It’s looking like a bit of mixed bag along the Front Range this Memorial Day Weekend, but we could do far worse during the month of May. The weekend will start with warm and dry conditions Saturday, featuring the warmest temperatures of the season to date. Sunday will be pleasant as well, with continued above-average temperatures along with a very slight chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms. However, changes arrive by Monday, including some much-welcomed cooler temperatures and a better chance for afternoon and evening storms.
Two large-scale weather features will shape this weekend’s weather, the first being a strong ridge of high pressure anchored over the Rocky Mountains. The second feature is a Pacific trough currently impacting California, which will contribute to our next chances for precipitation Sunday and Monday.
500mb Heights – Graphic Courtesy of Tropical Tidbits
Saturday & Sunday
High pressure will slide east on Saturday and Sunday, as the mentioned Pacific trough settles into the Great Basin to our west. Southwest flow will transport warm and dry desert air into Colorado, boosting daytime temperatures into the low to mid 90s over the plains. Both Saturday and Sunday are great days for outdoor activities, but be sure and pack the sunscreen and extra H2O. Denver’s record high temperature for May 26th and 27th is 95°F and 93°F, respectively. Both of these records are in reach this weekend, but we may fall just shy of a new record(s).
Surface moisture increases slightly Sunday afternoon, which could combine with a weak disturbance out ahead of the Pacific trough. Isolated showers and thunderstorms remain in the forecast, so keep an eye on the sky during the afternoon and evening hours.
Fire weather will also be a concern Saturday and Sunday, as we expect relative humidity in the single digits, along with gusty southwest winds. You may want to reschedule any burning this weekend, while also keeping a watchful eye on barbecue grills and camp fires.
By Monday, the Pacific trough lifts into the Northern Rockies, ushering in a cooler and more unstable airmass. The result will be afternoon temperatures falling back into the low 80s, along with a better chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms. With the main storm system positioned to our north over Wyoming, storm coverage may be greatest along and north of Interstate 70, with drier conditions expected further south.
Modeled Precipitation Monday Evening – Graphic Courtesy of Tropical Tidbits
The Rockies continue their home stand vs. the Cincinnati Reds this weekend , with a 7:10pm first pitch scheduled for Saturday, and a 1:10pm start on Sunday. Expect warm and generally-dry conditions for these games at Coors Field. Again, pack the sunscreen, and maybe a rain jacket for Sunday afternoon if you want to be prepared.
Temperatures will be more comfortable for Monday night’s showdown with the NL West rival San Francisco Giants, but you’ll certainly want to pack the rain jacket if headed to the ballpark.