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.
State of the Atmosphere
The State of the Atmosphere: Monday, June 1, 2020
100 degree heat returns to Colorado this week Hot weather, potentially record-setting, arrives across Colorado the first week of June. The heat is not only for Colorado but for much of the region. This won't be the first 100s of the year. The last weekend of May brought 100-degree heat to Lamar, CO. As we look across the region for the next week we see all of the following stations featuring double digit above average temperatures each day at this early June heat takes hold: And, of those th
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Weekend outlook, plus some heat for early next week
The overall trend of warmer than average days with scattered storminess is to continue with a couple of outliers during the next week. This weekend will be warmer than average (average is mostly middle 70s) but we will see an uptick in the number of thunderstorms and therefore rainfall for later Saturday into Sunday. The hourly planner for Denver shows storm chances in the 30 and 40% range this weekend: With those storms, we'll see areas of decent precipitation across the state to end the mo
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Drought update & the outlook: Friday, May 29th, 2020
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners region, namely Colorado, and the continued Extreme Drought for the Western US. For Colorado, the good news is that Memorial Day/Weekend rainfall kept the Extreme Drought coverage area from expanding...for now. Let's check the recent conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary "During the past week, widespread rain and thunderstorms fell across parts of the G
Colorado Weather
Colder with rain and snow for Memorial Day Weekend
There's a system that will move through Sunday and Monday which will bring the state rain, snow, and a few days of chillier weather. We talked about this in last week's SOTA as a system to keep an eye on, and, while its impacts have been hit and miss in the modeling over the last days, consensus is growing that we'll have some wet weather to contend with over the holiday weekend. While perhaps not
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First Severe Thunderstorm Watch of the year for eastern Colorado
We've had plenty of strong winds across the greater metro area so far today, and now we watch for some strong to severe thunderstorms to develop over the plains as we head into late afternoon/evening. A surface trough is draped from Eastern Wyoming to Eastern Colorado which offers some directional sheer, strong surface winds obviously, and there's just enough moisture along that trough to support some large hail and damaging wind with any storm that develops. The SPC issued a severe thunderst
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It's been a dry month for most of Colorado, with little relief in sight
May is one of the wettest climatologically for Colorado, yet thus far this May has been mostly dry and there's little change to that outlook as we end the month. As you can see below, the month so far has been quite dry everywhere except where we saw the heavier rainfall to end last week across the far Northeast Plains, and portions of the north-central mountains. Here is May's precipitation departure from average: Denver has received 1.26 inches through the 18th, which is 0.64 inches drier t
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Drought update & the outlook: Saturday, May 9th, 2020
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners region and the continued Extreme Drought in parts of Colorado, California, Oregon, and Texas. Let's check the recent conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary "A strong cold front progressed southeast across the Great Plains, Mississippi Valley, and Southeast on April 28 and 29. This cold front was a focus for a severe weather outbreak from Oklahoma and e
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Elevated fire danger followed by a drier than average outlook
We are just getting started seeing those elevated and critical fire outlooks cover Colorado.
Climate
Many Colorado weather stations make top 20 snowfall lists in 2019-2020 season
The season isn't over just yet, but many Colorado weather stations are ranked into their top 20 snowfall seasons on record already. Boulder is in its snowiest season ever recorded there, and, as mentioned, we may see more snow there before the season ends next month. As of this posting, 24 stations (with a minimum of 50 ye
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Snowfall Gambler Charts for Thursday March 19th, 2020
Higher resolution Gamblers Data shown here. For the latest forecasts, we've published two of them today, click here for the morning update or evening update .
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Rain and snow for Friday
We've been chatting a lot internally about the Friday system and what its ultimate impact may be. It looks to offer some wet weather for much of Colorado, but how much snow... you know? The reason for that is due to the warmth that remains in place as this system moves through the region. That forecast guidance shows temperatures from near freezing to the lower 40s Friday for Denver, which doesn't do too much to support efficient snow accumulation, especially during daylight hours. Fort Collin
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Outlook for March 2020, a bias toward warmer and drier weather for Eastern Colorado
March is upon us and is likely to be near average to warmer than average for temperatures across the state, and near average for precipitation across Western Colorado, and near average to below average for precipitation across Eastern Colorado. Nationally, the outlook is wettest for the Appalachians and driest for the Pacific Northwest. In most cases, look for a warmer than average month across the country. Let's take a deeper dive into the data. First, look at what is considered the 30-year
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Drought Update & The Outlook: February 27th, 2020
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners region, the Western US, and the continued Extreme Drought in parts of Texas. Drought numbers decreased for some, but only a 0.5 percent decrease for the country since last week. Let's check the recent conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary "High pressure continued to persist over the eastern Pacific Ocean, forcing a split in the normal west to east up
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Drought Update & The Outlook: February 13th, 2020
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners region and the continued Extreme Drought over western Kansas, parts of Texas, and the Pacific Northwest. Drought numbers overall decreased by 1.55% from last week: Let's check the new conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary "Heavy precipitation affected large parts of the Nation last week, with heavy snow in the central Rockies bringing some relief to
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Snowfall gambler charts for Monday and Tuesday
Finally a storm worth running the gamblers on: And, for the Colorado Springs area: We will see how it pans out. Be safe! Already quite an icy layer built up.
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Drought Update & The Outlook: January 23rd, 2020
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners region and the continued Extreme Drought over western Kansas, parts of Texas, and the Pacific Northwest. Drought numbers overall increased by 1.57% from last week: Let's check the recent conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary "Pacific weather systems migrated across the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) in a fairly westerly jet stream flow during this U.S. Drou
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10-Day Precipitation Outlook: Monday, January 20th, 2020
Denver sits in its least snowy January on record, ties with 2003 and 1934, and we remain less than optimistic about much snowfall on the horizon. There are a couple of snow chances to chat about, so let's look at the next ten days. This animation is the GFS for the next ten days and doesn't show much precipitation across Colorado, or for our region for that matter. The persistent wetness is over the Pacific Northwest, and a couple of systems impact the Eastern US. As far as significance, let
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Drought Update & The Outlook: January 16th, 2020
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners and Pacific Northwest and the continued Extreme Drought in parts of Texas. Drought numbers decreased by less than 1 percent for the Lower 48 during the past week. Let's check the new conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary "Warmer than normal temperatures were common this week over the eastern half of the continental U.S., while temperatures were prima
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December 2019 signaled a dry January and a nearly average February
The ocean and atmosphere data has been collected from December and gives us an indication of what January and February conditions are likely to be. First, looking only at the ocean data of 2019 and comparing it to years past, I tabulated the following similar ocean years: These analogs show the strongest support for 2013, 1986, 1968, and 1957. Taking that idea a step farther, let's look at similar years of the ocean and atmospheric combined conditions. With that, I find that 2015, 2014, 200
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Drought Update & The Outlook: January 9th, 2020
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners region and the continued Extreme Drought over western Kansas and parts of Texas. The Pacific Northwest, despite recent wet weather, remains in a notably dry condition also. The long term impact areas of concern remain the Four Corners and portions of Southern Texas. Let's check the new conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary "Over the past week, primari
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10-Day Precipitation Outlook: Monday, January 6th, 2020
We continue in the doldrums of a weather pattern that doesn't favor snow in the metro areas. The next chance of snow is a low one and is late Thursday through Friday morning. As we look at the next 10 days, there will be active weather areas that cover the Pacific Northwest and also over the Appalachians and Ohio Valley. As far as significance, there will be significant snow over the Western US during the next 10 days. Snowfall elsewhere will not be too heavy: However, the precipitation map
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Drought Update & The Outlook: Thursday, January 2nd, 2020
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners region and the continued Extreme Drought in parts of Texas. However, recent moisture in southwestern Kansas has eliminated the extreme classification there. Let's check the recent conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary "An area of upper-level low pressure entered southern California by December 26 and then progressed east across the Four Corners region
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Drought Update & The Outlook: December 19th, 2019
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners region and the continued Extreme Drought over western Kansas and parts of Texas. Let's check the recent conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary "A series of Pacific fronts brought welcome moisture to the Northwest (from northern California northward into Washington), but even with this precipitation, the Water Year to Date (WYTD; since Oct. 1) basin ave
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Christmas weather pattern comes into view with rain and snow chances
We previously posted on the historical perspective of a White Christmas, and now we look at the forecast which shows a potential system in Colorado Christmas Day. Now the pattern isn't exactly solidified and only indicates a low-end chance of rain and snow in Colorado, but it is a chance. Historically speaking, here is the probability of a White Christma: There is a 40-50% probability for most of the metro areas by this definition of having at least 1 inch of snow on the ground. That may b
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Sunday December 15, 2019: Snowfall Gambler Charts
Hey there, Insiders. Here's a look at the Gamblers Charts for the snow this weekend. The Palmer Divide and Colorado Springs hold the better odds but no one is "locked in." The public side holds our latest forecast. Not much for a snowlover in the metro area, better head to the hills.
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Odds of a White Christmas
The odds of a White Christmas remain near the 30-year average as there's little to support a stormy pattern for the week before Christmas across the metro areas. Here is the climatological probability of a White Christmas: There is a 40-50% probability for most of the metro areas by this definition of having at least 1 inch of snow on the ground. That may even be higher than the reasonable probability to use as a prediction this year. I'll start with the hope, which is within the CFS model,
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Drought update & outlook: Thursday December 5th, 2019
The latest drought monitor continues to show the ongoing issues for the Four Corners region and the continued Extreme Drought over western Kansas and parts of Texas. Drought numbers decreased for some. Those improved areas are in Southwest Utah, across Arizona, parts of New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia. Let's check the recent conditions via The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Summary > A tandem of winter storms impacted the country during the wee
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Highest impact probability since March blizzard for Northern Colorado
Looking at the Gamblers Charts based on data throughout Monday, this is the highest impact event indicated by my gambler data since the March blizzard, although the impact area is different. Look at Northern Colorado! My goodness, those are stout odds for high totals: Those odds drop a bit within the Denver area: And, even more of a drop for the Palmer Divide and Colorado Springs: Colorado Springs: Why the drop here for farther south? For one, the track, as we've discussed. For two, this
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Probabilities are quite high in Snowfall Gambler Charts
Below are the Gamblers Charts for the incoming storm. You can detect the northern metro area bias to the storm, however, all areas remain with high potential for great snowfall totals. The 18z data shifted only a little back to the north but a slight wobble doesn't signify anything to us at this point. Boulder remains the clear favorite for high totals. I bet the canyons in Boulder County and northern Jefferson County get absolutely hammered if this storm doesn't shift significantly. And,
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Weather impacts return this week, more active days rest of November
Although temperatures Monday and Tuesday are warmer than average, the first of two storm systems arrives Wednesday to drop temperatures and bring some rain and snow to Colorado. This pattern is what the GFS started advertising quite a while ago with a southwestern US cutoff low and subsequent wetter weather across the state. A cold front Wednesday will kick things off with cooler temperatures and rain to snow chances from the afternoon through the evening. As that system scoots east, the cuto