The State of the Atmosphere: Sunday, August 13, 2017

As we near the halfway mark of August, let's take a quick look at how temperatures and precipitation have fared in recent weeks. Temperature anomalies for the last 14 days are depicted below, well below average across eastern Colorado (blues and greens). Through yesterday, Denver is averaging 5.9°F below average for the month, certainly an impressive start.

WeatherBell Analytics

We've also done quite well in the precipitation department across most eastern Colorado for a change. Denver month to date has recorded 1.71", which is several tenths above average for the entire month. The map below shows most of eastern Colorado reporting >100% of average precipitation for the first 13 days of the month:

NWS precipitation analysis | Colorado | August, 2017

The week ahead
We've warmed up a bit this weekend from the very cool temperatures we experienced through much of the last week across eastern Colorado, but still we continue to see temperatures at or below average for the most part across the region.

In general terms, the week ahead will be warmer and at least slightly drier that last week as well. Highs most afternoons will be in the mid 80s, with the sole exception at this point looking like Wednesday, where MOS guidance has highs near 80 for Denver, largely dependent on a cold front brushing the state late Tuesday. The GFS has temperatures more or less steady in the mid 80s through the next 10 days or so, with storm chances remaining most afternoons. Not too bad for this time of year, I'll tell you what!

Weather5280 Models

As for those storm chances, at the moment it looks like 20 to 30% chances each day this week, with Tuesday perhaps being the best chance for widespread storms across the region. The EURO is perhaps the most bullish right now with rain for Denver on Tuesday, while the GFS focuses much of the moisture along the Palmer Ridge.

Overall, it looks like the second half of the month will be a bit drier and warmer than the start, but perhaps not oppressively so. The latest EURO mean shows southwest Colorado remaining dry over the next 15 days, but near average to above average precipitation across the eastern half of the state, as the greatest positive precipitation anomalies push east of the state:

Solar Eclipse
It is still long way out, but we'll also be watching the forecast for next week's solar eclipse very closely, as many folks will be driving north of the border to try and catch the event. While too far out to get too specific, at the moment we're not seeing any big weather makers impacting eastern Wyoming or western Nebraska early next week, aside from the usual diurnal thunderstorm activity you'd expect this time of year.

For those looking to geek out over the next week, we've added the path of total eclipse to many of the model images we produce, and also added the percent cloud cover product from the GFS as an option. As an example, here is the GFS percent cloud cover forecast for midday August 21 as of this morning, showing some clouds to contend with but perhaps not too bad.

And here's a look at 6 hour precipitation for the same time/region, which for the time being anyway is looking quite good for eclipse viewers:

These will both change quite a bit from run to run over the next week (especially the cloud cover product), so something to keep an eye on, but certainly not get too worried about over the coming days. As we move into next weekend, the cloud cover product becomes a bit more useful, or at the very least a bit more stress-inducing for those hoping to catch some rays (or lack thereof!).

Brendan Heberton

Brendan is founder of Weather5280. He is co-founder of FreshyMap, and develops software for geospatial data analysis and visualization.

Denver, Colorado
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