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Fri Update: The Front Range Forecast: Rain reports, spring ahead

Rainfall totals! Spring weather ahead.

​​In Brief:

Rainfall totals!  Spring weather ahead.

Friday Update:

That was quite a storm!  It hit eastern Longmont, sat there for a bit, dropped around 1.5 inches of rain, and coated the ground with a layer of pea sized hail in spots (Figure 2 update). Other communities in Boulder county received around a quarter to a third of an inch. It will be quiet for a couple days as temperatures warm then we get into a pattern where afternoon thunderstorms are a good possibility every day (Figure 3 update).  Keep an eye out for severe weather chances again - it is the season.

Figure 2 update: the CoCoRaHS rainfall report up to 7am Friday.
Figure 3 update: the 10 day graphical forecast for Denver from

End Friday update.

Thursday update:

Today will be the wettest day for a bit, though daily thunderstorm and showers will effect the area. There IS a Marginal risk of severe weather, a 1 on a scale of 1-5. The primary risk will be for damaging hail. This includes the Front Range foothills and all I-25 cities.  Watch for those dark skies to the west - storm motion is almost directly west to east, overall, today.

Figure 1 update: the severe weather forecast map from the NWS and the SPC.

End Thursday update.

Forecast Discussion:

We have a brief break Saturday with ridging (high pressure) overhead.  Part of the low that gave us our record rains this week broke off and traveled westward (Figure 2) back towards the California coast.  A low to the south is heading northward to give us a period of upslope flow and rain centered (Figure 3) on Sunday (Figure 1). This is a weird atmospheric pattern.  I think our brief return of drought conditions is solved now.


Figure 1: the 10 day graphical forecast for Denver from
Figure 2: the 500mb upper air map for Sunday noon from the GFS and
Figure 3: the surface precipitation and pressure map for Sunday noon from the GFS and

The Longer Range Forecast:

With plenty of atmospheric moisture, daytime heating will kick off thunderstorm chances every afternoon (Figure 1). Over the next 5 days, the front range communities may see a quarter to a half inch of additional precipitation (Figure 4). A very Colorado spring!

Figure 4: the 5 day precipitation total forecast from the GFS and