The State of the Atmosphere: Sunday, December 1, 2019

Our latest weather maker is finally getting east of Colorado today, as the gusty winds that have wreaked havoc across Northern Colorado finally start to calm.

The morning GFS shows those strongest winds over the eastern plains Sunday morning. They will gradually work their way east as the system moves into the Great Lakes Sunday night.

A look at the national hazard map shows high wind advisories in place across the Central Plains, with still some lingering alerts for areas just north of the Colorado border. Otherwise, a much quieter map across the Four Corners region than we have seen in quite awhile:

Current National Weather Service hazards map

Well to our west we see Winter Storm Warnings and Flash Flood Watches across northern California. Higher elevations across the Sierra Nevada will pick up 1 - 4 feet of heavy wet snow to end the weekend and start the week, with 3 to 4 inches of rain for lower elevations.

California snowfall totals first week of December

November, 2019
For eastern Colorado, November, 2019 was a cold and snowy one. Preliminary numbers for November have the city ended -2.1°F below average, with PRISM data showing most of eastern Colorado ended the month with below average temperatures –– anywhere from 1 - 3°F below average. The coldest anomalies overall were centered east, a pattern well telegraphed in our winter outlook.

November was also a snowier than average month across much of the area. Denver ends November 2019 with 13.7" of snow (well above the longterm average of 7.5"), but also far less than we saw across much of the Front Range.

This brings the season-to-date snow total for Denver to 26.2", more than double the 12.7" we see on average through the end of November.

Statewide, snowpack numbers are running just above average (about the same as last year at this time), with a good early season ski season continuing across the Rockies.

Colorado snowpack Dec 1 2019

The week ahead
Quieter weather is the word as we kick off the first week of December.

Temperatures will be in the 40s and low 50s most afternoons in Denver, with only a slight chance of rain and snow showers Wednesday night into Thursday.

Regionally, a warmer week is on tap, with the European ensemble forecast showing temperatures above average for most of the state –– the exception being Northeast Colorado. This is likely due in part to the ongoing snowpack we have around here, but that cold may ultimately be overdone by the model. At any rate, not likely to be a terribly warm or terribly cold week for the most part across Northern Colorado.

For precipitation we also see a quieter five days. As discussed above, California will see well above-average precipitation through Friday, but drier conditions prevail across the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies, with no real wet signal for Eastern Colorado:

We'll keep an eye on the midweek system just in case, otherwise enjoy a little break in the action after what was a big week for weather to round out November.

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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