Autumn in the Central Rockies often features pleasantly warm days with plenty of golden Colorado sunshine. The first hint of cooler weather to come often arrives in September in the form of a handful of frosty mornings. However, these cooler days are fleeting and quickly replaced by warm afternoons which remind us why we love Colorado. By October, the weather pattern in the Colorado Front Range and the Central Rockies in general begins to change. Colder air building up over Canada begins pushing southward across the Northern United States, sometimes making it into Colorado. These surges of cold air, associated with rain and snow showers, often bring the first sub-freezing temperatures to the region as well as the first measurable snowfall along the Continental Divide and the adjacent foothills. During October, a Pacific storm track begins to establish itself over the Western United States. During the later summer months, precipitation is still largely monsoonal in nature. By October, moisture-laden Pacific storm systems begin lumbering into the West Coast, making their way over the Great Basin and sometimes into Colorado.
Over the next week, a progressive October weather pattern will be in place over Nederland and the surrounding Foothill towns. After a mild start to the week, a cold front will sag southward across Colorado from Wyoming on Tuesday evening. Scatter showers and high elevation snow showers are expected Tuesday night, but these will quickly dissipate by Wednesday morning, and should have no impact on the morning commute. Temperatures will slowly moderate through the remainder of the week. A second but weaker cold front will pass through the region on Saturday, but this front will not have much in the way of precipitation with it and will only cause temperatures to drop by a few degrees.
While the Front Range will remain generally dry over the next several days, the Cascades in Washington and Oregon as well as the Sierra in California will be receiving some much needed precipitation. Although it will be mostly in the form of rain, but it should be a good start to the new water year. Cheers!