Weather5280 Insider
July outlook: temperature pattern to shift but precipitation likely to remain much the same
For much of the region June's weather pattern will remain for July, however, a wetter change is possible for the Northern High Plains. Let's start with June's data. Much of the Central United States has been warmer than average this month, as well as drier than average. This is to be expected, in previous posts we've discussed at length the overall ocean-atmosphere teleconnections that spell this out for us. Below we see temperature anomalies over the last 28 days, showing temperatures well
Weather5280 Insider
A look at the latest seasonal model data and some thoughts on this year's monsoon
The latest EURO Seasonal forecast came out today, and it really isn't a great deal different from what we've been advertising. You know we've been concerned about drought for awhile now, and with a budding La Niña , we remain pessimistic on many fronts when it comes to rain this summer, and moisture this fall. Here is the latest sea surface temperature anomaly forecast from the model. That is, where its forecasting above
El Niño
El Niño Has Reestablished and Might Stick Around For Awhile
The weather we have experienced for the past several weeks lines up very well with what we thought winter would be like... a more active finish than start and middle. During the past 60 days, areas along the Palmer Divide / I-70 Corridor have benefited the most –– running well above average for precipitation during this time: Most areas of Colorado have received at least average moisture, with a few small exceptions. Mountain areas have also been doing well, especially the parched San Juans a
Winter Outlook 2018-19 Released for Weather5280 Insiders
Yesterday we released our winter outlook for the 2018-19 season . If you are not an Insider, we hope that you'll consider signing up today . Becoming a Weather5280 Insider means you are helping to support the daily content on We are so grateful to all those who have made the commitment of $5/month to keep this project going for another year. If you are curious to follow along with our long-ra
Record Heat
A Look Ahead as Record Warmth Continues Across Eastern Colorado
Just after noon today we were sitting in the mid 70s across the greater Denver area. The record for the date is 70°F for Denver, which we've already bested by 3° officially at Denver International Airport this afternoon. So, is winter over? The good news is, it's certainly not over in the high country. Statewide snowpack is currently running at 144% of normal (the blue line below) which FAR outpaces any recent year (including the relatively go
El Niño
As La Niña Fades, is El Niño on Deck?
The recent weak La Niña episode that prevailed since last fall, has been all but erased. The animation below shows the sea surface temperature anomaly trend during the past several weeks. Blue colors mean colder than average sea surface temperature anomalies, while orange/red means warmer than average sea surface temperature anomalies. Notice how all of the blue color in the ENSO regions has pretty much disappeared. At the same time, we have seen some much warmer than average water build off
Winter Outlook
Winter 2016 - 2017: Reason for Concern?
It is no secret that we've been dry and very warm for weeks. In fact, we saw cooler weather and mountain snow back in August than we have had during this "fall". Here we are at the end of October, and I am growing more and more worried every day. I am worried that the dry and warm weather is being fueled by a weather pattern that is not only going to be VERY hard to break down but that when it does break down, it won't last long. If you are signed up to be a Weather5280 Insider or a
El Niño
A Return of the Monsoon for August? La Niña Check, Winter Analogs, and That Pesky PDO
In a good year, August can be one of the wetter months of the year for many of us in Colorado. Right on schedule, we've had a recent surge of monsoon moisture. This is always a good thing, especially when the amount of flash flooding we've seen of late has been relatively low. Below is a look at rainfall totals for the past three weeks. Overall, a pretty good look for the state. Northwest Colorado is hurting the most, with those of us living along the northern I-25 urban corridor also missing o
La Niña
La Niña Transition & The Monsoon
La Niña Transition Let's see how our transition from El Niño to La Niña is going. We've talked about this a lot during the past several months , and here is a look at the current sea surface temperature anomalies: The blue shading that you see extending off the west coast of South America represents cooling taking place in that part of the Pacific Ocean. However, while that is happening the rest of the Pacific Ocean is still quite warm. This is especia
Long-range forecast
Storm Not Quite Done yet; a Look at the Rest of April
Tough to believe that after bringing so much snow to many areas , that this storm isn't done with us yet. In fact, it is spinning right on top of us! The images below are from ECMWF model and show the upper level low position at the various times: Monday AM Tuesday AM The strong storm will send one more pretty significant ripple of energy our way Monday evening through the first half of Tuesday. That ripple of energy will be responsibl
Long-range forecast
Tracking Several Systems to End March, and a Quick Look at April
If you follow us here at Weather5280 you know that we've been talking about a potentially more active weather pattern during the back part of March. It's been slow going getting storms to line up for us so far this month, but last week we saw great snowfall for the northern mountains, and finally some moisture at lower elevations as well. Below is a look at observed snowfall across Colorado over the last five days, many north-central Colorado ski resorts are reporting upwards of 35" of snow
Long-range forecast
A Return to a More Active Storm Track For March?
Outside of the first few days of the month, February has been mostly a sleeper for winter weather across Colorado. Of course we saw some good snow in the foothills earlier this week , but otherwise it's been quite warm and mild across eastern Colorado. There have also been a few systems over recent weeks have kept enough snowfall going in the high country to keep basin snowpack at pretty healthy numbers all things considered
Long-range forecast
Long-Range Forecast Update: Quiet Pattern Sets in; Wet Spring Ahead?
Let the great meltdown begin! After a great snowstorm this past week, many folks are wanting some warmer weather. Well, if you are one of those people that wants warmer weather, this is certainly going to be the weather pattern for you. In fact, it is likely going to be one of those weather patterns that produces some of the nicest weather we've seen in a while. Why do I think this? Let's take a look... GEFS Ensemble Mean 500mb Maps: Tuesday: Thursday: Saturday: Monday: Wednesday: Fri
Updated JAMSTEC Model and Beyond El Niño
JAMSTEC Update It has been a while since we have chatted about the JAMSTEC model and its forecast for the next several months. There is a reason for this. During the past several months, it has been forecasting colder than normal temperatures for Eastern Colorado. We've lamented in the past about why we didn't think this would happen (current strong El Niño and positive PDO), but figure the model was worth a look again. Why? Because some of what the model has been spitting out may be spot on...
State of the Atmosphere
The State of the Atmosphere: Sunday, December 6, 2015
December: Quiet & Mild Start...Different Finish? The first week of December has been pretty quiet. Aside from the little storm system that cruised through on Saturday, we haven't had much to talk about. Well, the second week of December is going to be pretty quiet too, at least most of it. Below is a sample of the temperature anomalies we will be dealing with throughout the week. Monday Midday: Midday Wednesday: Midday Friday: It would have been boring to look at every single day, because
Long-range forecast
Winter Forecast Update: Analogs and Models
I am not going to spend much time on the main drivers with this update. We have talked about them at length in previous posts , and I think you pretty much know what they are. We've touched on analogs in previous posts too, but not in a lengthy fashion. The main reason for that is that there really isn't a "perfect" analog when it comes to referencing the next several months. Of the analogs chosen, those years with a strong El Niño, a positive PDO, and a positive AMO
Denver Forecast
Halloween Forecast To Escape with a Scare; Overall Pattern Wintry in the West
On Sunday, we discussed the importance of the track regarding our next system, which is due in at the end of the week. A further north scenario would have favored more rain and snow across eastern Colorado, while a further south solution would result in a drier system for the metro areas. Consensus has come around to the latter of the two scenarios, with an unsettled end to the week, but no big snow for Halloween – great
The MJO is Waking Up!
Pattern change means moisture chances will increase for Colorado You hear us talk about various global teleconnections and oscillations, but the Madden-Julian Oscillation is one of the most important. We've talked about it many times before and recently reported that the very weak MJO signal late this summer was likely responsible for our failed monsoon . However, the MJO is starting to come to life and could have rather large im
El Niño
Monsoon Fail and a Look at October
Before we move into October, here is a thought on the late summer: I have to admit that there were a lot of things I thought would happen this year with the warm Pacific and subsequent El Niño, but a failing monsoon wasn't one of them. Historically, an El Niño will enhance the monsoon season for Colorado and certainly doesn't scream drought. However, I attribute the "monsoon fail" to a very weak MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation ) signal and one that simply got stuck in a rut that perpetu
Long-range forecast
El Niño Update and CPC Constructed Analog Forecast
It's time for an update on our long-range outlook which now takes us through winter and on into spring. We'll tackle our thoughts around this upcoming snowfall season over a series of posts. Today we'll focus on the Climate Prediction Center's constructed analog forecasts, as we like the overall look of these forecasts as compared to our analog set. This will give us a nice launching point to dig deeper into the details over the coming weeks. First, let's take a brief look at what this El Niño
Long-range forecast
Subtle Differences to Previous El Niños Key to Winter Forecast, And Why the PDO Matters
There are a lot of comparisons to the El Niño of 1997 taking place right now, and while certainly an analog to this year, there are some differences to keep an eye on before jumping head-first into the repeat boat. Each El Niño is its own animal. When looking at analog years, it's important to remember that what's happening in Niño regions isn't the only factor to weigh. It's important to also consider things like: where the Niño is occurring within the greater long-term cycle; is it in its fir
Colorado Weather
El Niño Continues to Strengthen; Stage Set for Active Monsoon
Summer Forecast Update For the past several months we've been calling for the pattern to stay wet and generally cooler than normal for the foreseeable future. From our past posts, you know that this is largely attributed to the ongoing and strengthening El Niño , and to a lesser extent the "cooler" / less positive Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. The map below shows the current sea surface temperature anomalies: The red i
Long-range forecast
Forecast Update on Evolving El Niño and what it Means for Colorado and the West
The evolving El Niño that is going on in the Pacific Ocean has been quite impressive to watch. While we’ve been dealing with a couple variations of El Niño since late last summer (California Niño and Modoki Niño) the event has morphed into a more "traditional" El Niño. All of the orange and red on the map below are indicative of sea surface temperature anomalies that are warmer than normal: So not only do we have a very positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation [/blog/2014/05/28/drought-relief-el-
Denver Forecast
The Wet Pattern Shows Signs of Slowing Down
Will the wet weather end? No, but we are going to return to a bit more typical weather pattern after week's of wet weather . As of Sunday the 24th, only 3 days in May have been rain-less at DIA. Only one day had less than a 50% coverage of cloud cover. So, to say it's been a rainy, cloudy month is an understatement by Colorado standards. There looks to be a bit more sun in the forecast for this week, though more rain is possible
Long-range forecast
El Niño Update and Forecast
We all remember what happened last year at this time. There was a lot of talk about a Super El Niño getting ready to occur. That certainly didn't come to pass, and we talked a lot about why we didn't think that would happen here at Weather5280. Here we are again a year later, and the same talk is occurring. I am not ready to completely sign off on a strong event, or even a moderate event occurring. However, I am more intrigued by the set