‘Pineapple Express’ is finally moving on | VailDaily.com

‘Pineapple Express’ is finally moving on

Cliff Thompson
Courtesy NASA/Global Hydrology and Climate Center This satellite image shows the so-called Pineapple Express, a warm weather system that caused rain and warm weather in the mountains this week.

EAGLE COUNTY – Successive soggy days of intermittent rain, snow showers and unseasonably warm weather have been brought here courtesy of a weather pattern dubbed the Pineapple Express.This flow of warm moist air comes from the Pacific near Hawaii, spawning the fruit moniker, and bringing the warm wet weather here. That weather system parked itself off the West Coast for several days.

“It’s unusual, but not completely rare,” said Brian Avery of the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “It usually happens when the sea surface temperatures are five or more degrees above normal.”That same weather pattern caused huge rains and snows in California. They also buried parts of southwestern Colorado’s mountains with up to eight feet of snow. Coal Bank Pass north of Durango has received 100 inches of snow since Monday.

Snowpack across Colorado, which yields water for irrigation, is above average for the first time in two years.But the weather will be changing as you read this. The jet stream will change from a westward to eastward flow to a northwesterly flow, Avery said, causing drier and much colder temperatures.

He’s predicting the daytime temperatures by Friday will be below freezing and nighttime temperatures will be about zero.The sun will reappear after nearly a week’s disappearance, Avery said.Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or cthompson@vaildaily.comVail Colorado

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