During this time of year, it is relatively uncommon for cold fronts to sag as far south as Colorado. Instead, the daily temperatures, clouds, and precipitation are controlled by a large, warm dome of high pressure which typically anchors itself somewhere between the Southwestern United Statues and the Southern Plains. Often, this ridge of high pressure meanders slowly back and forth between these locations. When this high moves east of Colorado, southerly winds bring moisture into the central and southern Rocky Mountains. The warm summer sun quickly warms the atmosphere, and clouds form, followed in short order by showers and thunderstorms. These bring much needed rain to our parched part of the country as well as cooler temperatures. When this high remains west of Colorado so does the moisture. This can be when we have our warmest days. Much of the moisture that flows into our region in the summer comes from the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico. Our hottest air masses come from the Mexican plateau.
Over the next few days, Nederland will enjoy ample amounts of moisture. Morning sunshine will quickly give way to clouds, and by the afternoon showers and thunderstorms will be scattered around Nederland, the Front Range Foothills, and much of Colorado. The storms will likely be strongest over the Plains and locations near the foothills such as Boulder and Golden, but persons hiking in the Indian Peaks Wilderness should plan to be below tree line by 10 – 11 AM.
The warm ridge of high pressure will start to rebuild itself to our west on Friday bringing drier conditions and rising temperatures for the weekend. Hang in there! The summer heat doesn’t last long in Nederland. Enjoy it while you can. Remember you can always climb a peak to escape the heat!