Mike's Blog Archive: April 2008

April 30, 2008 Temperatures will take-off once again across Colorado today as gusty southwest winds keep readings well above average for the last day of April. High temperatures will top out in the mid 80s over the southeast plains, with upper 70s in the Denver area. The high country will be in the 50s and 60s with gusty southwest winds and partly cloudy skies. Fire danger will again be high over much of the state today as the combination of warm air, low humidity and gusty winds bring the possibility of fast moving wildfires.

The weather will undergo a dramatic change tonight as a cold front sweeps across the state. Temperatures will take a dive and drop into the 20s in the mountains, with snow expected in the central and northern mountains. On the plains, scattered showers and even a few thunderstorms will develop with temperatures dropping into the 30s. Thursday will be much colder with highs only in the 40s in Denver and across the northeastern plains. The mountains will have windy conditions with some light to moderate snow and highs in the 30s.

Unfortunately, it does not appear that we will receive the big, soggy storm that we had been hoping for. The center of the storm system will drift across Nebraska on Thursday and that will push the heavier precipitation northward into Wyoming and the Dakotas. In Denver and along the Front Range, our winds will blow in from the northwest and that is not a good direction to deliver heavy rain or snow to the I-25 Corridor. We will get some moisture out of this big drop in temperature, and probably even see some snow, but the melted amounts will be modest, perhaps .20 to .30 inches.

The weather will stay windy and cool on Friday, with some scattered showers on the plains and a little light snow in the mountains. By Saturday and Sunday, the temperatures will rally a bit and return to the 60s on the plains, with 40s to low 50s in the high country. We will not see a return to the 70s and 80s for a while. In fact, we will watch another potential storm that could bring some good moisture to the state by late next Tuesday or Wednesday.

April 29, 2008 Warm west winds will help push temperatures up and the relative humidity down today. Highs will reach the mid 70s to low 80s at lower elevations, with upper 50s to mid 60s in the mountains. The fire danger will be high over the state, with Red Flag Warnings in effect for much of eastern Colorado and the western valleys. Be very careful with any outdoor burnable materials today and again tomorrow.

We are still keeping a close watch on a significant change in the weather that is slated for Thursday. A cold front will push through the state Wednesday night and bring much colder air into the region by Thursday morning. Temperatures will likely fall by 35 to 40 degrees from Wednesday's highs. Gusty northeast winds will whip across the plains and create a significant upslope event for Denver and surrounding areas. At the present time, we should be in for heavy snow in the mountains, east of the Divide, several inches of snow in the foothills at elevations above 6,500 feet and a cold rain and snow mix down to 5,000 feet.

The storm system will slowly spin to the east of Colorado early Friday, but we will stay in the cool northerly flow on the backside of the storm. Highs will stay in the low 50s Friday, along with chilly wind and scattered showers. By the weekend, the weather will begin to warm again, but only into the upper 50s to low 60s. The hot times of late April will not last into early May, but that is not too unusual for springtime in Colorado. Just remember, we really need to get some moisture!

April 28, 2008 The temperatures will take off and climb into the 70s today over most of the eastern plains. The mountains will also enjoy a lovely spring day with sunny skies and warm temperatures. The downside to this pleasant weather will be the gradually increasing fire danger over the state. The relative humidity will dip into the single digits and teens and the winds will become a little gusty this afternoon. The current situation is not severe, there are no Red Flag Warnings in effect, but it is still quite hazardous in terms of the risk of grass fires.

The fire danger will be even higher for Tuesday and Wednesday with stronger southwest winds, warmer temperatures and continued dry conditions. It is likely that Colorado will be placed under Red Flag Warnings for both days due to this increased risk of rapidly spreading wildfires.

There should be a dramatic shift in the weather by Thursday. A developing low pressure system will intensify over western Kansas by Noon on Thursday. This low will likely become a major spring storm for the central plains as well as eastern Colorado. The storm will help to bring a strong easterly "upslope" winds to the Front Range. Much colder temperatures and moderate to heavy precipitation will develop across the I-25 Corridor as well as the mountains and foothills east of the Continental Divide. The exact track of the storm is not yet clear, but current indications are that Colorado may finally get one of those good old soggy spring storms that have been notably absent so far in 2008.

The long range forecast for the first 10 days of May appears to hold to that same cooler and wetter trend. May is our cloudiest and wettest month of the year on average, with 2.32" of moisture. So far in 2008, the Denver Metro area is nearly 3.5 inches below normal on precipitation. We could certainly use a good stormy May to help bring that moisture figure back closer to normal as well as drop that fire danger across the plains. One other benefit of a cooler period would be to slow the rate of melting of the deep mountain snowpack. A series of cool, cloudy days may help ease the threat of snowmelt flooding.

If indeed the storm on Thursday turns into a big, chilly, wet system, there is a chance of snow in the foothills and even in Denver! Even though it will be the first day of May, it might look more like early March! Just remember the hidden benefits of the cool, wet and white weather. Until that time, enjoy the warm and pleasant weather for the next three days.

April 25-27, 2008 A cold front slipped across Colorado Thursday night and brought back some cool and crisp weather to Colorado. This front will roll on to the east of our state and help produce some severe thunderstorms in the Mississippi Valley by late Friday afternoon. Behind that front, Colorado will have a cooler and drier day, but another change in the weather will arrive for Saturday.

The next cold front will cross the state early on Saturday with more rain and cool weather expected. This next front may be cold enough to bring several inches of snow to the mountains, and a mix of rain and snow to lower elevations during the day Saturday. Outdoor plans along the Front Range will be best enjoyed with warm clothing and wet weather gear.

The second half of the weekend will be much warmer and drier! Sunny skies will return for Sunday and temperatures will jump back into the 60s for highs in the Denver area. The warming trend will continue into the new week as a mild southwesterly flow aloft develops over the southwestern U.S. Monday and Tuesday will be sunny, windy and warmer - very pleasant - but once again the fire danger will be on the rise over much of Colorado.

April 24, 2008 Wednesday was a bit of a wild day over the eastern plains as strong thunderstorms developed in the mid afternoon hours, bringing the first tornado watch and warning of 2008 to our eastern counties. There were no confirmed tornado touchdowns, but several reports of large hail came in from Kit Carson, Yuma and Prowers Counties, along with some storng straight-line winds. The storms moved quickly into Kansas and by dusk, the weather was quiet again.

A weak cold front has moved into the state this morning and will bring cooler weather and higher humidity to much of Colorado today. This will limit the fire danger and keep the risk of more severe storms down for this afternoon. There may be a few showers, but no strong thunderstorms are in the state forecast.

The weekend will be a bit of a half and half affair as another minor storm system will bring a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms on Saturday, along with cooler temperatures. By Sunday the weather will clear out and a warming trend will once again commence over Colorado.

April 23, 2008 Strong south winds will be developing across much of the state today, bringing high fire danger to most lower elevations as the humidity will be low, temperatures high and the winds will whip any fires in a hurry. A *RED FLAG WARNING* is in effect until 9 PM tonight - this means that there is the risk of fast moving wildfires over the parts of the state that have no snow cover. The Denver Metro area, eastern plains, western valleys, and the San Luis Valley are under this warning. The strong winds will subside after sunset and the humidity will increase, dropping the fire danger by mid evening.

At the same time, we will be watching the potential for severe thunderstorms to develop over the northeast quarter of the state this afternoon. There is a weak stationary front draped across the eastern plains from Weld County to Washington and Yuma Counties. On the northeast side of this front, the humidity is higher and this will likely lead to some thunderstorms popping up after 3 PM. The storms may increase to severe levels late in the day, with a chance for some golfball sized hail and strong winds. The storms will race to the east and will impact the northeast counties into the early evening. Denver and the I-25 Corridor will likely miss these storms and only see the tall clouds towering to the east.

Some cooler air will filter into Colorado on Thursday, along with a few showers. Friday will be a mild and dry day, with lighter winds and partly cloudy skies. Over the upcoming weekend, we may get another cold front sliding into the central Rockies late Saturday. Some cooler weather and a chance for more showers will hold for Sunday

April 22, 2008 Colorado will enjoy another mild, sunny and dry day today - great, but not good! Lower elevations remain way too dry over our state, keeping the risk of wildfires high again today. The combination of sunny skies, low humidity, mild temperatures and gusty afternoon winds will again create conditions in which fast moving grass fires could develop. Looking ahead to tomorrow, the winds and temperatures are going to be higher, and the humidity even lower, so fire danger will be very high for Wednesday.

This weather pattern is a bit like "cheese fries", sure they are tasty, but they are not good for you! What we need to get is a good dose of "broccoli" or "brussle sprouts" in our weather - in other words, a chilly, wet storm system that would dump an inch or two of water on the parched plains. That type of weather would be much less appealing to many, but it would be so good for us!

The chances of getting brussle sprouts over cheese fries looks to be pretty small for the next week or so. The jetstream winds, that determine the location of the storm track will continue to stay to the north and west of the state for the most part. This will keep any storm systems away from our area and that means more mild, dry and windy weather as we stay on the southern side of the storm track.

April 21, 2008 The weather over the past weekend was delightful with sunny skies and very warm temperatures! Unfortunately, what we really need is a nice, super soggy storm system. Temperatures took off into the 70s across the eastern plains, with 50s and 60s in the mountains. The high country still has a good, although softening, blanket of snow, but the lower elevations are dusty dry. Several small fires developed on Sunday over eastern Colorado as the gusty winds, low humidity and warm temperatures made for a trifecta of trouble in terms of fire danger. Fortunately, the winds laid down during the night and the fire danger has lessened.

There has been a very weak cold front that has slipped across the state, very little moisture is associated with the front, but at least temperatures will be a bit cooler today and the winds will be lighter. Isolated showers may develop across the northern quarter of Colorado this afternoon, but amounts will be very light and spotty.

The overall weather pattern is not offering much hope for significant moisture over the central Rockies this week. The upper level winds will be from the west to southwest, bringing a fairly mild and dry airmass into the region for the bulk of the week. We might see a few showers again by late Wednesday or Thursday, but the amounts will again be minor. Often times in the early spring, we get some big, deep upper level storm systems that swirl across Colorado with heavy snow and rain. So far in 2008, those big systems have been absent. The result - a continued mild and relatively dry pattern for the next couple of weeks.

The Denver area has certainly been dry since thr first of the year. To date, the Metro area hsa picked up a mere .75" of water since January 1st - that is 2.75" below normal. We have only had a half an inch of moisture since the first of March and .32" thus far in April. This time of year is often the wettest for the Front Range, so the lack of stormy weather is certainly a concern as we get deeper into spring. We are fortunate to have a deep snowpack as that will help our overall water supply, but it would be a great thing to see a nice, slow moving storm settle in for a few days - do not count on it for a while!

April 17-20, 2008 The brief blast of cold and snow will exit the state just in time to bring us a very nice weekend. The storm system did bring some very welcome moisture to the eastern plains, with many areas getting a quarter to a half inch of water out of Wednesday night's rain and snow mix. The wet and cool weather was just what we needed to help bring down the wildfire danger on the eastern plains

With the weekend upon us the temperatures will be warmer and the skies will be sunny, making for a delightful stretch of days through Sunday. Highs will bounce back into the 60s on Saturday and then jump into the low to mid 70s for Saturday and Sunday. The warm and dry weather will mean that fire danger will again increase over Colorado's lower elevations. In the mountains, the warmer temperatures will mean that the spring snowmelt will begin in earnest as the deep piles covering the peaks begins to soften and head downstream. We will have an interesting contrast over Colorado this spring as fire danger will remain high at lower elevations, while snowmelt flooding will also be a concern as the snowpack melts. For a look at the snowpack graph - try this link - ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Snow/snow/watershed/daily/basinplotstate08.gif

Early next week will bring another potential for cooler weather and rain or snow. The storm would likely arrive late Monday and bring a chance for more precipitation to the state by Tuesday and Wednesday. Stay tuned to 7News and TheDenverChannel.com for updates on how this next storm is developing.

April 17, 2008 The cold front that pushed across the state on Wednesday brought much lower temperatures - a 30 to 40 degree drop and some much needed moisture to Colorado. The fire danger has been temporarily lowered across the plains, thanks to a mix of rain and snow overnight. The weather will stay cool through the day, but more mild weather is not far away.

The early morning commute didprovide some challenges along Monument Hill, and across some of the southern parts of the Metro area, but conditions will improve greatly as the storm moves out of the state during the day. Skies will be clearing from the northwest, but it will remain on the cool side.

Temperatures will quickly warm up and the fire danger will again increase over the lower elevations over the weekend. By Sunday, it will be windy, warm and dry statewide. A new storm will swirl into the Rockies by Tuesday, bringing another chance of snow for the mountains and rain or snow to the plains.

April 15, 2008 Toasty Tuesday temperatures are about to be replaced by wintry Wednesday weather! A strong cold front will march across the state overnight and usher in some chilly weather for the middle of the week. Temperatures will take a tumble and drop about 30-35 degrees from the highs on Tuesday. The cold front will not have a tremendous amount of moisture associated with it, but we will manage to get some rain and snow across the Front Range Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WATCH for the Front Range Foothills, Palmer Divide and the higher elevations of Jefferson, Douglas and Elbert Counties for Wednesday night and Thursday morning. This will not be a major winter storm, but many areas in the WATCH may see 4-6 inches of snow, making for a slushy and slow Thursday morning drive.

The wet weather will bring some much needed moisture to lower elevations along the I-25 Corridor. Denver and surrounding cities should get about .2 to .4 inches of water - in the form of a mix of rain and snow. Most of the snow will melt on the roads, but some small accumulations will be possible on grassy surfaces by Thursday morning. The limited moisture will still be a benefit as the dry grasses and trees have really been needing a drink of water, and it will drop the fire danger a little.

Thursday will begin to clear as the storm moves away, but temperatures will remain cool. By Friday and through the weekend, much warmer weather will return to the region as the bright April sun melts away the lingering snow and helps boost temperatures back into the 60s and 70s. The weather will cool slightly early next week, but for now, we do not see any major spring storms coming our way for a while.

April 11, 2008 The soggy spring storm that dumped 5 to 10 inches of snow on the state Thursday, will still have an affect on Colorado today. The center of the storm has moved well to the east of us, now spinning into Iowa, but the storm is large and will swirl strong northwest winds into Colorado through today. An upper air disturbance will also zip overhead today and that will help to stir up some more snow for this afternoon. Some areas around Denver may pick up an inch or two of snow, while the mountains will get another 5-10 inches of snow.

The storm will finally move far enough away from Colorado tomorrow to enable us to warm up and dry out. Saturday will still be a little cool, as the highs rebound into the 50s, but the skies will be mostly sunny. By Sunday, the weather will really start to warm up! High temperatures will climb into the upper 60s to near 70 degrees under sunny skies. The first part of next week looks terrific, sunny skies, mild temperatures and everything greening up - thanks to the recent wet weather!

April 10, 2008 The soggy storm system that swirled into Colorado last night will bring periods of rain and snow through today to the eastern plains. We will see about 6 inches of slushy snow over the metro area, although much of it will melt and soak into the ground during the day. The heavier snow will fall in the mountains, with a foot or more of wet snow accumulating through the day. This storm will not be an epic storm system, but it will bring a nice shot of badly needed moisture to the eastern plains. The mountains will continue to see their snow totals pile up, with the snowpack now at a level not seen in many years.

By Tonight, the storm system will swirl off to the east and leave Colorado behind. The weather will stay cool and windy behind the storm as gusty northwest winds whip down behind the storm. Friday will be cool and breezy, with highs only in the 40s. The longer range forecast calls for warmer and drier weather with temperatures returning to the 60s over the weekend. By early next week, the weather will be delightful - sunny skies and warm temperatures!

April 9, 2008 A soggy spring storm system is developing over Colorado today. This storm will dump another big load of snow on the mountains, with 10-20 inches likely over much of the high country today and tonight. On the plains, mild air will flow into the state in adavnce of the storm, bringing rainshowers and thunderstorms to eastern Colorado this afternoon.

Colder air will flow into the state tonight, changing the rain to snow over much of northeastern Colorado. The exact track of the storm system is still a little fuzzy, but it now appears that the low pressure center of the storm will dip far enough to the south of Denver to bring accumulating snow to the metro area by Thursday morning. The present thinking is that the foothills above 6,500 feet will get a good dose of snow, perhaps 6-12 inches. Metro Denver may see 3-6 inches of snow, mostly on the grass, with slushy conditions on the road surfaces by mid-morning Thursday.

This storm is still developing, so stay tuned to 7News and TheDenverChannel.com for the latest information on the track and intensity of the storm.. It seems like a pretty sure bet that the mountains will get dumped on, but the eastern plains are still on the edge of the rain/snow equation, so stand by for weather adventure!

April 8, 2008 Monday was a wild weather day across Colorado - everything from sun to snow, rain to hail fell across the state. The storm system that produced that wet weather has moved in the Midwest today, leaving Colorado with dry and quiet conditions. The respite will not last long, a new storm is already dropping into the southwestern U.S. and will swing over Colorado tomorrow.

The next storm will spread clouds into western Colorado tonight, with snow likely in the mountains on Wednesday. The eastern plains will start to experience some rain showers later tomorrow, with colder weather and a chance of rain and snow tomorrow night and Thursday. This storm will move east of our state and really turn into a nasty spring storm for the upper Midwest by Thursday night and Friday. Strong thunderstorms will rumble across Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas, while heavy snow hammers the Dakotas and Minnesota. In between, heavy rain is likely over Illinois and Wisconsin - the last thing those flood plagued areas need.

After that storm system moves away, our weather will be very pleasant across the state for the weekend. Friday will be a little windy and cool, but Saturday through Monday will be mild, dry and pleasant. Looking further ahead into next week, the long range computer models are hinting at a big storm coming into the region by next Wednesday and Thursday. If this pans out, we could be looking at significant snows in the mountains and a chance for heavy rain and snow on the plains by the 16th and 17th of April. That is a long ways away, but I will keep you posted on the potential for that storm!

April 7, 2008 After a mild and pleasant weekend, Mother Nature will turn a cold shoulder on Colorado as a chilly and unsettled weather pattern is shaping up for the next several days. A cold front slid into northern Colorado last night and will bring much cooler air to the northern half of the state for today. In addition, moisture is moving into the region from the west, bringing snow to the northern and central mountains. A SNOW ADVISORY is in effect for the Park and Elkhead Mountains around Steamboat and the Elk and Gore Ranges near Vail and Aspen. Snow will fall off and on through the day - accumulating to 5-10 inches for the northern and central mountains.

Lower elevations of eastern Colorado will receive showers today, with a little thunder possible and a touch of snow mixed in for good measure. The temperatures should be warm enough to melt most of the snow that may fall, but the cool, wet weather will make for a much less pleasant time to be outdoors compared to the past weekend. Precipitation amounts will not be heavy, but many places may pick up .25" to .33" inches of liquid. The moisture will come in handy as conditions have been way too dry over the eastern plains during the past several weeks.

Tuesday will be drier and a little warmer over Colorado, but another storm system will spin into the state on Wednesday. This next storm will bring more snow to the mountains and rain, mixed with snow to the plains for late Wednesday and Thursday. It appears that this next storm may intensify into a major spring storm for the Midwest by Thursday and Friday. Severe thunderstorms will be likely from Kansas to Texas, with moderate to heavy rain in Iowa and Missouri. Farther to the north, heavy snow will be likely over the Dakotas and Minnesota late Thursday and Friday.

After that major storm swirls away over the Great Lakes, it appears that the weather pattern will quiet down across the central and western United States for the weekend. Our current extended outlook for Friday through Sunday calls for warmer and drier weather to return to Colorado. Next weekend looks like it will be very pleasant statewide!

April 4-6, 2008 The weekend weather will be a winner across Colorado as a combination of mild temperatures and mostly sunny skies team up to bring us a homerun for the first weekend in April! The storm system that brough rain, snow and even some thunder on Thursday will move well east of the state. High temperatures will hit the 50s to low 60s at lower elevations through the weekend, while the mountains see highs in the 40s - great for spring skiing.

Baseball fans at Coors Field will enjoy watching the National League Champions open their home season - especially opening day on Friday! Temperatures will be pleasant, but cool enough that you will want to take your Rockies jacket when you head out for the ballpark.

A weak cold front will slip through the state Saturday afternoon, bringing some scattered showers to lower elevations and a touch of snow in the mountains. Sunday will be a bit cooler, but still pleasant, with clearing skies. Monday will be a little warmer, before another cold front brings a chance for showers late Tuesday. Right now, there are no big early April surprises in store - as far as Front Range snow is concerned!

Thursday April 3, 2008 Another fast moving, but fairly modest storm system will spin across Colorado during the next 24 hours. This storm rolled into the central Rockies overnight and will bring periods of snow to the mountains, foothills and I-25 Corridor through the day. East of the Metro area, temperatures should be warm enough for most of the moisture to come down as rain, with even some thunder possible this afternoon. In the mountains, expect the snow to come in bursts, with snow falling heavily for an hour or so and then letting up. Some rumbles of thunder may be expected in the mountains as well. Snowfall amounts are expected to be in the 4-8 inch range in the high country, although some locally heavier amounts are likely in the snow squalls. In the foothills, 2 to 4 inches can be expected, with an inch or two in the metro area.

This time of year, we often experience soft pellets of snow that are about the size of a BB. This "soft hail" is called "grauple" and is a sign of turbulence and instability in the clouds above. The snowflakes are blown around inside the cloud and sometimes melt before refreezing into a little tiny snowball. Grauple is not dangerous, but it can sting a bit if you are skiing in it. One thing to be wary of when you have grauple is lightning! The turbulence in the clouds that creates the soft hail can also create plenty of static electricity and that can lead to lightning. If you are skiing, fishing, hiking or golfing in the early spring, be aware that the danger of lightning is higher when these grauple showers develop.

Good news for baseball fans! The storm system will be "outa-here" for the Rockies home opener on Friday. Skies will return to sunny by early Friday morning, with warmer temperatures returning. Highs will be in the mid 50s on Friday, so a light jacket will be a good thing to take out to the ballpark. Saturday will be mild and dry, with highs around 60 degrees in Denver. A weak cold front will slip through the state on Sunday, bringing a touch of snow to the mountains and slightly cooler weather to the plains.

Wednesday April 2, 2008 Our Wednesday weather will be warmer across Colorado under partly cloudy skies. High temperatures should climb into the 50s in the Denver area, with some 60s across southeastern Colorado. In the mountains, skies will start out partly cloudy, but become overcast during the day as a new storm heads our way from the west. Temperatures in the high country will be in the 30s to mid 40s today, but colder weather and snow are on the way for tonight and Thursday.

The next storm is shaping up to be fairly impressive for the mountains, with 5 to 10 inches of snow likely tonight and Thursday, along with gusty west winds, helping to make for another day of difficult driving, but good skiing! On the plains, the clouds will thicken tonight, with rain and snow developing late. Thursday will be colder, with snow likely at elevations above 6,000 feet, and a rain/snow mix below that level. Snow accumulations could be in the 1-3 inches range over the western and southern parts of the metro area, with doule that in the foothills.

The storm system will spin out of here be Friday morning, clearing skies and warmer conditions will quickly follow. The Rockies home opener at Coors Field should be dry on Friday afternoon, with temperatures in the low to mid 50s. The weekend looks very nice, sunny to partly cloudy skies and warmer temperatures! Highs will climb back into the low 60s on the plains, with 40s in the mountains.

Tuesday April 1, 2008 The storm system that dumped 10-20 inches of snow on the mountains Sunday and Monday has pushed well to the east of Colorado. Skies will be partly cloudy as we start April, with just a few afternoon flurries over the high country. The Denver Metro Area and the eastern plains will enjoy a drier day, with slightly milder temperatures, despite increasing clouds this afternoon.

The next storm system will take aim at Colorado late tomorrow and Thursday. Snow will increase over the mountains Wednesday afternoon and continue into Thursday. At this point, the next storm does not appear that it will be as strong as the one that just hit the state, but we still should see several inches of snow in the mountains. On the plains, there will be scattered rain and snow showers Thursday, along with cooler temperatures again

Friday is opening day for the Rockies at Coors Field! Right now it looks like the weather will be ruled FAIR! Skies should be mostly sunny and temperatures will be mild, with highs in the 50s. The weekend will be mild and pleasant as high temperatures climb into the 60s on the plains, with 40s for the mountains.

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