Tag Archives: Fort Collins

Muskegon, Michigan to Fort Collins, Colorado

Tonight we embark on a 1,156-mile road trip from the Great Lakes to the foothills of the Rockies. We’ll be able to make it in 2 days, but it’ll be a long 2 days. We better get to sleep early, gonna be an early morning tomorrow to get this show on the road!


A low pressure system is pushing into the Western Great Lakes, far less intense than the low that’s inundating the Northeast and New England right now, but it’s pushing a cold front through Michigan down into the Central Plains. Some light shower activity is possible during the morning hours as we head southward along the shores of Lake Michigan into northwest Indiana and eventually into Northern Illinois. Once we get into Illinois we should avoid any more precip for the day, but gusty northwesterly winds will be found throughout the rest of the day, especially as we head into Iowa. Winds will calm down a bit in the evening as we head past Des Moines and finish our day in the small town of Adair, IA


High pressure is found over the Central US today, making for a quieter and much less windy day as we head out of western Iowa past Omaha and through much of Nebraska. An area of low pressure looks to start shifting out of Alberta down into the Northern High Plains late in the day, but with downsloping winds as we get into western NE, temperatures will warm up a bit. Not like that will affect any precip types, however, as dry weather will persist for the rest of the day as we head into northeast CO and eventually end the day in Fort Collins!

One for the record books

It’s kind of amazing what can happen out in the  Front Range, especially this time of year. On Tuesday morning, temperatures in Fort Collins were a few degrees cooler than what had been anticipated, dipping all the way to 29 degrees before the sun came up. Rather than spoiling the forecast by leading to temperatures that were much cooler than the forecasts had in mind, temperatures soared on Wednesday, setting a record high for the date, topping out at 83 degrees. Weatherbug was tied for the top forecast, and they were 10 degrees too low, if that gives you any idea how well handled this forecast was. Victoria-Weather was a bit warmer on Wednesday, and parlayed that into earning the other share of the victory.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 62, Low 29
Wednesday – High 83, Low 36

Grade C-D

Fort Collins, Colorado to Columbus, Indiana

Hey, let’s hit the road tonight, shall we? We’re taking a two day trip, covering 1178 miles of the Plains. We’ll cover ground at a pace approaching 70mph, and we’ll be able to drive 555 miles on Friday, leaving more than half the drive for Saturday. Traffic will be better anyways.

DAY ONE (Friday)

Winds will be whipping through the Plains behind a cold front presently making its way through Illinois, and it will probably seem a bit more vigorous in the flatlands of Kansas. It will be chilly, too, so limit those stops at gas stations and maybe hit the drive through for lunch so you can keep the car warm, because nobody is ever really ready for the first dose of chilly weather of the season. We’ll make it to Alma, Kansas, which is closer to the interstate than Manhattan.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
Increasingly on Saturday, we will see the blue skies blotted out by gray clouds as we head eastward. It should be entirely overcast as we reach St. Louis, and will continue to be dreary through Illinois and central Indiana. Maybe it’s not the welcome you want in Columbus, but it is the welcome we are stuck with. It should clear out early in the week, if we can stick around at all!

Fort Collins, Colorado

It’s autumn and we’re forecasting in the Front Range. I can all but guarantee something weird is coming.

At 756PM, MT, Fort Collins was reporting a temperature of 46 degrees with clear skies. A trough driving into the Plains was introducing a brisk northwesterly flow to the flatlands east of Fort Collins, while a mostly westerly flow was emanating from the Rockies.
The trough is on its way east towards the Mid Atlantic, which will help deter the blustery winds, and will encourage a warm up as an upper level ridge builds into Rockies.  Tomorrow will still be a cool day, but by mid-week, a noticeable warm up will arrive in Fort Collins. Clear skies and a dry atmosphere will lead to some chilly mornings despite the warmth.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 65, Low 32
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 76, Low 36

TWC: Tomorrow – Plentiful sunshine. High 65, Low 35
Wednesday – A mainly sunny sky. High 77, Low 37

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 64, Low 33
Wednesday – Sunny and warmer High 75, Low 36

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 61, Low 33
Wednesday – Sunny High 74, Low 37

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, HIgh 62, Low 31
Wedensday – Mostly sunny, High 73, Low 37

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 61, Low 33
Wednesday – Sunny, High 74, Low 37

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until evening. High 63, Low 36
Wednesday – Clear throughout the day. High 73, Low 38

Here is a look at the satellite, on which you can see the faintest trace of the upper level trough moving through the Upper Midwest.

No rain, but a lot of heat

Fort Collins, just on the lee side of the Rockies promised to be at the leading edge of any warm up in the Plains, after a broad, overwhelming trough smothered half of the United States. There was a threat that there would be a few isolated strong thunderstorms at the leading edge of this emerging heat wave, but those storms ended up erupting as far east as Nebraska, leaving Fort Collins to swelter in hot downsloping flow, completely avoiding any rain. Temperatures ultimately blew past anyone’s imagination, reaching 97 degrees on Tuesday. Victoria-Weather had one of the better temperature forecasts (still not great), but were pushed to victory because we left rain out of the forecast. It was in Nebraska, for heaven’s sake! I say we were more than just a little lucky.
Actuals: Monday – High 89, Low 50
Tuesday – High 97, Low 52

Grade: C-D

Fort Collins, Colorado

Keep an eye on Fort Collins, pretty much at all times in the summer. Some of the best radar imagery of the summer comes from the Front Range. Is there anything coming up that radar enthusiasts can look forward to?

At 1056PM, MT, Fort Collins was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 60 degrees. A light wind was blowing towards the Rockies, as high pressure sat from the Dakotas to the southern Appalachians, with east to west flow at the southern end f the angled ridge bringing slightly more humid air into the Front Range. This high pressure will remain in place through the day on Monday.
A weak upper level trough moving through western Canada is expected to immediately trail the broad trough that has dominated the weather pattern for the past week or so. As the upper level trough reaches the High Plains, expect a lee trough to develop swiftly at the surface. In response to that developing feature, expect some fairly big thunderstorms to develop late in the day on Tuesday, though Fort Collins’ position, snug up against the Rockies will likely keep the town dry, as most of the activity will crop up in the eastern part of the state. The heat will certainly increase with greater southerly flow.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 85, Low 53
Tuesday – Increasing clouds, and much warmer, High 91, Low 55

TWC: Tomorrow – Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 86, Low 52
Tuesday -Sunshine and clouds mixed. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 92, Low 56

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny and warmer High 84, Low 53
Tuesday – Partly sunny with widely separated thunderstorms in the afternoon High 90, Low 56

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 84, Low 52
Tuesday – A 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, High 91, Low 55

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 83, Low 54
Tuesday – Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms, High 87, Low 56

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 84, Low 66
Tuesday – Partly cloudy with isolated storms, High 91, Low 84

FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening. High 83, Low 55
Tuesday – Light rain in the afternoon. High 88, Low 56

It’s pretty lonely out here on this island, forecasting no rain in Fort Collins.  I really think they stay dry. Here is the satellite this evening, showing nothing for Colorado, but some serious storms in the Texas Panhandle, showing up nicely on the late night IR satellite. 

Weather Wayback… Piece of Cake

With high pressure, forecasters are inclined to take the day off and let guidance steer the forecast towards its final destination. In the Front Range of the Rockies, it’s generally very difficult to discern all the local factors that lead to temperature changes without the heavy involvement of computer models and algorithms. When, in early November, there was high pressure over our Front Range forecast location of Fort Collins, so one way or another, this was coming down to algorithms. It turns out Accuweather had the best numbers on this occasion, and claimed the victory, way back when.
November 7th – High 66, Low 37
November 8th – High 64, Low 32

Grade: A-B

Pueblo, Colorado to Fort Collins, Colorado

This seems like a short easy trip, but I can assure you that this will not be easy. There is upsloping flow that is bringing some snow to the region. Let’s see if it will slow things down on this normally three hour (or so) trip covering 176 miles. Even with crummy conditions, we’ll navigate the trip in under a day. We need to get going. Remember your snow pants.

The snow in Colorado is being caused by the opposite kind of system that causes inclement weather pretty much anywhere else in the world. High pressure in the Plains is forcing moisture and cold air up the mountains, which in turn is causing the copious snowfall to fall across the Front Range. High pressure won’t be moving by tomorrow, but it will be cutting off moisture from the Gulf, so snow won’t be as intense. I think the best bet for accumulating snow will be south of the Palmer Divide, with more manageable flurries through Denver and Fort Collins.
Fort Collins

Fort Collins, Colorado to Dover, Delaware

It’s time for a road trip. We’re going to take a trek that will consume 3 1/2 days and cover 1769 miles. Thanks to some serious driving through the Plains, we will be able to get our average speed up to 64mph, which will allow us to cover about 513 miles on days 1-3, finishing things off on Monday, which is good, because traffic will be much worse that day. Let’s hitch our wagon and head east, young man!

DAY ONE (Friday)
Fort Collins
There is a monstrous ridge developing in the center of the country. Sure, we have a bit of instability over the Ozarks, but we aren’t driving through the Ozarks. Instead, enjoy the warm (seasonably so) weather in Nebraska. We won’t quite make it to Omaha, instead calling it a day in Greenwood, Nebraska, which is about half an hour from Iowa.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
Some moisture will be riding the back end of the ridge as it slides into the Upper Midwest. There could certainly be some drizzle throughout our drive in Iowa and northern Illinois, but mostly, it will be fairly cloudy as we make our away east. The cloudy skies will not reflect the warmth that will still surround us as we head through Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Chicago. The drive will end in northwest Indiana, around the Portage area. Only a light jacket necessary!

DAY THREE (Sunday)
More of the same on Sunday, though the terrain will be changing. The flow will be essentially the same. Warm air will continue to follow us through the southern Great Lakes, and with it, the clouds and threat of light rain. Nothing will change through northern Ohio, but finally, as we reach the Appalachians in Pennsylvania, we may start to see some more significant wet weather in the western slopes of the mountain range. We will end the day in Bedford in southern Pennylvania, still with a threat of clouds and showers.

DAY FOUR (Monday)
Well, we did it. The clouds will be hemmed up behind the mountains, and high pressure means warm conditions will continue to follow us to the coast. We will make it to Dover with sunny skies and a pleasant disposition. Temperatures will be well above normal.

Pretty good (for the Rocky Mountains)

Happy New Year! We begin 2014 with a verification for Fort Collins. The northern Colorado city was just south of a strong jet running down the Front Range. It had a possibility of ushering in cold Canadian air, but it also had the chance to bring some warm downsloping air. We hedged our bets with the Fort Collins forecast and it paid off! Highs reached 55 on Tuesday, but the low each day was 21. Accuweather had the best forecast, properly accounting for the temperature range.
Actuals: Monday – High 46, Low 21
Tuesday – High 55, Low 21

Grade: B