Matt Makens

Matt is a native of the area, raised in rural Douglas County. An Atmospheric Scientist by education, trade, and passion – he's a consultant in the ag industry specializing in weather and climate.
Denver Forecast
Denver weather: Dangerously cold start to the week, snow for some
The cold is now the biggest talking point, as outside of the DEEP snow in the northern mountains, we mainly have dangerous wind chills to expect through Monday morning. Let me geek out first, as if I don't always geek out, but look at this live camera from Steamboat Resort , 49" this week at the summit! I hope they don't clean off the snow stakes before you can see this, but in case they do, here's a quick screen grab from early this
Colorado Snow
Colorado weather: Alerts issued ahead of extreme snowfall in northern mountains, extreme cold in metro areas
The next round of snow and cold will be quite substantial. For the northern mountains, well over three feet of snow will be possible through Tuesday, and for the metro areas, the arctic cold will set in Sunday through Tuesday morning. Let's begin with the alerts, I anticipate more but these have been issued as of this posting. Nothing is currently in effect for the Denver area, but Colorado Springs will be on the look for extremely cold wind chill values of -25 overnight tonight and again Sund
Denver Forecast
Denver weather: Frigid temperatures return with chances for snow and icing this weekend
Enjoy these Friday temperatures, and some sunshine, as we melt off a touch from recent snows, but get ready for chances of both snow and some icing throughout the next several days as the next arctic push moves in. Here's the hourly planner for Denver, showing today's warmth and then the temperature drop that is expected throughout the weekend. Along the bottom are the chances for showers. Yes, that's a slide from 46° to -2° in the next 72 hours. Will we be sliding on new snow and ice, too? Le
Colorado Snowpack
Western U.S. snowpack and reservoir storage update; new drought numbers are in
Considering the recent flow of moisture toward the western U.S. from the Pacific (atmospheric river events), let's check in on how the water situation looks presently, particularly the Colorado River system. Just after Christmas, a series of atmospheric rivers brought dangerous amounts of rain and snow to California during a 3-week period. So
Denver Weather
Denver weather: Another arctic chill to move in following late-week warm-up
As temperatures rebound a bit through Friday, another push of arctic air will move through late this weekend and early next week. The swing in temperatures is shown here, from the lower 40s Friday to below zero early next week. That's cold, but considering record lows for those days are -10° to -25°, it's not that cold. No, this isn't cold like before Christmas, but it is adding to the already cold winter we have had, and month for that matter. Well, I should really say it has been a colder t
Denver Forecast
Colorado Weather: Snowfall forecast through Wednesday, Denver's next snow chance
We've discussed the cold pattern and nearly daily chances for snowfall; well, the next round of snow chances approaches for later Tuesday through Wednesday, although this timeline pinpoints the higher chances this evening. If we run the Gamblers data, it has a low-end potential for us in the city, but I'll show you the Palmer Divide where we may see some higher accumulation. "Higher accumulation" ;-) as you can see the probabilities are quite low. The Palmer Divide is shown below with a T-2" r
Denver Weather
Denver weather: Stuck in a cold pattern, nearly daily snow chances
The past couple storm systems were able to shift the momentum, if you will, and bring in lasting cold temperatures in a pattern change to last quite some time and to provide nearly daily snow chances. Speaking of that latest storm, it's going to spread serious impacts across the country through this Wednesday. I talk about that here, but the rest of this blog focuses on the Denver area through the week and beyond. First off, temperatures. Let's just look generally at Denver for the next two we
Denver Snow
Denver & Colorado's snowfall forecast: Impactful snow is on the way, especially north and east of the city
Our eyes remain on the system to hit tomorrow, Tuesday, through Wednesday. As we have discussed previously, the biggest impact is all up to what is now any minor changes to position and speed of the storm as it develops over southeastern Colorado. If that storm develops a touch north of its current forecast, Denver will come away with less snow, the same for the Palmer Divide and in Colorado Springs. If that storm develops a touch south of its current forecast, Denver and Boulder continue to h
Denver Weather
Winter Storm Watch goes into effect Tuesday for Denver, includes all of Northeast Colorado
The storm that we've been talking about for Tuesday into Wednesday remains on track and as such, a Watch has been issued for the northeastern quarter of the state. It goes into effect Tuesday afternoon and extends through Wednesday afternoon. A watch at this point implies that reasonable consistency in data shows an impactful amount of sno
Weather5280 Insider
January update: Death to La Niña?
It's increasingly likely that La Niña is very near the end of this latest phase as the likelihood of La Niña conditions this spring falls to 14% in the latest CPC forecast released this week. Here is that forecast, shown as the probability of ENSO phase going forward through three-month seasons. For March-April-May we have an 82% probability of neutral conditions. That forecast is based on multiple model and statistical projections for sea surface temperatures (SSTs) within the ENSO 3.4 regio
Denver Snow
Colorado weather: Two storm systems to deliver rain and snow to state during the coming week
There are a couple of storms expected to impact the state through the next seven days, the first arrives this weekend and the second toward mid-week. Let's start with the first. Here it is depicted by the red L over southeastern Colorado midday Sunday. The blue colors you see over the western half of the state represent snow. Within a few hours, the storm is high-tailing it east into Kansas, but we do see some rain (green) and snow on the map for the Front Range and Plains by this point. W
Denver Forecast
Colorado Weather: Denver's forecast today with winter weather advisories surrounding city
The snow that moved through areas this morning wasn't much, but sure did cause some issues in Douglas County and the biggest impact shifts to the Plains for the remainder of the day and night. > We are currently on accident alert in @douglascountyco . Unless your crash involves drugs, alcohol, or injuries, please exchange information and report online at https://t.co/AqmhY0HkC8 pic.twitter.com/JJyhuZVJUq — DC Sh
Denver Snow
Denver weather: Tracking the chance of snow throughout the day
The chances for snow across Colorado continue today, but for Denver and most metro areas the chance of snow is low as compared to the mountains and the northeastern plains. Light to moderate snow developed in the mountains overnight, some of those showers will pass overhead this morning. Some of the showers this morning could bring at least brief moderate snowfall to your area as they peel off the hills, but not much
State of the Atmosphere
Colorado weather: Midweek snow on the way for the mountains and parts of the Denver metro area
Let's prepare for the week ahead in today's State of the Atmosphere by discussing the next weather maker for the state which arrives midweek to bring snow and rain to the region. We've discussed the latest surge in the Atmospheric River at length and what impact it will have on the state in this latest occurrence. Atmospheric River: how much moisture hits Colorado and Denver’s next chance for snowWe’ve written about the wet weather pattern across the western US, especially with this latest sto
Denver Snow
Denver weather: How likely is snow today & Saturday
The latest surge in moisture is primarily impacting the mountains today and Saturday, as we discussed yesterday in our post focusing on the Atmospheric River and just how much water Colorado will receive from it this time. Atmospheric River: how much moisture hits Colorado and Denver’s next chance for snowWe’ve written about the wet weather pattern across the western US, especially with this latest storm slamming into California, but a lot of that water will not make it to Colorado, which leave
Atmospheric River
Atmospheric River: how much moisture hits Colorado and Denver's next chance for snow
We've written about the wet weather pattern across the western US, especially with this latest storm slamming into California, but a lot of that water will not make it to Colorado, which leaves Denver's snow chances low for quite awhile. Atmospheric River delivering torrential rain, snow, and wind to California; significant flooding possible this weekOne storm is not a drought buster, however, the current extended pattern in place over California could make a significant dent in the ongoing dro
Weather5280 Insider
January's weather outlook across Colorado and the region
January starts off with a bang across the West with a steady supply of moisture hitting California and then fanning out to surrounding states, Colorado included. We recently wrote about the next wave of moisture adding to flooding issues for California, and the latest snowpack numbers there: Atmospheric River delivering torrential rain, snow, and wind to California; significant flooding possible this weekOne storm is not a drought buster, however, the current extended pattern in place over Ca
Denver Forecast
Denver and Colorado Springs keep fog and chill around Monday as snow lingers and storm moves northeast
The vast majority of us picked up some new snow overnight, which now lays on top of existing snowpack and ice from the overnight to make things quite slick in a number of areas. Here are the observed snowfall totals from the past 24 hours through 7am Monday morning: Most areas saw from a dusting to 2" of snow overnight, fitting nicely with our forecast . There were a couple of 3" totals on
Denver Snow
Wintry mix expected through Monday for the area: Denver's snow forecast
We've been discussing this system during the past several days; whether in our Insider post last week or yesterday's public forecast , we have couched this system in terms of concern for just how north the track will be and therefore the impact changes on the Denver metro areas. In data from Saturday afternoon thr
Weather5280 Insider
Colorado weather: Snow targets the New Year across mountains and metro areas
The next system will swing through Sunday night and Monday to bring widespread travel issues across the region. For the metro areas, snow chances are likely and accumulations are expected through Monday. For Denver: For Colorado Springs: As you look over those hourly planners, Colorado Springs stands a higher chance of rain initially before a snow changeover, however, it is pretty early yet to be getting too specific on that timing. When it comes to timing, data through Friday morning indica
Denver Snow
Snow and rain target Denver and Colorado Springs for Wednesday p.m. drive
Tuesday will be quite warm, 60s, ahead of the next weather machine that is set to drop heavy snow on the mountains. Here is an animation of the system moving through the state today through Thursday morning, note we'll have some rain and rain snow mixing at lower elevations: For metro areas, rain and snow will move in later Wednesday, with the biggest impact on the afternoon and evening roads. The total storm impact from late Tuesday through early Thursday is shown here. Speaking of impacts
Denver Forecast
Colorado weather: Much warmer days ahead, snow for some Christmas weekend
As we climb out of the deep freeze – some history made the past couple of days – we have a sizable warm-up coming through Christmas and into the New Year. But first, yesterday marked Denver's second coldest day on record, with an average temperature of -15°F on Thursday. Congrats! > 🌡️Yesterday, December 22, 2022 marked Denver's second coldest day on record. The daily h
Arctic Cold
Colorado weather: Cold sets some historic numbers, another cold night on the way
The cold front hit with a vengeance and no way did we overlook its arrival, wind and a temperature drop rarely recorded before. Denver tied its 3rd largest temperature swing in a single day with a high of 51° and a low of -10°. https://www.weather.gov/bou/denvertemperaturechangesOther locations with dramatic drops: > At the NREL Flatirons tower (S of Boulder), it dropped 10.8°F (6°C) in one minute & 20.9°F (11.6°C) in two mins at 50 meters above ground, which is not far off from what I consid
Arctic Cold
It's about to get extremely cold, wind chills to drop to 50 below and colder behind arctic front
The cold air is on track and will arrive in Colorado Wednesday PM, plunging temperatures below zero across northern and eastern Colorado, with wind chill values approach -50°F or colder at times across the plains. A Wind Chill Watch has been posted for the entire region beginning Wednesday evening and extending through Friday morning, here are some helpful tips for the cold from our friends at the National Weather Service in Boulder : > One of the worst cold sna
Arctic Cold
Arctic blast: Dangerous cold remains on track for Denver & Colorado by Thursday
Potentially record setting cold is on tap for the Denver metro area in just a few days. Thursday's existing record low is -25° from 1990, and Friday's is -17° also from 1990. In data through Monday morning, it appears we will rival that Friday record-low temperature. Here's more on the historical perspective of cold temperatures in Denver: It's not uncommon for the city to drop below zero, it happens six times a year on average. It is, however, pushing the extreme to fall into double-digit be
Weather5280 Insider
Colorado weather: arctic cold setting up for next week
We've mentioned it in quick passing but now it is time to take a closer look at the temperatures we have on tap for next week. A huge surge of arctic air will cover a very large portion of the country next week and Colorado on the edge of it. National: From a national standpoint, this is a major impactor going into Christmas. The Colorado impacts are written in this blog. If you are curious about the country as a whole and the potential travel impact areas, I discuss that here: LOCAL: Here ar
Denver Snow
Denver Weather: Mountain snow may clip parts of metro areas later Thursday including Colorado Springs
Snow for the mountains today, and part of that may slip onto the Palmer Divide this afternoon. Areas in Douglas, Elbert & El Paso Counties have the highest chance to see some, but really anyone along the Front Range can see some snowflakes today with any cloud cover peeling off the mountains. Here's an animation of estimated snow showers through Friday night, but the vast majority of snowfall is happening today and only lingering snow in the mountains for Friday. That little blip of snowfall w
Snowfall Forecast
Denver weather: Snow is moving into Colorado, when and where it's forecast to hit
The storm system that we've been discussing for the past week remains on track and will deliver snow to Colorado through Tuesday, but for eastern Colorado the biggest impact remains northeast of Denver and the greater metro area. The data has been, in my opinion, remarkably consistent between updates and has been for nearly a week now. That's odd to me that it hasn't shown any real variations to the track and intensity of the storm. As we've discussed previously, the track is such that the bigg
Snowfall Forecast
Colorado weather: Snow storm to hit Monday through Tuesday
Although the brunt of the next system will slam the Dakotas and Nebraska with deep snow, Colorado will have its own impacts as we continue to watch for any changes to the storm's path that could dramatically increase the hazards here across the state. As it stands now, the storm will have an impact statewide, the most significant will be largely over the northeastern Plains. Portions of I-70, I-76, I-80, and I-25 will have difficult winter driving conditions, particularly Monday night through T
La Niña
La Niña update: Weakest SOI in over two years
La Niña is now the weakest it has been in over two years, using the SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) index for monthly values since 1950. The SOI is one measurement tool for calculating the strength of La Niña atmospherically, in this case using sea level pressure values. How does this change the winter outlook, or does it? I discuss that in this video and will present a research image below. Here's the latest monthly SOI data including November to show you the strength relative to all other p