Much colder air and some snow will follow overnight. The northern mountains may pick up 3-6 inches of snow, especially on northwest facing slopes. In Denver and along the I-25 Corridor, we will have a mix of rain and snow, along with gusty northwest winds tonight. Snow accumulations should be light in the metro area.

Farther to the east, there is a chance of a significant winter storm for the far northeast plains tonight and tomorrow. Strong north winds and light to moderate snow may produce blizzard conditions near the Kansas/Nebraska border by early Wednesday. The cold front will develop into an intense low pressure system in central Nebraska. The center of the low will be too far to the east to impact the Front Range with heavy precipitation, but the extreme eastern counties may pick up several inches of snow.

The storm system will slowly move to the east, so we can expect strong winds to continue to blow around the backside of the storm through Thursday. By Friday and the weekend, the weather will calm down, clear out and warm up, making for a very pleasant weekend.

October 20, 2008

Our recent stretch of beautiful Indian Summer weather has been an absolute delight across Colorado. Four straight days in the 70s made for perfect conditions for outdoor plans. Now, a series of cold fronts will be swinging across the region and will bring a quick shift from Indian Summer to wind, cold, rain and snow. The first front actually slipped through eastern Colorado last night, bringing much cooler air, but only a touch of drizzle and fog.

The next cold front will roll across the state Tuesday afternoon. This front will be a much stronger system and will bring scattered showers and thunderstorms. Behind the front, colder air will change the showers to snow in the mountains by late Tuesday. As this front moves to the east of Colorado, a strong low pressure system will develop along the front. At the present time, it appears that this low will form far enough to the east of the state to limit the amount of rain and snow that will fall over the eastern plains. If the low pressure system develops a little farther to the west than currently expected, we could be in for a very windy and chilly day on Wednesday with rain and snow over most of the eastern plains.

Stay tuned to 7News during the next 24 hours as we watch the latest information on the development of this storm system. It appears as though it will be a near miss in terms of heavy rain or snow, but October has been a month filled with "weather adventure" in recent years, so we will keep you up to date.

After the mid-week cold snap, the weather will warm up again. Mild, dry and pleasant weather should return in time for us to have a delightful weekend.

October 15, 2008

The slow moving storm system that brought snow to the mountains, rain on the plains and cold weather across the region is finally gone. Warm weather has returned leaving us in an Indian Summer with these conditions expected to remain through the weekend.

Temperatures will warm into the 60s to near 70 through Monday before the next storm system moves in with cooler weather and a chance for showers. The mountains will also enjoy this quiet weather through the weekend before snow chances return early next week.

Be sure to check under Weather News for information about a great upcoming event. Super Science Saturday is coming up on Saturday October 25th at NCAR in Boulder. Do not miss this terrific family event - a great way for you and your kids to meet some of the top climate scientists in the world and learn more about our weather and the environment!

October 13, 2008 3:30 p.m.

One more night with lows below freezing will give way to the gradual warming trend expected to take hold for the rest of the week. Freeze warnings go into effect for the overnight with lows expected to drop into the 20s. Highs tomorrow will warm back up into the 50s and may flirt with 60 in a few areas.

While you don't need to shut off your sprinkler system during this cold snap, you may want to cover your outside pipes with a blanket to prevent freezing issues. The ground is still pretty warm beneath the surface, so most underground systems will be fine for this brief freeze. The sprinkler systems won't need any major changes until we experience a longer duration of sub-freezing temperatures. Right now, the ground is still holding the warmth under the surface and will continue to do so as our temperatures warm back up this week.

As the week goes on, temperatures will return to normal with highs bouncing up into the upper 60s to near 70s Overnight lows will remain chilly, but not freezing with lows in the mid 30s.

October 12, 2008 3:55 p.m.

We've gotten our first real taste of cool, wet fall weather this weekend. The soggy storm system will hang around for another day or so before we return to dry and sunny conditions. While most of the state was sunny this afternoon, northeast Colorado remained under a moist, easterly flow of air. This brought clouds, drizzle and fog to our area. Our mountain cameras were showing sunshine on the Continental Divide this afternoon while Denver was socked-in with clouds. Another surge of energy will pass over the area tonight and Monday, with more rain and snow possible. Around the Denver metro area, we're not expecting to see anything more than a rain/snow mix. However, the foothills and Palmer Divide locations could see one or two inches of snow. This system is due to clear out by Tuesday, with a return to sunshine and warmer temperatures.

Out on the far eastern plains, a 'Freeze Watch' is in effect for Monday night and Tuesday morning. Clouds help to hold in warmth near the surface. When skies clear at night, temperatures usually drop. That will be the case in the eastern counties by late Monday, so some frost can be expected. So why is it warmer when skies are cloudy? Bare soil warms during the day due to incoming short-wave radiation from the Sun. At night, that warmth radiates back out to space as long-wave infrared waves. Clouds, which are composed of water vapor, absorb and re-radiate the warmth back toward Earth. So, cloudy winter nights are usually a few degrees warmer than clear nights.

October weather is famous for rapid swings between sunshine and warmth, and cold snowy episodes. Our forecast for Tuesday through next weekend looks great. The days are getting noticeably shorter and the temperatures are dipping close to freezing at night. This is the time to be thinking about winterizing your sprinkler system. The cold, wet weather this weekend should serve as a reminder that 'real' winter weather is not far off. The ground is still fairly warm, so at this point it's a good idea to turn your sprinkler system off, and cover up any exposed valves. During the next week or so, you should have your system blown out so no water remains in the pipes. Take advantage of the sunny and dry weather this week to get your home and vehicle ready for the coming cold and snow season.

October 11-12, 2008

A strong low pressure system is developing over the northern Rockies and will swirl across the state this weekend. The center of the storm will likely track from near Salt Lake City to Aspen to western Nebraska over the next 48 hours. This track will keep the heaviest rain and snow north of Colorado, but we will still get some rain and snow early Sunday morning. In Wyoming, they are preparing for an early season taste of winter, with 5-10 inches of snow possible across much of the central and northern sections of the state. WINTER STORM WARNINGS cover much of Wyoming, while the central and southwestern mountains of Colorado are under a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY.

We can expect a windy and cool day Saturday, with a mix of rain and snow in the mountains and scattered showers and a few thunderstorms on the plains. Saturday night and Sunday, colder air will spill into the state, with a few inches of snow over the central and northern mountains, and a mix of rain and snow in the metro area. Sunday will be windy and cool, with scattered snow showers in the mountains and a few showers on the plains.

By Monday, very cool air will bring a freeze to most of the eastern plains in the morning, followed by a partly cloudy and cool day. The middle of next week should return to mild, but dry and quiet weather over the state. The underground sprinkler systems will be fine during this cold snap, as the soil is still warm. You might want to put a blanket over the exposed pipes on the side of the house Saturday night and Sunday night, that will take care of any concerns. Tomatoes and other tender veggies should be covered - especially Sunday night.

October 8, 2008

The string of fine fall days continues across Colorado. Lovely leaves linger in the mountains, bright blue skies and sunshine combine to make our early October weather nearly perfect. This weather pattern is about to turn a cold shoulder over the weekend as a strong storm system develops over the wester third of the nation. This storm is still forming in the eastern Pacific, so it is several days away. In advance of the storm, our weather will stay mild and pleasant through tomorrow, but the weather will begin to turn on Friday.

Showers will be developing at lower elevations Friday afternoon, while colder weather and some snow will be possible in the mountains. By Saturday, the snow will increase over the high country, with cooler weather and showers likely on the plains. Sunday will likely be the coldest and wettest day with this storm system. Heavy snow will be possible in the mountains and there is a chance of snow in Denver and across the northeast plains.

The exact track of the storm system is far from certain, so there is a chance that the center of the storm will track too far to the north to bring heavy snow to lower elevations. If the storm drops farther south and moves a little slower on Sunday, there may be enough cold air around Denver and surrounding areas to bring a few inches of snow. My advice, stay tuned to our website and to 7News for updates as the system gets closer. It is the time of year to "stand by for adventure"!

October 4, 2008

A "Winter Storm Warning" is in effect for the western mountains of Colorado starting this afternoon, as the first significant storm of the season begins to affect our weather. A sharp change is on the way for Sunday and Monday in the mountains and on the plains as a strong cold front and low pressure area move closer to us. Ahead of the system, gusty winds will kick up but temperatures will remain mild. With this type of system, we usually feel what we call "the warm before the storm". That will be the case today with winds from the southwest along the Front Range through this afternoon. Wind speeds in the 25 to 30 mph range can be expected, especially close to the foothills. These will be downsloping winds, so temperatures are forecast to remain mild through this afternoon. A few late afternoon showers or thunderstorms are also possible.

In the mountains, we're looking for snow to begin late today especially in the western mountains including Telluride and Aspen. The snow level will drop to around 9,000 feet, with 6 to 12 inches of accumulation expected by late Sunday across the higher passes. Travel will be difficult with low visibility and slick roads.

For Denver and the Front Range, expect a mild but breezy day today with a few afternoon showers or thunderstorms. Highs will top out in the upper 70s to near 80. For tonight, showers and thunderstorms are again possible with low temperatures dipping into the upper 40s. On Sunday we'll really feel the change with showers and thunderstorms a good bet by afternoon and highs only in the low to mid 60s. By Monday, a moist upslope flow will bring chilly air and showers to the area. High temperatures on Monday will only be in the 50s with a good chance of showers. Things will clear out and warm up starting Tuesday.

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