SPM 06-04-2018: Moisture and Upper Low Combine for Much Needed Rainfall over Southern Colorado

Issue Date: Monday, June 4, 2018
Issue Time: 09:00AM MDT

Summary:

An upper low passed over the four corner region yesterday, bringing with it moisture and lift for some much needed rainfall over the southern half of the state. Early morning showers started the day for the San Juan Mountains, which helped ready the lower atmosphere for more measurable rain in the afternoon and evening hours. By mid-afternoon, much of the southern half of the high country was seeing rainfall. As you moved north, moisture became more limited, so thunderstorms over the Grand Valley were producing very gusty winds. A mesonet station in Montrose recorded a gust of 60 mph. Rainfall estimates over this area were 0.25 inches.

Due to underestimations of QPE by the SPM over the southwest portion of the state, some rain gage totals were pulled over the area. A CoCoRaHS station in Pagosa Springs recorded 0.33 inches with the Grayback SNOTEL site in the area receiving 0.8 inches. Alamosa even got in on the action with a CoCoRaHS station in town recording 0.55 inches. The Great Sand Dunes recorded 0.70 inches of rainfall. Moving east over the Southeast Mountains, La Veta Pass recorded 0.73 inches and Ute Creek SNOTEL recorded 1.3 inches of rain. According to radar estimates, the big winner for the day was on the Pitkin and Eagle County Line, where rainfall estimates were just over 1 inch.

There were no reports of flooding as of Monday morning. For rainfall estimates over your area, scroll down to the State Precipitation Map below.

Click Here For Map Overview

The map below shows radar-estimated, rainfall gage-adjusted Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) across Colorado. The map is updated daily during the operational season (May 1 – Sep 30) by 11AM. The following six layers are currently available: 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour total precipitation, as well as maximum 1-hour, 2-hour and 6-hour precipitation over the past 24 hour period (to estimate where flash flooding may have occurred). The accumulation ending time is 6AM of the date shown in the bottom right corner. Also shown optionally are fire burn areas since 2012. The home button in the top left corner resets the map to the original zoom.

Note: We have identified a possible underestimation in QPE over the southwest part of the state. We are working to on this issue, and will provide an update as soon as possible.

SPM 06-03-2018: Dry, Pleasant Saturday Kicks off Meteorological Summer

Issue Date: Sunday, June 3rd, 2018
Issue Time: 10:30 AM MDT

Summary:

The first weekend of meteorological summer (defined as June 1st to August 31st) is underway, and it got summer off to a spectacular start. A cold front pushed across much of the state on Friday night, leaving cooler and drier air in place across the state for Saturday, along with a pleasant breeze for many. Temperatures were largely seasonal, with low temperatures primarily in the upper 40°s to mid 50°s across the low country with 30°s in the mountains (left panel of figure below). Most mountain locations topped out in the 60°s, with 70°s and 80°s common on the plains (right panel), making for some dramatic temperature swings on a localized basis. San Luis (south-central) had a low of 29°F and a high of 82°F for a swing of 53°F, with the 52°F swing at Cortez (low 37°F, high 89°F) close behind.

Of course, the dry air also comes with a price, particularly when coupled with existing drought conditions across the southern portion of the state. As the below true-color satellite image from Saturday afternoon shows, two large areas of wildfire smoke were affecting the state. The southeastern pocket of smoke was blowing across the border from northern New Mexico, where the Ute Park fire was burning out of control yesterday. The second area of smoke, located primarily over the San Juan National Forest, was due to the “416 Fire”, which has burned around 2,000 acres since Friday morning. The area affected lies between the Purgatory Ski Resort and Hermosa along U.S. 550, which remains closed while firefighters work to control the blaze. The rainfall expected today in this area should be tremendously helpful to their cause, and will hopefully put a damper on future fire threats across the state.

Flooding was not reported on Saturday. For rainfall estimates in your area, check out our State Precipitation Map below.

 

Click Here For Map Overview

The map below shows radar-estimated, rainfall gage-adjusted Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) across Colorado. The map is updated daily during the operational season (May 1 – Sep 30) by 11AM. The following six layers are currently available: 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour total precipitation, as well as maximum 1-hour, 2-hour and 6-hour precipitation over the past 24 hour period (to estimate where flash flooding may have occurred). The accumulation ending time is 6AM of the date shown in the bottom right corner. Also shown optionally are fire burn areas since 2012. The home button in the top left corner resets the map to the original zoom.

Note: We have identified a possible underestimation in QPE over the southwest part of the state. We are working to on this issue, and will provide an update as soon as possible.

SPM 06-02-2018: Daytime Heat with a Cool, Evening Wind

Issue Date: Saturday, June 2nd, 2018
Issue Time: 9:30 AM MDT

Summary:

Yesterday was another uneventful weather day across Colorado with unseasonably warm temperatures again. Highs reached 100F over the Southeast Plains with other lower elevations in the mid-80s to 90s. Dry air both at the surface and aloft lead to a lot of virga rather than rainfall during  the afternoon and evening across the state. Winds did pick up in the early evening, especially along the Front Range and Urban Corridor with the passage of the cold front. Some high based cumulus allowed for some reprieve from the hot afternoon sun. No  measurable rainfall was recorded yesterday in Colorado.

Click Here For Map Overview

The map below shows radar-estimated, rainfall gage-adjusted Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) across Colorado. The map is updated daily during the operational season (May 1 – Sep 30) by 11AM. The following six layers are currently available: 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour total precipitation, as well as maximum 1-hour, 2-hour and 6-hour precipitation over the past 24 hour period (to estimate where flash flooding may have occurred). The accumulation ending time is 6AM of the date shown in the bottom right corner. Also shown optionally are fire burn areas since 2012. The home button in the top left corner resets the map to the original zoom.

Note: We have identified a possible underestimation in QPE over the southwest part of the state. We are working to on this issue, and will provide an update as soon as possible.

SPM 06-01-2018: Hot and Dry, Late Day High-Based Showers over Northern High Country

Issue Date: Friday, June 1st, 2018
Issue Time: 9:30 AM MDT

Summary:

As high pressure and dry air invaded the state, moisture was ushered out and left Mother Nature with no choice but to provide plenty of sunshine and dry conditions. Cumulus clouds bubbled over and near the higher terrain, thanks to enough residual moisture and orographic support, but they did little more than provide shadows. Late in the afternoon and during the early evening hours, a few high-based showers developed over the Northern Mountains and northern Front Range, painting the sky with virga and producing gusty winds. The only rainfall observation came from near Estes Park, where a trace of rainfall was reported.

Click Here For Map Overview

The map below shows radar-estimated, rainfall gage-adjusted Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) across Colorado. The map is updated daily during the operational season (May 1 – Sep 30) by 11AM. The following six layers are currently available: 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour total precipitation, as well as maximum 1-hour, 2-hour and 6-hour precipitation over the past 24 hour period (to estimate where flash flooding may have occurred). The accumulation ending time is 6AM of the date shown in the bottom right corner. Also shown optionally are fire burn areas since 2012. The home button in the top left corner resets the map to the original zoom.

Note: We have identified a possible underestimation in QPE over the southwest part of the state. We are working to on this issue, and will provide an update as soon as possible.