Mike's Blog Archive: July 2008

July 31, 2008 It seems as though the string of 90 degree days will never end. Today marks the 19th consecutive day of 90 degress or warmer, beating the previous record of 18 days that was set in 1901 and before that 1847. The top ten total seasonal 90 degree days from May to September have been counted and the list tops out with the year 2000 with 61 days hitting 90 degrees or higher. Coming in a close second place was the year 1994 with 60 days, followed by the year 2002 with 56 days. So far this season, we have had 36 days of over 90 degrees. We are well on our way of ranking on this list this year if this pattern continues into August and September.

The reason that this hot air has been lingering around the Western United States for so long is all thanks to the jet stream. Currently the jet stream is located along the Canadian-US border. This is keeping all cold fronts well to the North of Colorado resulting in a big bubble of high pressure dominating Colorado. We had a small hint of moisture move up into the region last week thanks to Hurricane Dolly. This moisture has since moved East to the Mid-Western states. The hot temperatures and dry conditions have caused fire danger to escalate in the Western US. As a result, California has seen many wildfires break out over the past couple of weeks.

A break is in sight, by early next week it looks as though a cold front will finally slip into Colorado. This cold front will drop temperatures into the upper 80s which will hopefully break the string of 90 degree heat! Our next chance for thunderstorms moves into the forecast with this cold front early next week.

Remember, if you are spending a lot of time outside, apply sunscreen frequently and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated!

July 27, 2008 The moisture we were hoping would move into the state from Dolly stayed well south and gave the much needed rain to areas in New Mexico where up to 7 inches fell in 24 hours in some parts of the state. Colorado remained hot and dry and no relief looks to be in sight through the next week.

As of Sunday, the high temperature in Denver exceeded the 90-degree mark for the 15th day in a row moving in for the 3rd longest streak of 90 degrees or higher. The all-time record set in 1901 and 1874 is 18 days, and the forecast shows that record will be shattered as forecasted highs in the 90s are expected through the weekend. Chances are this new streak wille extend well beyond 20 days.

Fortunately a few days did provide some rain across the metro area, but hardly a dent in this very dry year. We're still over 6 inches down from the average and continue to go for the driest year on record.

July 22, 2008 The 90s will continue for the rest of the week before the chance for cooler weather and storms makes its way into the forecast. Moisture is much needed around Denver having only recieved .22 inches of rain for the month of July. Hurricane Dolly is approaching the southeastern border of Texas and the northeastern border of Mexico. Dolly officially became a hurricane today as it reached sustained winds of 75 MPH. With the landfall of Dolly we may see storms here in Colorado come this weekend when we see higher relative humidities move into the state. Dolly's landfall will push moisture into our area hopefully giving us relief from this hot and dry weather pattern we have seen over the past several weeks. How much mositure will make its way into the state from Dolly's landfall is uncertain this far out, but we will keep you posted.

We have a great resource for keeping track of hurricane development on our website. If you would like more information and current conditions following any strom development in the tropics visit our hurricane info page.

The start of the next work will again be warm and dry with temperatures back into the mid to high 90s.

July 21, 2008 The weekend was a scorcher across Colorado with Denver reaching 100 degrees yesterday for the first time this season. One of the hottest spots was in Sterling, with 103 degrees reported for the high. In contrast, the temperatures were not as hot over the western valleys and across the southwestern sections of the state. Thicker cloud cover and scattered showers and thunderstorms developed over the southwest and that kept temperatures down in the 80s to low 90s.

Satellite photos show a fairly good deck of clouds moving slowly northward toward the state from Arizona and New Mexico. These clouds mark the beginning of the summer monsoon flow that should help to bring a little more moisture into our area this week. Scattered showers and storms can be expected this afternoon over the mountains and foothills. Most of the action will be just west of Denver, but we have about a 20% chance for some storms. The next few days will feature some morning sun, afternoon clouds and scattered thunderstorms.

Remember, the 24/7 Weather Alert Radios are an important tool to help keep you and your family safe during severe weather. Through a cooperative effort between 7News, King Soopers, Regent Radio of Northern Colorado and Midland Radio Company, we can offer these excellent weather alert radios at about half the regular cost. For about 30 dollars, you can purchase a weather alert radio at any of the 92 Front Range King Soopers stores. Look for the display with my picture on it at your local King Soopers. If you do not live near a King Soopers, you can order a 24/7 Weather Alert Radio on-line by clicking the 24/7 Alert Radio button on our weather navigation bar.

July 17, 2008 A weak cold front slipped into eastern Colorado early Thursday, bringing cooler temperatures, but higher humidity. The air has moistened up quite a bit over the region and that will result in thundery weather for the afternoon and evening. The winds aloft are quite light, so storms will be slow moving with the potential for very heavy rainfall across the metro area and the eastern plains. The storms will linger until mid evening and then die away overnight.

The front will stick around through Friday before it moves to the northeast over the weekend. More storms are likely Friday afternoon across the eastern plains. Once again the storms will plod along at only 10-15 mph, so locally flooding rains will be possible. By Saturday, warmer and drier air will build back into the region from the southwest, settign the stage for a simmering summer weekend.

July 15, 2008 We have reached the halfway point in July and the weather pattern is pretty much on track with the calendar! Sunny, hazy and hot weather will continue across the region today, with highs back into the mid to upper 90s once more. The sunshine will give way to afternoon clouds and just a few thunderstorms, but most of those storms will be rather "moisture challenged" and not bring significant precipitation.

The weather will remain hot and mostly dry on Wednesday, keeping the fire danger high across most of Colorado and the western United States. The hazy look to our skies is compliments of all of the fires in the west, especially over California. Light winds in the atmosphere have spread and swirled the smoke into a thin veil that covers most of the Rocky Mountain Region.

The weather may change a little by Thursday as a weak cold front slips into the region and brings a slight bit of relief in terms of temperatures and perhaps a little rain as well. The front will not bring much cool air, but we should see highs drop by about 5-7 degrees for Thursday and Friday. Scattered thunderstorms will be a bit more common as well, but they will not last long. By the weekend, the hot, hazy and dry weather will return again.

July 11, 2008 The heat will stick to us for one more day before some relief arrives for the weekend. High temperatures will soar well into the 90s this afternoon, much like they did on Thursday. Denver will hit 90 degrees or higher for the 17th time so far this year, a little over half of our typical tally of 33 days of 90 or better in a year. Yesterday, the high topped out at 98 degrees for the second time this month - we still have not hit triple digits.

A cold front is dropping southward from Montana and will cross Wyoming during the day, pushing into Colorado tonight. This front does not have much moisture to work with, but there is some pretty decent cooler air behind the front. Only a few widely scattered thunderstorms can be expected over the state late today and tonight. Saturday will be much cooler, with highs only in the low to mid 80s and there will be a better chance of the thunderstorms in the afternoon.

The cooling trend will not last long. Sunday will be a little warmer, with highs in the upper 80s and just a few thunderstorms. By Monday, the highs will bounce right back into the 90s and stay there for most of the work week. Rain chances will stay fairly low into next week, keeping the fire danger high statewide.

Many folks may recall the weather on this date 18 years ago. A giant thunderstorm erupted over the Front Range and proceeded to dump massive amounts of hail from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. Denver was especially hard hit, with hail from the size of pennies to nearly baseball size. The damage to cars, windows and rooftops tallied to 600 million dollars, making the "Seven-Eleven" Hailstorm one of the most costly in U.S. history.

July 10, 2008 The weather will stay hot for the next 2 days as a large high pressure system continues over the central Rockies. Plenty of sunshine is in the forecast through Friday and that solar power will push the thermometer well into the 90s at lower elevations, with 80s in the mountains. The relative humidity will stay in the 10 to 20 percent range today and tomorrow and that will increase the fire danger statewide.

Some relief from the heat will arrive on Saturday as a cold front slides into the state from the north. This front will bring some higher humidity along with it, increasing the chances for showers and thunderstorms. Highs will drop to the 80s on Saturday, with about a 40% chance for thunderstorms in the afternoon. The storm chances will linger for Sunday, with highs again in the 80s.

The heat will return for early next week as another large high pressure system builds over Utah. This next high will help to clear the skies, lower humidity and boost temperatures back into the 90s. Overall, pretty typical weather for mid-July!

July 9, 2008 It looks as though the heat is back on for Colorado as the humidity drops and the sun shines bright today and tomorrow. There may be a few high-based, gusty thunderstorms this afternoon, but the heat will be the main story. Skies will be sunny through early afternoon, followed by some scattered thunderstorms later today. Highs will return to the low 90s in the Denver area, with 70s and 80s in the mountains and mid 90s in the Grand Valley.

The hot and mainly dry weather will continue for Thursday and most of Friday. Tomorrow should be the hottest day of the week as highs hit the mid to upper 90s. A weak cold front will slip into the state late Friday, bringing back a chance for thunderstorms. The weekend will be a little cooler, but the threat of thunderstorms will be higher, thanks to an increase in humidity.

The next few days will likely crank up the fire danger again over all of Colorado. Be very careful with any burnable materials, especially in the mountains and across the southeast plains. The few thunderstorms that do develop will bring more wind and lightning than useful rain, so nature needs no help from humans in regard to starting fires.

July 8, 2008 The first hurricane of the Atlantic season has spun up and is now a rather powerful affair. Hurricane Bertha has developed into a compact, but very strong storm in the western Atlantic. The hurricane reached category three levels last night, with winds of over 120 mph. Bertha is currently located about 900 miles southeast of Bermuda and is heading slowly towards the northwest. The storm is over open ocean now and the warm waters will help to keep her strong over the next few days. On it's present course, Bertha will not threaten the United States, or the Bahamas, but she may pack a punch to Bermuda by the end of the week.

We have a very complete section on hurricanes on our website. For all of the latest information, click on the Hurricane button on our weather navigation bar.

Colorado weather will be a little unsettled again today, with scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. The storms will not reach severe levels over most areas, but brief heavy rain and frequent lightning can be expected. Over the next few days, the atmosphere should warm up and dry out across the region, dropping rain chances through Friday. Some higher humidity should return for the weekend, with a better chance of storms once again.

July 7, 2008 Showers and thunderstorms on Sunday dropped locally heavy rain and small hail along the Front Range. A repeat performance of the stormy weather is likely today as more moisture is in the forecast. In fact, the rain came early with some showers in the area in time for breakfast this morning. Skies will become partly cloudy through midday, but more storms are expected this afternoon and evening.

The weather pattern right now is similar to the monsoon pattern typical of late July and August. A rich plume of moisture from the Pacific Ocean is flowing across Mexico into the Desert Southwest and across Colorado. This type of pattern tends to bring strong, but not severe thunderstorms. The main threat from the storms will be lightning and heavy rainfall. The chances for large hail or tornadoes is much less with this type of pattern because the upper atmosphere is relatively warm and the winds aloft fairly light. This type of upper air pattern does not create the intense updrafts and shear to form large rotating storms called supercells. Noentheless, the big moisture laden storms can be a concern, so keep an eye to the sky and check in with 7News during the day.

July 6, 2008

We have had a firecracker Fourth of July weekend so far, with highs in the upper 90s both Friday and Saturday. Today will be a little cooler, thanks to more clouds and a better chance for thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. Satellite images show a fairly rich plume of moisture moving across the southwestern United States. Showers and thunderstorms will develop this afternoon over the mountains and eastern plains of Colorado. The storms will be locally heavy rainmakers, with some small hail. The upper level temperatures are rather warm, that will limit the size of the hail and keep the threat of severe thunderstorms down. Nonetheless, frequent lightning and heavy rain will be possible later today.

The workweek will start a little cooler for Monday and Tuesday as we will still have a chance of showers and thunderstorms both days. The shade from those storm clouds will keep temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s. By Wednesday, the atmosphere will dry out over the southwestern states and that will mean fewer thunderstorms and hotter temperatures.

July 3, 2008

After a brief cooldown, temperatures will return to the oven over the Independence Day weekend with the 4th being the hottest of them all. A few places in and around the metro area will see readings of 95 to 100 degrees through the weekend. Fortunately those temperatures will cool with the setting sun and fireworks viewing will be comfortable.

There is a daily chance of a storm or two, but the chances are slim. Most fireworks shows will go off without a hitch from the weather unlike last year where Mother Nature tossed in her own show to compliment the rest.

Hot conditions will continue into next week with storm chances increasing through the middle of the week.

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