Monday, May 14, 2018

The Guessing Game Begins

From mid May through most of the summer, thunderstorms often build above the Front Range peaks by late morning.  Steered by upper level winds, they move eastward across the urban corridor and then onto the High Plains where they may grow into monster supercells; June is the peak month for tornadic thunderstorms across the Plains of Eastern Colorado.

For those of us in Metro Denver and other Front Range cities, the path of these storms is fodder for a daily guessing game.  During years when the landscape is parched, we hope that one will move over our property, dropping heavy rain.  On the other hand, these storms often produce damaging hail and, if the seasonal moisture is up to par, we hope that they will angle to our north or south.

Today's storms began to build by mid morning and the largest of the group moved across downtown Denver (no word yet on any damage); here in Littleton, we received only a brief shower.  While second or even third rounds may occur, the first line of storms is generally most potent, sucking energy from the atmosphere and cooling the air behind them.  As I write this post, the growing remnants of that initial line loom to the east, stretching from the Black Forest (just north of Colorado Springs) to Fort Morgan (in northeastern Colorado).