Over the past 36 hours, a cold front dropped across the Front Range, putting an end to several weeks of hot, sunny weather. Behind the front, an upslope flow developed across the Northern Plains, shoving cool, moist air toward the Continental Divide and dropping steady, light rain along the Front Range urban corridor.
Yesterday's high topped out at 60 degrees F and our overnight low dropped into the mid 50s. This morning, the upslope is beginning to break down and patches of blue dot the rising overcast; limited sunshine is forecast for this afternoon, warming surface air into the lower 70s and setting the stage for late day thunderstorms, fueled by our initial plume of monsoon moisture.
Living along the Colorado Front Range is a treat for weather junkies. The mountain wall to the west, Palmer Divide to the south and tilted plains to the east produce ever-changing weather conditions; wind shifts, developing in response to high pressure domes, surface lows and intervening fronts, can produce dramatic temperature changes within a few hours. Rising air, augmented by mountainous terrain, ignites thunderstorms when fueled by summer heat; when driven upslope by a passing cold front, it provides a cool, damp respite from the intense summer sun.