From Summer to Winter

Following a week of summer-like weather, with afternoon highs at or near 70 degrees F, winter conditions have returned to the Colorado Front Range.  A chilly rain fell overnight and was mixing with snow by dawn; as I write this blog, the precipitation has changed over to snow but, so far, accumulation has been minimal due to the warm ground.

The dramatic change in weather, not unusual along the Front Range in March and April, is courtesy of a Pacific storm system that swept across the Rockies last evening.  Ahead of the storm's cold front, severe thunderstorms are forming from the Southern Plains to the mid Mississippi Valley while, behind the front, an upslope flow is bringing snow to the Northern Plains and the Front Range.  The position of the storm's central low, now over southeastern Kansas, is limiting the intensity of the upslope and only four inches of snow accumulation is expected in Metro Denver by midnight.

While the wet snow will pose little threat to the trees and shrubs on our Littleton farm, an overnight low temperature near 20 degrees F will create havoc for the fruit trees that are now in bloom.  The pear, apricot and crabapple crop will surely be poor this year; fortunately, the apple and mulberry trees and the chokecherry shrubs are not yet flowering and their fruit will be spared (at least by this winter outbreak).