Denver Area Forecast: 3/22/16

MARCH 22, 2016 / EDIT

UPDATE (9:45 p.m. MDT): 

BLIZZARD WARNING in effect for the Denver-Metro area. National Weather Service estimates 6-12 inches  overnight. Will cause issues for the morning commute Wednesday morning. Please be safe and weather aware.

InstagramCapture_4778c60b-8c6b-44ec-b2b1-e7f3b5ea9ef4

InstagramCapture_66859766-1704-4fdb-a5a5-91bf98f67aaa

It may seem sunny now, but just you wait, Denver, it is going to get chilly!

Yes, snow will replace the warm sunshine for those who live in the Denver-Metro area, probably overnight or Wednesday morning. I’m going to be conservative with the snow totals for this blog and say that we will get less than an inch.

With the change up in the weather, there will also be an increase of winds. Some meteorologists and models I have seen so far say gusts of approximately 40 mph.

But the good news is, it starts to heat up a smidge and we will see more stereotypical spring-like weather on Thursday and Friday with a chance of showers on Friday.

Hope all is well and as always be safe and weather aware.

Until then,

-M

 

It Will Never Be The Same

A long time ago (in  a galaxy not so far away), I had a TV meteorologist who I used to work give me some advice on going back to school. The one thing she said to me that really stuck (besides, well going back to school would be tough. I mean that was pretty important too) was “The way you look at the world will never be the same.” And ya know, she was right.

Little did I know how right she would be. That now instead of just looking up at the skies and seeing clouds or watching it snow or even trying to calm my dogs down during a thunderstorm that I would see it all differently in just a year of meteorology school.

Now I see a entirely different world than the one we are currently living in. I see clouds being formed by evaporation from the Earth and oceans with so many little water droplets being suspended in the air. I see layers of the atmosphere that each have their own characteristics that make them so unique. Like in this Skew-T screenshot I took a few days ago.

Skew-T

It may look like squiggly lines and numbers to the untrained eye but this tells weather folk about different levels of the atmosphere, it’s temperature, the winds in each layer and even where the possibility for precipitation will occur or even how spinny (yes, spinny. Don’t shake your head at me.) a storm could become (i.e. tornado).

Instead of it being breezy or so windy it could knock you and your loved one over, I not only think, we should really get inside, I wonder where did the wind come from and where is it going? Is it just winds traveling from high to low pressure or is part of a front too?

wind pic

Pic from a website that not only shows you where the winds are blowing on a map but also how fast they are going. You can see all the current winds in the world and where they are headed.

And even while I lay here in bed, writing this to you, and wondering if the symptoms from my migraine will ever end, I feel joy from looking outside my window at the clear blue sky and knowing that we are currently in a high pressure system.

No matter what happens with people or your day or even what will happen in the future, there is an entire world going on around you that is so complex and beautiful. And I am really lucky I get to study it.

So yes, she was right. It isn’t the same. And I don’t ever want to go back. So thanks for the advice!

Until then,

-M

 

I found my weather “thing”

wind pic

(picture from a website showing all the winds in the United States. This is right over Colorado. P.S. Follow me on Instagram! @megmontgo)

Good afternoon everyone!

Yes, it has been awhile. Almost over a month! That’s pretty insane to think a month has gone by.

So what’s new with me? Well, besides crazy health problems, I am in the thick of my semester. And I found my weather “thing”!

What do  I mean by “thing”? It isn’t just something reserved for Dr. Seuss. Usually in the meteorology community, everyone likes one aspect of weather. I have a friend who is into forecasting for wildfires, another who is crazy into snow, another likes climatology and we have a professor who is into weather instrumentation. I never knew that meteorology was so multi-faceted until I started hanging out with fellow weather nerds.

So, what’s my thing? I am really into wind!

I think is the coolest thing in the world and it has so many applications. Wind moves based on pressure and temperature and helps even out the Earth’s atmosphere. Wind data can tell you if a front is moving through, where a high and low pressure system is forming (tells you the difference of where storms will be and who will have a clear day), and can even be applicable with severe weather.

Here are some interesting facts about wind:

  • Last week, there was a gust in Monarch Pass, Colorado that was more than 140 miles per hour! To find out how that happened, read this article from Dr. Marshall Shepard.
  • The record for highest wind speed is 231 mph at Mount Washington, New Hampshire
  • A instrument that measures wind speed is anemometer.
  • The fastest wind speed in a tornado was measured to be 318 mph in 1999.

I hope you all enjoy these facts and are blown away (sorry, I had to!) by all these facts!

Until then!

-M

 

Great Meteorology Videos To Watch

Hey there everyone!

Welcome to the start of another week. If you are on the east coast, I really hope you are safe and warm! This snowstorm is pretty much everything it should be and I am really thankful to all of those in the meteorological community who warned about it because it could have been a lot worse.

I was thinking about what I like to do when I am shut in due to inclement weather. What I like to do is watch lots and lots of Youtube videos all about weather! So, I decided to make a playlist of all the good weather-related videos I have seen out there by other science nerds on the internet (because let’s face it, I like to share cool stuff from other people too!). Click here and it will take you to my Youtube page. Scroll to the bottom and it will take you to the meteorology video playlist.

Here’s a taste of some of the videos that I have on my playlist:

  • What Causes Stripey Clouds?
  • How Rainbows Form
  • How to Make a Cloud in Your Mouth
  • What’s the Difference Between a Solar and Lunar Eclipse?
  • And many more!

I hope you all enjoy this playlist. I will update it as I see more and more. And please don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel to keep up to date on all weather videos.

Until then,

-M

 

Why is there a big snowstorm coming to the Northeast?

Hi everyone!

So if you hadn’t heard already, there is a huge snowstorm predicted to drop on the Northeast, especially in the Washington D. C. area. If you are a big weather nerd like me, you might like to know why forecasters are calling it a big one and also how it forms. This is probably the best article I know that explains the science behind the big upcoming winter weather event:

Washington Post: “Why this incredible snowstorm is so potent.”

Also, if you happen to live in the Northeast, please take precautions. Stock up on food that will last you for a good while, make sure you have batteries for flash lights and an emergency plan just in case. And as usual, if it is not necessary to go out and drive, just stay at home.

I hope all of this was helpful!

Until then,

-M

 

How Snowflakes Get Their Shape

You’ve heard no two snowflakes are the same but did you know the reason is it all depends on the weather outside?

I researched what goes into the shape of each snowflake and why. And it has to do on several factors. But, did you know that there are actually FOUR different types of shapes to each snowflakes?

Watch my new video above to find out. Click here to go directly to my channel for more videos.

Until then,

-M

More Snow on the Way for Denver?

(SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL TODAY! It is Weather Wanderings!)

Hi everyone!

Boy, it has been a crazy day in the Denver-Metro Area! Basically, we were hammered with more snow than expected over night. The storm left more than 10 inches in some places (We got 10 inches at my house).

The system really impacted our area. A lot of cars slid of the road (It is still icy as I write this) and a lot of businesses closed early. It was pretty much a snow day for the whole city.

So what does that mean for the rest of the week? I did a forecast for the area in the video above and hint: there may be more snow on the way!

Hope you all are very safe and warm tonight! There will be a video blog posted on Friday and I think another written blog tomorrow.

Leave me a comment 🙂

Until then,

-M

Blogs I follow

Hi everyone!

Hope you are having a lovely start to your week. Mine’s a little busy because I have finals this week!!!! Ugh I can’t wait to finish the semester.

Since I will not be able to film a vlog until the end of the week (I have so many planned! I can’t wait to show you!), I would like to leave you with two weather blogs I like to read so you can check them out for yourself!

  1. The Vane: This blog is hosted by Gawker but is written by a person who has a lot of meteorological insight. Plus I like the sarcastic tone! It is meant for those who want to read about weather nationwide and some times about topics in space!
  2. Weather 5280:  I was turned on to this blog but a female TV meteorologist at a sportsman convention (of all places!). This blog talks about only weather in the Denver-Metro area. I’ve met the guys who write the entries personally (one of them is currently teaching one of my weather classes) and I trust their judgement about weather. Very good read if your are curious about Colorado Weather!
  3. AMS News you can Use: I don’t have a link to this one because you have to be an AMS member to get it. The folks at the American Meteorological Society compile a list of weather articles that show up in the main stream media and email it to you. You can find some good stuff in there from time to time.

 

I wish you all a wonderful rest of your week. It is now time for me to hit the books. Talk soon!

Until then,

-M

Possible Blizzard Coming to Denver?

Apocalypse? Maybe not but there could be measurable snowfall coming our way.

I thought I would just do a little post about the snowfall that is expected in the Denver Monday night through Tuesday.

Originally, the models (supercomputers which crunch on the physics and math equations for us) appeared as if we were going to get apocalyptic-type snowfall for this. Although it doesn’t look like it will be that crazy (One was calling for 40 inches last week!), it will still be very measurable.

Because I live and breathe meteorology, I’ve been looking at all my sources and here is what I know:

Monday night, that rain will eventually turn into snowfall. We are currently looking at 6-11 inches around the Denver Metro area. The snow will continue until Tuesday afternoon.

NOTABLE ABOUT THIS STORM: This is a very fast moving storm and has a capability of producing high winds. As long as things continue to move quickly, we could see blowing snow and visibility up to 1/4 of a mile.

Since gusts could get up to higher than 35 mph and the visibility could be so bad up to 1/4 of an inch away from you, this could be an official blizzard. In fact, the National Weather Service put out a blizzard warning this morning. If you want to know why I call it an official blizzard, that’s because in order for it to be a blizzard, two criteria points have to be met.

  1. Wind speeds up to 35 mph
  2. Visibility up to 1/4 of a mile

It does not matter if it is really cold or if there is a lot of snow. If those two points are not met, it is not a blizzard. I would just call it a crazy snowstorm.

As always, please be safe Monday night and Tuesday. Take it slow, leave the house early to get to your destination on time and make sure to have enough warm clothes on.

In the meantime, send me your weather pictures of this snowstorm! I will be putting them up on my blog and social media accounts! Email: megan@cloud2ground.net

Have a lovely night!

Until then,

-M

 

Why do the leaves change in autumn?

DSC_0172 (2)

Ohhhhh yeaaah!!! Bring on the boots, the scarves, the fall leaves and the pumpkin spice everything! (I’m actually drinking a pumpkin spice tea as I write this haha.)

My favorite season is here!  Fall arrived in Colorado!

A few weeks ago, my family and I went up to Guanella Pass, Colorado to see all the pretty leaves changing. All the pictures in this blog are from that trip.

Guanella Pass is more in Central Colorado, about an hour’s drive away from the Denver-Metro area. A lot of people come up there from the city during the fall so they can see all the pretty colors. There wasn’t a stop that we had to ourselves. There were at least two other cars full of people at every outpost. But it doesn’t matter, I get to be outside!

DSC_0175 (2)

But, all the pretty leaves make me wonder as a future meteorologist. What exactly, makes the leaves change? Believe it or not, I found a few weeks ago from another meteorologist, Cory Reppenhagen, who works for the ABC local affiliate here in Denver. Here’s his story to explain:

My First 14er!

WP_20150912_15_35_54_Pro

Hi everyone!

Wow! I haven’t posted in awhile! It has been a busy month. I’ve had several tests and I hosted my first student event for the American Meteorological Society. It was awesome! So great to tell my fellow classmates about all the great things available to them through the AMS Broadcast Board!

So, I have to tell you about a big first for me! I go to do my first 14er a few weeks ago! What is a 14er you ask? Well, it is quite the big deal in Colorado. 14ers are the tallest mountains in Colorado. They are 14,000 feet above sea level and it is so cool to say you went that high. For me I am a big outdoors enthusiast so this was huge! The only thing is I am not quite in shape (It will happen by next year!!! Woo!) to hike up one so we did one of the only two peaks you can drive up. We went to Mt. Evans which is near Idaho Springs (but also is part of the city of Denver even though it is far away from the city, so odd).

I have never been to a mountain where the tree line ends and you actually see tundra. In the picture above, that is tundra during the fall season. It makes me so excited to see tundra for once because a) I’ve studied the difference climates and vegetation and b) I’ve only lived in the desert and now Colorado for a little while so tundra is a brand new thing for me. The only thing that is higher than tundra is permafrost (ground that is permanently frozen) which I have yet to see.

Another awesome thing was the mountain goats! They were so cool. I’m a big animal lover so I am a huge fan of anything that crawls around. It was amazing because they weren’t shy at all and it was even more fascinating that any time they wanted to cross the street, one would jump in front of the car and act like a crossing guard. The goat that just walked in front of our car didn’t budge until the whole herd crossed.  And I got to see little baby goats! So adorable!

WP_20150912_14_33_08_Pro

One thing I will say about traveling to Mt. Evans or any 14er is be aware that there will be a lot of traffic. The Denver-Metro area is home to a lot of outdoorsy people and they all like to head up to the mountains on weekends. It got so crowded at one point with people parked on the sides of the roads to see the goats that the road actually was blocked by people. We tried to get through but thankfully a ranger came out and told everyone that it is indeed illegal to park on the side of the road on the mountain in non-parking areas. Also, there is a $10 fee for a car full of people. But it was definitely worth it!

I hope you all get outdoors this season. Fall is an amazing time!

Until then,

-M