Tag Archives: Fort Collins

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

Fort Collins, Colorado

We are on our way to the Front Range today, just across the border from Wyoming. Let’s see what the forecast has in store.

At 1055PM, MT, Fort Collins was reporting a temperature of 21 degrees. Winds were swirling around Fort Collins, but at the airport, they were calm. The primary jet was evidently running to the northeast of Fort Collins, so eastern Colorado was steering clear of the cold snap gripping the center of the country.
Flow will continue along a course from Montana to central Nebraska through the period. Flow coming from the northwest will make temperatures fairly unpredictable, as downslope flow will mix with northerly winds tapping into a cold air mass. Fortunately, this will not lead to any precipitation, which would be a touch unwieldy to contend with.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 46, Low 18
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy, High 50, Low 18

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny High 47, Low 24
Tuesday – Partly Cloudy High 52, Low 30

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny and milder High 46, Low 21
Tuesday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine High 52, Low 26

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 46, Low 17
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy High 53, Low 24

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy. High 44, Low 19
Tuesday – Partly cloudy. High 53, Low 24

I think The Weather Channel is going to be disappointed by the low tomorrow morning in Fort Collins. Here is the western satellite, showing clear skies for Fort Collins.
Fort Collins

New Orleans, Louisiana to Fort Collins, Colorado

Sorry for the late night, but this will be ready for anyone who wishes to hit the open road tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a 2 1/2 day journey to Fort Collins. To be honest, I thought Lee would still be hanging out along the coast as we left. Anyways, we will cover 1360 miles at an easy pace of 62.2mph, or 497 miles on those first two days. Let’s pack up the RV!


If you know one thing about the weather across the country this month, know this. It has stopped raining in Texas. The state is in an incredible drought. This is bad news for agricultural interests across the state, and bad for travel (though definitely not as big a deal) if smoke clouds our vision on the way through the Piney Woods. Also, no smoking! That will only trigger more fires! We will end our day in Lawrence on the west side of the Dallas Metro.

West Texas isn’t much wetter than east Texas, though a few cells have cropped up over the Texas Panhandle over the past couple of days. Not the case on Monday though! We should be dry and dusty as we make our way through northern Texas and eventually cross into the Oklahoma Panhandle. There isn’t much around, and we will likely have to call it a day in Boise City, Oklahoma.

The final day! Might we find a little bit of moisture on Tuesday as some flow off the mountains kicks up a few lee side showers. It won’t be until we are hugging the mountains on the north side of Denver, but it is possible to see some wet weather! Real rain! But alas, it will be short lived in Fort Collins, with a front pushing north out of Wyoming. Enjoy Colorado, everyone!