Thursday, October 26, 2006

Forecasting Sucks

There seems to be a theme thread in the next couple blogs.

One key word ties it all together. Or not.

Meterologists in Colorado are an amusing lot: on Monday, the extended weather forecast through to the weekend was day time highs in the 60s and 70s, night time lows in the 30s, little/no precipitation in the forecast.

Not unusual in October's "Indian Summer" hereabouts.

Then Tuesday, they reported a "blip" on the horizon: a possible snow maker in-bound. Cold air to the north and west; moisture to the south and west. Possible junction point: Southeast Colorado. Which hereabouts results in what the meteorological types call an "upslope", when the counterclockwise flow of low pressure in SE Colorado piles up whatever bad weather comes with it against the foothills, as it did in the celebrated Blizzards of 1982 and 2003.

Depends on where the 'low' sets up, that determines who gets their winter booty kicked.

On early Wednesday morning, I just heard the radio meteorologist suggest that "Denver could get 1-3" of snow; or significantly more". Naturally, the western 'burbs (aka, moi's locality) and foothills could get 4-8"; or significantly more".

*TOING*

Either way, the National Weather Service is now talking about posting blizzard advisories/winter storm warnings for much of the Front Range of Colorado, effective late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning.

I've seen my share of actual blizzards, here and in both Iowa and Kansas; they ain't pretty, unless you're already hunkered down where you wanna be, with lots of supplies and a snowblower the size of an Abrams battle tank. Whereas, a winter storm warning merely means it's going to snow not quite enough to qualify it as a blizzard, but conditions can cumulate to a point where the difference is...eh.

If you have to work or travel in it, the difference is such that either tends to suck.

According to The Weather Channel, a blizzard is determined to be so when (a) the winds are blowing at 35 mph or more (b) for at least 3 hours (c) causing falling/fallen snow to blow around reducing visibility to 1/4 mile or less. Thus, if the winds blow at 34.5 mph for 2 hours and 59 minutes, and visibility due to blowing/drifting snow is 1/3 mile, it's only a winter storm. On the other hand, it's referred to as a gizzard if (a) the winds exceed 35 mph (b) for four hours or more (c) causing chickens to toss their gizzards (d) reducing visibility to the distance one needs to ralph into something handy.

Since this hasn't been brought up by the National Weather Service, I'm digressing.

By Friday, we'll be back to "Indian Summer" like weather. Colorado is psychotic. Guess that's half the fun of living here.

Check in Thursday morning to see if we're ass-deep in snow drifts, or it's another Dewey Beats Truman story...

UPDATE (0430am October 26): it's snowing in Green Mountain. It's snowing heavier to the west and south. The winds hereabouts have failed to achieve blizzard status; nor have I witnessed any chicken gizzards flying about. Different situation apparently to the west and south (snow-wise; dunno 'bout the gizzards). Denver's morning commute will be starting for many within the hour; Denver's version of demolition derby will be starting by 6a.

'Cept for me; I'm going to watch a few South Park videos.

5 Comments:

Blogger Herb said...

It's raining in the Springs, but the wind is really howling...

26 October, 2006 04:16  
Blogger Karen said...

Woohoo for snow ;-) I'm glad you're where you want to be with plenty of entertainment.

No snow in the valleys here yet, only a skiff in the mountains yesterday. Holding with the last five Halloweens, we'll most likely get snow then. If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes, as they say a lot around here. The mountains make the weather quite unpredictable, or perhaps the weather people are just guessing not forecasting ;-)

26 October, 2006 06:19  
Blogger Monica said...

Ok so my question is: has South Park replaced your tornado chasing activities? Just wondering. :)

26 October, 2006 06:25  
Blogger Ms. Vickie said...

Snow what is that---I don't recall that stuff oh yeah I believe
I did see that a few times back in my earlier days. Long ago when
we were hiding out in Kansas for a few years avoiding the law...
you know there is no better place to hide than Kansas---just saying
and if you believe I have eve been hiding from the law let me sell you
my swamp land.

Now about South Park :)

26 October, 2006 09:01  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Have you heard from FTS? I bet he's in hog heaven.

27 October, 2006 12:25  

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