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Friday, April 11, 2008

Don't Get Excited Yet! Spring and Drought Retreat!

Oh, 73F was so nice yesterday- 10 degrees above normal, and pretty close to my forecast of 70F. In fact it almost felt hot on my afternoon run. My body is just not use to running in anything above 60F yet. This morning was a bust, as I thought we would escape the fog. Oh no! It formed just around sunrise, and stuck around into the morning ride. I still have high hopes of another 70 degree day, thanks to the storm out west and a push of warm southerly winds. Here is the 850mb map (around 5,000 ft aloft and a good indication of what our surface air temperatures will be). Just looking at the color coding you can see yellow and orange with the warm air, and the blues wrapping around the monster storm, where up to a foot of snow will fall today.
There is a dramatic change on the way- so spring will take a little break. Tony Pann sent and email about potential snow flakes on Sunday. Well- that got my attention, and yours a well. Here is Sunday morning's 850 map. The kink in the lines (isoheights) show an upper level trough- which will bring back the late winter chill. Some upper level support will provide clouds and mountain flurries, but I can't get too excited yet. It's very hard for us to have snow showers in April as the boundary layer and surface temperatures will be too warm (at least in the 40s). If anything, this is when elevation comes into play. So any chance of flurries or a snow shower would be above 1000 feet. That is up near or north of the PA line or west of Frederick. Regardless, it will get much colder, so yesterday was just a tease.

Recently I discussed the drought situation, and mentioned the record snowfall out west. That will result in a benefit to the Colorado watershed when it melts into the summer. This is an area that has had explosive population growth and desert drought to deplete the water supply. It's a situation many have seen beyond recovery, yet this winter has changed that. I encourage you to pick up a Wall Street Journal today for an article on this. It is not available to the general public online- but click here for some maps from The Wall Street Journal .
that explain a little bit.

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