Drier and hotter before a very soggy weekend. Also, a review of July’s weather.

July is rapidly coming to a close, and it has been a decent month for Colorado, especially after June brought a spell of record heat and widespread wildfires. Though we were quite cynical about how this month would shape up, the monsoon has thus far driven a favorable atmospheric setup for precipitation in the desert southwest, with big totals in Arizona, western New Mexico, and southwest Colorado.

Wet and stormy weekend, with a drying trend next next week and another potential moisture surge by next weekend.

We’re looking at an unsettled afternoon and weekend as monsoonal moisture remains in place over the state and a weak retrograding low continues to provide a source of lift and cooler temperatures for the desert southwest.

Monsoonal moisture looks to be consistent feature into next week.

The wildflowers are popping, and bees are buzzing, and it looks like much of the southwest will receive an ample amount of moisture over the next week. Not bad!

Both the American and Euro ensembles show above average precipitation over the next 10 days:

Thunderstorms remain a concern into the weekend as moisture looks to stick around.

A surge of monsoonal moisture and some dynamical forcing from a shortwave has made today wet and stormy across most of Colorado, starting with the San Juans early this morning. Radar over the past 12 hours show widespread precipitation across the state, which is now starting to step off the high terrain and onto the plains:

Moisture returns late Tuesday, but we slowly dry out by the weekend.

The past few days have been dry and increasingly smoky as the heat returns following our cold front on Saturday. This front actually moved through Friday night (a bit faster than expected) which helped suppress storm activity on Saturday, which was already expected to be limited.

Over the past three days, we’ve only seen sporadic precipitation, not counting a few small cells that have popped up over the Divide since noon and are tracking south.

Despite the onset of monsoonal flow, moisture looks scarce for Colorado into next week.

Hello everyone, long time no see! Hope your summer is going well.

In our last article (two weeks ago), we defined what the North American Monsoon is, its various permutations, and what sort of pattern may be in store for us this summer. We actually saw a transition towards monsoonal flow a week ago as a broad region of high pressure began to develop over the Four Corners region. This initially resulted in a surge of monsoonal moisture, but now the high pressure system is starting to make precipitation more scarce as it moves west and strengthens.

What is the monsoon, when is monsoon season, and how does it impact Colorado?

In this article, we define the North American Monsoon, describe its formation, dispel several myths around it, and look at some of its common weather patterns using several different years as examples. We’ll also discuss its potential future in the face of climate change.

As we get into summer, you’ll hear the term monsoon used ever more frequently, especially during stretches of wetter weather. Parts of Colorado (not the entire state) often experience a secondary wet season beginning in mid-July that corresponds with the formation of the North American Monsoon.

Cooler and wetter pattern from Friday to Monday.

We are now in astronomical summer, and the days are getting shorter. Though a cold front came through as expected on Sunday / Monday, it was short-lived, and conditions have been dry and hot overall.

Fire, Smoke, and Heat

Lightning and human activity has kicked off fires across the western United States, with several new fires in Colorado this week. On Tuesday, the Muddy Slide fire exhibited explosive growth as it ran to the east and overwhelmed structures.

The heat eases this weekend, thunderstorm chances increase, and then a strong cold front pushes through on Monday.

The past few days have been brutal across much of the western United States, with new high temperature records being set en masse.

Record high temperatures possible as wildfires and smoke become a growing concern. Some thunderstorm potential.

It has been a hot and sometimes smoky week in Colorado, but this was just a warmup (so to speak) for what we’ll experience from Sunday to Thursday.

Covered in this article:

  • Next week and weekend’s forecast, including temperatures, winds, and thunderstorms, with an eye on snowpack refreezing and mountain lightning potential.
  • Overview of the current fire situation and an outlook for the summer.
  • In-depth explanation of the monsoon and how we are expecting it to set up this summer.

Forecast Discussion

Though a ridge of high pressure has been building over much of our region, a shortwave scooted by yesterday. …

Highpoint Weather Forecasting Team

The Highpoint Weather forecasting team — weather nerds who like to play outside.

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