The State of the Atmosphere: Sunday, May 24, 2015

Safe to say that the state of the atmosphere is wet. What a stretch of weather it's been. Denver International Airport has now recorded at least a Trace of precipitation on 21 of the first 24 days in May, tallying a month-to-date total of 3.72" at DIA through Saturday (0.00" recorded through 4:31pm Sunday, 24th).

Denver precipitation totals, May, 2015

Many stations within Denver proper have been even wetter. The station at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, for example, has recorded over an inch more precipitation this month than DIA with a total through the first 23 days of 4.83". The Weather5280 station in south-central Denver just topped 6.0" on the month, with Boulder's COOP station recorded 6.99" so far this month. The average precipitation for the month of May in Denver is 2.12".

The latest NWS precipitation analysis for the month (as of early Sunday morning) is impressive, with now many locations across eastern Colorado recording >7.0"!

NWS precipitation analysis | WeatherBell Analytics

Remarkably, with 3.72" being the official number for Denver, this May has not yet made it into the top 20 wettest Mays on record, but it's close. The 20th spot belongs to May 1989, when 3.83" fell at Stapleton. We should easily top that this week. This being said, many locations across the region are well into their top wettest Mays on record.

The week ahead
After another weekend of severe storms across the Plains, slightly quieter weather is in store for the days ahead. That said, more rain is in the forecast for the coming week, with a chance for showers and storms each of the next five days across eastern Colorado.

Tornado warned storm near Lamar, CO on Sunday | Sam Ng

The pattern for the coming week will allow temperatures to warm a bit more than we saw much of the last week, which in turn will help promote afternoon storms. Through the first 23 days of this month DIA is running an impressive -4.7° below normal. This week we'll see temperatures remain below normal (75°) for the most part, but may see a handful of days reach or break 70° during the middle of the week.

May 2015 departure from normal temperatures | Climate Prediction Center

Through Friday, most models are showing QPF totals from 0.5 to 4" across the state. How much rain you see this week will largely depend if you end up under a heavier storm or not. By Friday there will be another more organized system pushing through the region, but there remain large differences between the models on strength and track. The latest GFS is a bit wetter with this system for Friday, while the EURO is a bit more progressive and drier. For now will keep the chance for showers and storms in the forecast, and see how things look as we head into the week.

12z GFS precipitation forecast through Friday PM | Weather5280 Models

There are signs our wet pattern may ease a bit in the near future, but likely not dry out completely either. Look for a piece tomorrow from Matt Makens which will take a break down what we're watching for the medium range a bit closer.

Supercell thunderstorm Friday evening northeast of Pueblo, CO | Brendan Heberton