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Weather question

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Weather question

Postby Vermont Mike » Thu May 21, 2009 3:24 pm

jniehof wrote:
Vermont Mike wrote:Ah, but there's no mud season here, and better beer!

Lies! Lies! No Long Trail for you! (You've got it on the mud, though...there's still some Mendon in my shoes.)


Long Trail Ale and Magic Hat Fat Angel will be missed without a doubt. At least there's a Long Trail Ale bumper sticker on the cooler at McCabe's in the Springs, which is always comforting while I'm drinking a pretty-damn-good Colorado brew. Occasional visits back home will satisfy any Harpoon/Magic Hat/Smuttynose cravings.

Thanks everyone for the advice!!

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Re: Weather question

Postby Aubrey » Thu May 21, 2009 3:37 pm

I'll admit there is some great beer from New England that isn't available in Colorado. But, I submit, for every Magic Hat and Harpoon out that way, there are at least two or three equal or better breweries out this way (i.e., Avery, Great Divide, Boulder Beer, Bristol, New Belgium, Odell, Fort Collins, Oskar Blues, Left Hand, etc.). Plus, out here you have access to a plethora of awesome West Coast beers as well, many of which are not available on the East Coast.

Don't want to get in an East Coast vs. No Coast war here, just sayin'. :D :iluvbeer:

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Re: Weather question

Postby skiwall » Thu May 21, 2009 3:52 pm

You can get a lot of information by watching satellite imagery from a few days before you head out. It can give you hints about where storms have been forming and about what time. If dewpoints are increasing (the amount of moisture in the air is increasing), there's the potential for more widespread thunderstorms, or for thunderstorms to form slightly earlier. The typical times of earliest convective initiation is around 10-11 LST.

You should also watch the clouds when you're out. You can usually tell pretty quickly if they're going all the way or if they're just little cumulus congestus. :)

jniehof wrote: I imagine clouds and rain would inhibit the solar heating and convection that builds the afternoon thunderstorms, but OTOH you can't really see any nasty weather blowing in...is it still considered generally safe to ascend into nonviolent rain if planning on an early exit? (Setting aside wet rock and hypothermia considerations.)


yeah... clouds in the morning definitely inhibit convection, but you could still have thunderstorms later in the day. This typically happens when you have crappy drizzle leftover from awesome thunderstorms the night before. I guess whether or not its safe to head up depends on conditions. Visibility might be bad? I'd probably go, but I'd for sure be very aware of what was going on around me. Then again, maybe I just have a high level of acceptable risk than most people. I guess it would depend on the circumstances.
"A good woman knows her place is in the backcountry." - PW '08

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Re: Weather question

Postby tmathews » Thu May 21, 2009 7:05 pm

skiwall wrote:yeah... clouds in the morning definitely inhibit convection, but you could still have thunderstorms later in the day. This typically happens when you have crappy drizzle leftover from awesome thunderstorms the night before. I guess whether or not its safe to head up depends on conditions. Visibility might be bad? I'd probably go, but I'd for sure be very aware of what was going on around me. Then again, maybe I just have a high level of acceptable risk than most people. I guess it would depend on the circumstances.


Also -- if you're stuck under low clouds in the morning and the ground-level moisture is unable to evaporate, you might still end up getting rained on all day without a hint of thunder. In mountainous areas, this is usually associated with upslope flow, when moist air gets pushed up against the mountains and is forced to precipitate out as it cools (orographic lift). Colorado Springs (as well as a lot of other areas in the I-25 corridor) was socked-in for the better part of today because of upslope.

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Re: Weather question

Postby Mark A Steiner » Thu May 21, 2009 9:17 pm

I've been turned back or forced to alter my hiking trails due to weather conditions presented in this thread. You will just have to assume that the narrower your window is to hike or climb, the less likely you are to go where you want when unstable air masses rule. Be dressed warmly this time of year because any point above 10,000 feet is a target for slushy snow or hail and conditions promoting hypothermia. While there may be widespread rain showers when monsoon conditions arrive over the San Juans in early July, there is a certain regularity in the timing of daily thunderstorm buildups.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content - Paul the Apostle.
Good day.

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Re: Weather question

Postby giarcd » Fri May 22, 2009 5:00 am

A very early start w/headlamp is far better than an afternoon issue with your hiking poles "humming"---

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