Huge snow over the past few months has provided incredible relief to the drought situation that has plagued Colorado throughout the last year. Several factors,
Spring can be a real crap-shoot here in Colorado. You can have thunderstorms one afternoon and snow the next night. Everyone knows the saying, “Wait 5 minutes, and the weather will change.” But, are you actually prepared for what’s to come? Most say, “Kinda”, most say it is important, and most are not.
How did we get such a strong blizzard?
What does it take to get to a real “blizzard”?
Heavy snows last week have helped to dramatically cut back drought levels across central and western Colorado.
The snow is probably partly due to a developing El Nino, enhancing the southern branch of the U.S. Jet stream, and the pattern will likely continue into Spring. This is outstanding news for an area that has been drought-stricken.
In late Summer and Autumn, we were in the midst of a moderate La Niña, which is a cooling of surface waters off the north west coast of South America into the mid-Pacific.
A new satellite from NOAA, GOES-17, will hopefully improve forecasting for the western United States and Pacific Ocean.
Picture our topography here in Colorado. Tall mountain chain, Plains east. Winds usually come over these mountains, from west to east. Imagine a pool of cold air in the Plains, banked up against the mountains.
Weather of any kind, typically comes at us from repeated directions. In fact, most weather moves west to east.
When snow falls, the temperature where it forms, dictates the shape it takes. It takes a shape most efficient with regards to the temperature. As it falls, it may encounter a wide variety of temps on it’s way down. The air temp may help keep it frozen, or melt it.
Over the last 10 years, February is the single most dangerous month for avalanches in Colorado. Over a quarter of the fatal avalanche accidents happened during this month. We would like to break that pattern, but that requires your active participation.
Usually, these are terms in use by Meteorologists for decades, yet they’ve only recently become relevant on the News side of the business. Earlier we discussed the ‘Pineapple Express.’
Just as there are other circulations like El Nino or La Nina, or the North Atlantic Oscillation, there are “moisture rivers”, sometimes referred to as “Atmospheric Rivers”.
What does a Red Flag Warning mean?