Chinooks in the Night

After several days of cold, cloudy weather, a warm front pushed across Colorado overnight.  Indeed, at about 12:30 am, the windows rattled on our Littleton farmhouse as a brief period of strong winds raked the Front Range.

This morning, it is 46 degrees F in Littleton, a couple degrees warmer than it is in Phoenix, Arizona.  Such is the effect of downsloping, Chinook winds.  With high pressure west of the Continental Divide and low pressure to our east, air flows down the eastern flanks of the mountains, compressing, warming and drying out as it descends.  Our afternoon high is forecast to be 60 degrees F but, starting at 46 and soon to be bathed by the intense Colorado sun, I expect the afternoon temperature to be a bit higher.

As the next winter storm moves from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes and Northeast, we will be relatively unaffected along the Front Range urban corridor.  Afternoon highs should be above "normal" all week and not a wisp of snow is expected.  Then again, March and April, two of our snowiest months, lie ahead and snow in May is never out of the question.  But, for now, we'll enjoy a prelude to spring.