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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder Colorado
309 am MST Sat Jan 31 2015

Short term...(today through tonight )
issued at 308 am MST Sat Jan 31 2015

Precipitation on the plains has failed to materialize with a dry
subcloud layer and no significant forcing mechanism. Latest
radar/satellite analysis does show a weak frontogenetical area
organizing over the northern border with some echoes there...but
all virga so far. The low levels may gradually moisten there with
continued lift early this morning so will keep a few showers there
otherwise the plains should remain dry most of the morning...with
even some breaks in the clouds possible given thinning of moisture
per satellite imagery. In the mountains...should see only a few
bands of light snow continue.

By this afternoon...the middle level frontogenetical area shifts
southward across the forecast area and this will bring a little
better chance of light precipitation across the plains. Dont
expect anything terribly organized...but shallow upslope combined
with improving lapse rates should help chances that precipitation would
survive on the plains. Will continue the light rain/snow chances
for this period with relatively mild temperature profile in place.

Main attention will turn toward northern branch energy and
stronger cold front arrival this evening. Cold front should push
across the plains between 7 PM and 10 PM with shallow upslope
flow behind it. However...the airmass will continue to destabilize
with the NAM forecast soundings showing even a bit of cape in the
low levels. There will also be potential instability around with a
dry layer above 600 mb. Finally...there is an upper level jet
driving right across the Front Range. All of these parameters
raise concern for banded heavy snow showers. Have increased probability of precipitation
and snow amounts for the Front Range. Liked some of the features
of the hires nmm model so blended that into the forecast. Most
accumulations on the plains should be under an inch...but anywhere
heavier bands set up could easily see a quick 2-3 inches of snow
late this evening into the early morning hours. At this time this
would favor the western/southern Denver suburbs into the foothills
and Palmer Divide area.

Meanwhile...mountain areas should see a trace to 3 inches today
and another 1-3 inches tonight.

Long term...(sunday through friday)
issued at 308 am MST Sat Jan 31 2015

Drier air in northwesterly flow aloft will spread across the area on sun.
There may still be some lingering light snow early in the morning
mainly from Denver south to the Palmer Divide into the southern foothills.
Otherwise the rest of the day should be dry except for a slight chance
of -shsn in the higher mountains temperatures will be colder on sun with gusty
northerly winds over the plains.

For Sun night through Monday brisk west-northwest flow aloft will continue with some
moisture affecting the mountains although orographics will be favorable
moisture depth will be rather limited with lapse rates only in the 5-
6 c/km range thus snow amounts should stay mainly on the light side.
At lower elevations it will be dry however it will be windy at times
in the foothills and near the Wyoming border. Forecast component along winds
and low level pressure gradient are marginal for high winds at this point.
As for highs readings will rise back into the 50s over northestern Colorado.

Not much change expected for Monday night into Tuesday as brisk west-northwest flow
aloft will remain over the area. Cross-sections show some increase
in moisture in the mountains by Tuesday afternoon with lapse rates becoming more
unstable so will see a good chance of snow. At lower elevations once
again expect dry conditions with gusty winds in the foothills and near
the Wyoming border. Afternoon highs over northestern Colorado will be warmer than Monday with
readings rising into the upper 50s to lower 60s.

By Wednesday a weak upper level trough may track across the area in the west-northwest
flow aloft. In addition a cold front is forecast to move into northestern Colorado on Wednesday
with upslope flow developing. Furthermore there is some middle level
ascent and with position of upper level jet there would be some
potential for precipitation enhancement. Overall this setup would bring a
good chance of snow to the mountains and possibly at lower elevations if
things come together right. As for highs if fnt does move across
northestern Colorado by Wednesday morning then readings would stay in the 30s over the
plains.

For Thursday and Friday mainly dry northwesterly flow aloft will be over the area
with only a slight chance of -shsn in the mountains winds will be gusty at
times in the mountains and foothills. Temperatures will rise into the 45 to 50
degree range over northestern Colorado on Thursday and from 55 to 60 by Friday.

&&

Aviation...(for the tafs through 12z Sunday morning)
issued at 308 am MST Sat Jan 31 2015

VFR conditions will persist through today...although ceilings
could occasionally lower to under 6000 feet this afternoon with
ils Landing conditions. Brief light rain/snow showers also
possible this afternoon with visibilities possibly lowering to 4-5
miles. Light north/northwest winds much of the day under 10
knots.

Main concern surrounds snow showers tonight behind frontal
passage around 03z-04z. Snow showers expected to become more
numerous behind the front. While prevailing visibilities may hold
at 4-5sm or even higher...potential for heavier snow showers with
brief 1/4 to 1/2 mile visibility is there. Main time for these
heavier showers would be 04z-11z...with local accumulations around
2 inches possible in heavier bands. North/northeast winds 12-15
knots behind front with a few gusts around 25 knots with frontal
passage

&&

Bou watches/warnings/advisories...
none.
&&

$$

Short term...barjenbruch
long term...rpk
aviation...barjenbruch

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