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Wed Update:The Front Range Forecast: Smoke now, storms later

In Brief:

Smoke for a bit longer, clearer air and afternoon thunderstorms begin.

Wednesday Update:

Change is coming to the weather today! There is about a 40% chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon. There is also a chance that the storms today may reach severe levels with hail and high winds being the primary threat (Figure 1 update).  The air coming in behind these storms should be more from the southwest and noticeably improve our air quality, cleaning out the smoke from the ongoing Canadian fires.

We have a lower chance of thunderstorms on Thursday, and a better chance, again, on Friday.  The storms on these days may reach severe levels as well, with hail and high winds still the primary threat. But you'll be able to breath easier!

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Figure 1 update: the Day 1 SPC severe weather forecast for Wednesday.

End Wednesday update.

The Forecast Discussion:

After a few Saturday afternoon showers, the weather turns calm for a couple of days (Figure 1). The real problem is smoke.  Giant forest fires in Canada (and Mexico) are pumping the westerlies full of smoke (Figure 2). By Sunday, another surge of very bad air is headed our way (Figure 3).  Eventually, westerly then southwesterly winds will clean the air by mid- week and later in the week.

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Figure 1: the 10 day graphical forecast for Denver from weatherunderground.com
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Figure 2: the RAP smoke forecast for Wednesday PM from NOAA.
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Figure 3: the RAP smoke forecast for Thursday PM from NOAA.

The Longer Range forecast:

With increased tropical moisture and southerly winds, the smoke will clear and rain chances will increase in the afternoons starting Tuesday (Figure 4). Wandering storms will give the I-25 folks a tenth to a quarter of an inch of rain over the next 5 days - more rain for the mountains (Figure 5).

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Figure 4: the surface precipitation forecast map for Tuesday PM from tropicaltidbits and the GFS model
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Figure 5: the 5 day precipitation forecast from the GFS and weather5280.com

 


About the Author: John Ensworth

John Ensworth used to work from Longmont as the PI for the NASA through the IGES (The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies). He now teaches technology, algebra, astronomy, meteorology, film school, and Lego robotics to middle/high school.
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Current Weather

Mostly cloudy

Mostly cloudy

65°F

UV Index
2 Low
Pressure
29.7 Rising
Visibility
7 miles
Dewpoint
37 °F
Humidity
35%
Wind
NW 6.8 mph
Gust
17.9 mph
Wind Chill
65 °F

Hourly Forecast

Today
5 PM
68°F
Partly sunny
Today
6 PM
66°F
Partly sunny
Today
7 PM
63°F
Partly sunny
Today
8 PM
62°F
Mostly sunny
Today
9 PM
59°F
Mostly clear
Today
10 PM
57°F
Partly cloudy w/ t-storms
Today
11 PM
55°F
Partly cloudy w/ t-storms
Tomorrow
12 AM
53°F
Mostly clear
Tomorrow
1 AM
52°F
Mostly clear
Tomorrow
2 AM
51°F
Mostly clear
Tomorrow
3 AM
51°F
Mostly clear
Tomorrow
4 AM
50°F
Mostly clear

7 Day Forecast

Partly sunny w/ t-storms

Saturday

74 °F

Intervals of clouds and sunshine


Partly cloudy w/ t-storms

Saturday Night

48 °F

A thunderstorm in spots this evening; otherwise, clear to partly cloudy


Intermittent clouds

Sunday

76 °F

Pleasant with times of clouds and sun; breezy in the afternoon


Clear

Sunday Night

45 °F

Clear


Mostly sunny

Monday

79 °F

Mostly sunny and pleasant


Partly cloudy

Monday Night

48 °F

Partly cloudy


Partly sunny

Tuesday

79 °F

Partly sunny with a thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon


Partly cloudy

Tuesday Night

48 °F

Partly cloudy


Partly sunny

Wednesday

85 °F

Partly sunny


Mostly clear

Wednesday Night

47 °F

Mainly clear


Sunrise and Sunset

Sunrise
5:36 AM
Sunset
8:19 PM

Based on AccuWeather data