Matt Makens

Matt is a native of the area, raised in rural Douglas County. An Atmospheric Scientist by education, trade, and passion - he works for Colorado's Own Channel 2 as the weeknight weather anchor.
Extreme Heat
Going for three 100-degree days in a row in Denver
Tuesday and Wednesday both hit 100-degree heat and the city will make a run at it again Thursday. Tuesday hit a high of 101 . Wednesday hit 100. Both of those record setting highs. Today could be another record and the hottest of the three as the city aims for 103 (all-time hottest temperature for Denver is 105 hit in 2018, 2012, 2005 and 1878). The incredible heat recently isn't just isolated to Colorado. As we've
Record Heat
Denver hits 100+ with more heat ahead
Denver hit the 100s for the first time this year, and set a daily record high Tuesday. By 2:30 pm NWS Boulder confirmed the heat in this tweet . The City of Denver prepared based on the hot forecast: This is the first triple-digit temperature since September 5th, 2020. The Colorado Climate Center keeps tabs on the new records set so far . Here are observed hig
Denver Forecast
Hottest day of year on tap Monday, even hotter tomorrow
For the first time since last September, we may record 100 degrees early this week. As discussed in Sunday's SOTA, hot weather sticks around a few days this week with records to fall across the area and across the Western US. The State of the Atmosphere: Sunday, June 13th, 2021Temperatures will be near to and will set records this week - prepare for a hot one! The hottest temperature so far this year has been 95 in Denver, 94 in Fort Collins, 98 in Greeley, 91 in Boulder, 87 in Castle Rock, an
State of the Atmosphere
The State of the Atmosphere: Sunday, June 13th, 2021
Temperatures will be near to and will set records this week - prepare for a hot one! The hottest temperature so far this year has been 95 in Denver, 94 in Fort Collins, 98 in Greeley, 91 in Boulder, 87 in Castle Rock, and 93 in Colorado Springs. We are likely to see those numbers replaced this week. The setup: A very large dome of high pressure will be in place this week across the Western US. Let's call it a Drought High as its presence will be reinforced by the significant drought conditions
Denver Forecast
Feeling the burn? Cooler weather set for Friday in Denver and on the Front Range
Temperatures will cool down Friday to offer a brief relief from the near-record setting temperatures felt the past few days. For Denver, temperatures Saturday through Tuesday were in the 90s and neared record territory, Wednesday stopped at 89 degrees, but then Thursday was the hottest of the year thus far with 95 degrees. A southeasterly wind and some clouds likely prevented Denver from hitting the triple digits and setting a record. However, record temperatures are possible next week followi
Insider Pro Update
Drought update & the outlook: Thursday, June 10th, 2021
Water issues continue across the Western US as streamflow nears historic lows, meanwhile too much water is across the southern Mississippi River region. As far as the drought itself, here is the latest monitor released today. Looking over the data table shows a slight increase in drought coverage from last week. Visually, here is the drought change as compared to a week ago. The west and upper Midwest see the growth of drought, but there were improvements in New Mexico and Texas. Turning to
Insider Pro Update
Drought update & the outlook: Thursday, June 3rd, 2021
More than 95 million residents in the Lower 48 are currently in drought areas, with little improvement in total drought area reported since last week. Here is the updated monitor: The most notable improved areas recently have been Colorado's eastern plains and parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The most prominent drought areas continue to be the Southwestern US and the Northern Plains. The Western US is likely to see drought remain and increase through June, meanwhile, parts of Texas may
Insider Pro Update
Drought update & the outlook: Thursday, May 27th, 2021
30 US states remain in drought conditions with a near 4% reduction of total area of drought since last week. The latest monitor continues to show the exceptional drought conditions across the Southwest, West and Northern Plains. The total change both increase and decrease in drought since last week is shown here. The most significant improvement was noted in Colorado and Texas. Let's take a look at the total precipitation during the past week. In terms of departure from what is considered n
Insider Pro Update
Drought update & the outlook: Thursday, May 20th, 2021
Drought numbers saw some minor variations during the past week, but the overall impact remains the same across the Lower 48. The drought continued to decrease in Northeastern Colorado and Western Kansas where wet weather was noted for the week. The wettest conditions were along the Gulf Coast. Here is the precipitation from average during the past week. Although some moisture fell in Nevada, the vast majority of the Western US was drier than average. Combined with warm temperatures, the lack
Insider Pro Update
Drought update & the outlook: Friday, May 14th, 2021
More than 88 million acres of crops are experiencing drought conditions according to Drought.gov. Exceptional drought conditions spread into California, meanwhile, drought conditions improved and/or removed from parts of northern Colorado, and the northeastern US. Clearly, the vast majority of the West is hurting for moisture. Let's look at precipitation since the year started. Now, look at precipitation just since April 1st. Yes, there has been some wetness for a section of Colorado, New Me
Denver Forecast
What to watch for with the spring rain and snow event across the Denver area and state
Rain and snow will be increasing across the region later Monday through Tuesday with some areas to pick up lots of rain and others to pick up lots of snow. What should you watch for? Let's discuss. During the next few days, some of us will need to be watchful of those overnight temperatures dipping into the 20s. That's the first thing to watch for. The second will be areas of rain versus snow and the impact to trees. Third, travelers beware of leaving the metro headed into the elevations. Firs
Insider Pro Update
Drought update & the outlook: Friday, May 7th, 2021
More than 92 million Americans are in abnormally dry to drought conditions which account for more than 65 percent of the Contiguous US based on the latest drought monitor released Thursday. The greatest drought improvements came from parts of Texas and Colorado to Nebraska thanks to a wet week here. The worst areas of degradation came from California thanks to hot, dry conditions here. Here we visualize where the drought changed from last week: During the past week, wet pockets were found n
Climate
The 1991 to 2020 climate normals just released
The newest U.S. climate normals dataset released Tuesday May 4th, 2021 shows some interesting differences from the previous dataset from a decade ago. Becky Bolinger posted a long while ago about how the new climate normals will compare to the 1981-2010 version. How might the new NOAA climate temperature normals change for your county?We’re almost one month into 2020, and this is an exciting time for climatologists. Upon the completion of thi
Drought
Where drought conditions have changed for the better across Colorado and the Denver area
Drought remains firmly in place across the vast majority of Colorado and Thursday's update shows an increase of two percent in the exceptional drought category but all is not lost, look at Larimer and Boulder Counties. The drought increase this past week came mostly in Rio Blanco County. The National drought showed an increase in total drought which now the abnormally dry to drought areas cover more than two-thirds of the Lower 48. Drought update & the outlook: Thursday, April 29th, 2021The c
Insider Pro Update
Drought update & the outlook: Thursday, April 29th, 2021
The coverage area of drought increased during the past week and as of this update abnormally dry and drought conditions cover more than two-thirds of the Lower 48. > Several upper-level troughs and closed lows moved in the westerly jet stream flow across the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) during this U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week. They dragged surface fronts and low pressure systems along with them. The weather systems moved across the West then generally followed two storm tracks after crossing th
Denver Forecast
Wet weather ahead for Denver and Front Range
Through Tuesday morning data continue to show a very wet setup for later today through Wednesday morning. Total precipitation totals may exceed one inch in many locations, and snowfall totals remain subject to elevation but also may be impressive for some. The system gains strength as it passes over the mountains and heads east today with impacts to range from severe thunderstorms to significant snow. Upslope trouble tonight and early Wednesday?Model images below are from the EURO Model Upslo
Snow
Next snowfall for Denver and Front Range arrives early next week
As we gradually clear from the last snow event, the next is on the way set to arrive Monday into Tuesday for Denver and the metro areas. While today remains chilly, with even some flurries around, Sunday should be much milder across the region with more sun as well before our next system swings through Monday and Monday night. Heres's a look at the 500mb pattern for Monday night as the next trough swings through the region: This system will be a weaker trough that swings through, but will
Weather5280 Insider
Wet and cold pattern for Denver and across the region forms next week
An active weather pattern is likely to return next week and with it will come chances of rain, snow, and much colder temperatures. First, the timing and changes. The system that will be cooling the area down tomorrow, Friday, will actually be the initial system that comes through to begin a flow that will keep storm systems closer to Colorado. Let's cycle through the mid-atmosphere starting with Saturday: Sunday: Tuesday: And, Thursday: In that progression of images we see a stormier fl
Insider Pro Update
Much needed moisture is on the way for mid-April, the outlook for May remains dry and warm
The next couple of weeks will be characterized by a colder than average pattern; this is especially true from middle to later next week. High temperature anomalies being forecast for next Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are shown below, and are considerably below average for most of us. The purple colors that will grab your attention here indicate temperatures over 20 degrees colder than average: Those temperature anomalies are quite significant for this time of year. It is also possi
Insider Pro Update
Drought update & the outlook: Thursday, April 1st, 2021
The drought should be a top concern for folks across the Western US. South Dakota issued a state of emergency through May due to the ongoing dryness there. Here's this week's drought monitor update: Let's compare this drought monitor to that of late February's. The most recent monitor is on the left. Note the increase in D3-D4 categories for the Dakotas and Southern Texas climbs into the D4 category. However, there are some improvements in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas due to the big March
Weather5280 Insider
Active March weather continues with rain and snow to return this weekend
An active weather pattern for March continues as we track chances for rain and snow this weekend through much of next week. Based on the latest data, the mountains will see rain and snow by Saturday afternoon and evening and the metro areas will catch those same showers from Sunday into Monday. This activity comes from the first of at least two systems that will move through next week. Unlike the historic snow event of last weekend, the systems for next week won't have near the amount of ene
Weather5280 Insider
Spring outlook 2021
Spring 2021 looks to be warmer for most across our region. Drought areas will continue with drier than average conditions, and the wetter than average conditions will be nearer the Midwest to the Appalachians and central Mississippi, and for the Pacific Northwest. In this post I'll address what has happened in the past couple of months, how the ocean-atmosphere connections have evolved, the status of the La Niña forecast, and I will combine all those factors into the Spring forecast. To begin,
Weather5280 Insider
Dangerous cold and travel conditions grip much of the U.S. particularly Texas
Particularly dangerous winter weather heads across the central US; potentially deadly to calving, dangerous to travelers, and cold for all of us in this region.
Insider Pro Update
Northern Plains to Great Lakes most likely to favor from February weather pattern
Drought areas are not likely to improve but there will be areas of wetter than normal conditions as La Niña's pattern is established for February.
Insider Pro Update
Thursday, January 28th, 2021: Drought update & the outlook
Looking at the precipitation over the past two weeks and past month, there is an uptick in the moisture that has fallen across the West, however, a lot of caution needs to be used when considering drought conditions the next couple of months.
Weather5280 Insider
Potential system for the start of February
For several days there has been a system poised to bring moisture to the Denver area to kick off February.
Insider Pro Update
Final week of January to spread heavy precipitation across some much-needed areas of the country
The weather pattern into February will favor heavy precipitation over much of the plains, but mainly over the Southern US. Estimated total precipitation through January 31st is shown here: Parts of the Gulf Coast to see over two inches of water. Overall, most of these areas will have wetter than average conditions. Also, not the wetter than average conditions for the Southwest US...finally. This map shows wetter (green) and drier (brown) than average expectations. The maps above are for tot
Weather5280 Insider
Weather pattern change to help the Western U.S. water woes
The weather pattern for the rest of January is shifting and that will be of great benefit to the Southwest United States where water resources are strapped. The map above is a view of the rest of January for estimated precipitation for the Southwestern US. Part of Arizona and California to see well over two inches of water, and parts of Northern California can hit over four inch precipitation marks in the next ten days. Not to exclude Colorado's San Juans where quite a bit of water is expected,
Weather5280 Insider
PNA may finally flip, what that means for the weather pattern across Colorado and the West for the second half of January
We've been teased before, but this time the support for a PNA flip grows and that'll mean parts of Colorado and the region may catch a bit of winter this winter.
Climate
2020 was Colorado's 2nd driest year on record, a progression in images
NOAA released the final data on 2020 Friday and the result was the 2nd driest year on record for Colorado. Here is a progression in images for the year.