Colorado Weather Forecast #204: Tuesday Update | July 19, 2022

Slight downtick in thunderstorm coverage by Thursday/Friday, another heat wave Friday/Saturday, more widespread storm activity Saturday to Monday.

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Updated Tue Jul 19, 2022 12:30pm MST | Published Tue Jul 19, 2022

By Thomas Horner

Summary

  • Drier from Thursday to Friday.
  • Another heatwave on Friday ahead of a shortwave, cooler by Sunday as it passes over.
  • The shortwave brings better moisture and lift from Saturday to Monday – widespread thunderstorm coverage – except in northeastern Colorado (including the I-25 corridor from Denver to Fort Collins).
  • Continued thunderstorm activity into next week.

Lightning Risk Grids

Forecast Discussion

A center of high pressure is currently located over New Mexico. Its proximity to Colorado allowed for Denver to set a new daily record high of 100 degrees for July 18th (yesterday). Various other high temperature records were set across the state.

This high pressure has also allowed for monsoonal moisture to continue to rotate into the state, with the mountains doing a decent effort on wringing out the atmosphere and the high plains not so much.

This center of high pressure will retrograde westward over the next few days.

The next few days will feature more northwesterly flow into Colorado, which is a bit drier and cooler… but still, quite hot across Colorado.

There’s still a lot of moisture locked up over the Great Basin, which will get advected into Colorado (particularly west of the Divide) thanks to the northwesterly flow.

Even though the forecast from Thursday to Friday looks relatively dry compared to what we’ve seen on average over the past few weeks, there’s still more than enough moisture to drive a decent number of afternoon storms in the mountains every day, so don’t put your guard down.

After Thursday, high pressure is expected to migrate back eastwards over our region (hot again!) which will also let Colorado tap more directly into monsoonal moisture.

This ridge of high pressure looks to break down over the weekend as a shortwave crosses the region to our north.

This shortwave will bring cooler temperatures and better lift to the region, especially by Sunday, which will drive widespread thunderstorm development.

That will come after those hot temperatures on Friday on Saturday. Temperatures along the I-25 corridor and in the high plains could hit the triple digits.

Saturday likely wont be as hot due to better storm development and a bit cooler airmass.

The monsoon looks to continue to provide for the desert southwest next week…

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