As expected, a strong disturbance (a shortwave trough) in the mid levels of the atmosphere brought clouds and precipitation to much of the Colorado Front Range on Friday. Clouds were on the increase early in the day, and this helped to keep temperatures on the cool side. Without much sunshine and daytime heating to destabilize the atmosphere, much of the rain which did occur was in the form of light to moderate showers. Later in the day when the sun did finally make an appearance, there was just enough heating to trigger a few thundershowers along and in the Indian Peaks. There was more wind than rain with these storms,particularly in Nederland. Temperatures remained in the 50s F for much of the day with unusually breezy conditions (for early August) persisting during the evening hours.
One cool facet of the atmosphere is that a storm many hundreds of miles away from your location can still influence the weather you experience. This is called a “teleconnection”, and we are experiencing one of these right now. Our weather over the next several days will be influenced by a deep, nearly stationary storm system spinning in the northern Pacific Ocean, several hundred miles off the coasts of Oregon and Washington. This storm system will result in a steady westerly to southwesterly wind flow across northern Colorado. This will help to keep the hot Mexican Plateau air mass to our south. Little pieces of energy embedded in this flow will result in varying amounts of cloudiness over the Front Range mountains and Northeastern Plains on Saturday and Sunday, possibly triggering a late day shower or thunderstorm. Otherwise, look for two warm days with highs in the upper 70s F around 8000 feet.
By Monday, in response to some ridging over the western United states, a cold front will push southward across Colorado and the south/central Rockies with much of the cooler air staying east of the Continental Divide. The models disagree as to whether the Foothills communities will see any precipitation with this front. There will be some shallow upslope flow, so temperatures will be cooler with a decent amount of cloudiness.
Overall, the weekend is looking good for outdoor activities. Enjoy!