Cool mornings and warm dry days follow a small storm on Tuesday

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Other than some light accumulations on the mountain on Tuesday, the next week looks dry in Steamboat Springs. Monday will be similar to today as a very dry airmass sits over the western states. We’ve seen our first strong temperature inversion of the season this morning (where air temperatures increase with increasing height) with a low of 4F in the valley and 18F on the top of Mt. Werner at that time.

A storm currently off the Pacific Northwest coast will split as it makes landfall tonight, with moisture ahead of the southern split of the storm bringing first high clouds to our area later Monday and then showers by Monday night. Precipitation will start as rain in the Yampa Valley before some cool air grazes northern Colorado early Tuesday, changing the rain showers over to snow showers for a time. I would expect 1-4” of snow at the higher elevations by Wednesday morning for the Steamboat Ski Area’s scheduled Opening Day, with no accumulations in the valley.

I spend a lot of time skiing and mountain biking, depending on the season, and these are some of the products that have worked very well for me. Consider purchasing them through these links as I will earn a small commission that will help me keep SnowAlarm running. And feel free to contact me if you would like to see your product endorsed.

I’ve found these work best in powder, as it keeps the cold snow from touching the boot plastic and sucking heat away from the interior. However, they do cover the lowest two boot buckles, so this accessory is not for those who like to (or need to!) fiddle with the buckles during the day.

  • Helps retain up to +20 degrees inside the boot
  • Includes thermal reflective adhesive strips for additional insulation from inside the boot
  • Adjustable Velcro heel strap for ease of use and adjustment
  • Side abrasion resistant patches for durability and wear
  • Wind and water resistant neoprene material

I’ve used these from their beginnings, and can honestly say that each iteration of the product is better than the last. I have the S4 custom, attached to my powerstrap so they never fall off, and my toes stay warm for my entire ski day.

Hotronic’s Foot Warmers S Series are the culmination of years of experience in research, design, and testing. With thin profile, high capacity, cold-temperature-operation Battery Packs, the S Series are Hotronic’s most powerful yet compact Foot Warmer designs to date. Maintain comfort and warmth in your feet when it matters most, in the cold!

Even though a ridge of high pressure builds over the western states behind the grazing storm, moisture will travel over the ridge leading to a mostly cloudy Wednesday, with the possibility of a stray shower later in the day. The overnight clouds on Tuesday and Wednesday nights will lead to warmer minimum temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday mornings as the clouds act like an insulating earth-blanket.

Thanksgiving Day looks warm and mostly sunny by the afternoon as drier air moves over our area.

The possible storm for Friday has trended weaker and further north, and it now looks like our area will miss even showers, though some cool air does get dragged over the area around Friday night.

The western ridge is advertised to rebuild for the weekend, bringing plenty of sun and warm afternoon days. And that looks to persist for a couple of days into the next work week before the weather may turn unsettled around midweek.

Friday storm ahead of a nice weekend

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A strong winter-like storm off the West Coast has brought over a foot of snow to the Sierra’s so far. More is coming for them today and tonight as the storm travels across the Great Basin on Friday, bringing first rain and then snow to the Steamboat Springs area starting early Friday morning.

The storm is comprised of cold air from the northern latitudes and much warmer and wetter air from the southern latitudes. Technically, the cold air results from a wave moving southwestward in the polar jet stream to the north while the warm and moist air results from the northeastward oriented subtropical jet stream to the south. As the storm moves across the Great Basin, rain showers will start in the early morning hours with snow showers at the higher elevations along with windy conditions.

I spend a lot of time skiing and mountain biking, depending on the season, and these are some of the products that have worked very well for me. Consider purchasing them through these links as I will earn a small commission that will help me keep SnowAlarm running. And feel free to contact me if you would like to see your product endorsed.

These gloves are all about warmth. And when combined with the standard HotHands handwamers which I use below about 5F, I’m good for the day.

A split-finger design gives the Black Diamond Guide Finger gloves extra warmth while maintaining the dexterity that mountain professionals need for bell-to-bell days. The GORE-TEX® inserts ensures total moisture protection while the large gauntlets keeps powder from sneaking its way in through the back door. In addition to a 300 g Polartec® fleece palm lining, the Guide Finger gloves also features removable liners with PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation and boiled wool.

  • 100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX insert with Plus Warm Technology stays with removable liner
  • Abrasion-resistant, woven nylon shell with 4-way stretch
  • Removable liner features 170 g PrimaLoft Gold and boiled wool 300 g Polartec fleece palm lining
  • Goat-leather palm and palm patch
  • Foam padding on knuckles for impact protection

You may not know it, but you want progressive flex in your ski boots. This allows the tongue of the boot to maintain contact with your shin through all phases of the turn. Comfort and control with no sore shins!

The Booster Strap is made of high strength elastomeric webbing with an anti-slip micro-adjustable cam buckle. The elastomer allows flexibility, vibration and shock damping. The cam buckle assures a better fit and more comfort.
The Booster Strap elastically fastens together the leg and the ski boot and provides direct ski control so the skis will start turning sooner and will end the turn faster. The graded elasticity of the product allows skiers to choose the reaction speeds that best suit their technical and physical characteristics and skiing ability.

I’ve used these from their beginnings, and can honestly say that each iteration of the product is better than the last. I have the S4 custom, attached to my powerstrap so they never fall off, and my toes stay warm for my entire ski day.

Hotronic’s Foot Warmers S Series are the culmination of years of experience in research, design, and testing. With thin profile, high capacity, cold-temperature-operation Battery Packs, the S Series are Hotronic’s most powerful yet compact Foot Warmer designs to date. Maintain comfort and warmth in your feet when it matters most, in the cold!

Showers will increase and become locally heavy as a strong cold front approaches during the afternoon hours. For those keeping score, the European ECMWF model has been the most consistent forecasting the afternoon or early evening arrival of the cold front. Rain will change to snow in the Yampa Valley and strong winds will veer from the southwest or west to the northwest as quite cold air moves over the area. Travel will become difficult for a time later Friday as moderate to heavy snow causes accumulations on the roadways and blowing snow limits visibility.

The snow will turn showery in the drier but still unstable northwest flow behind the front, ending sometime Saturday morning. We should see some sun by later in the day, though temperatures will stay cold. I would expect 8-16” of snow at the higher elevations and several inches on the Yampa Valley floor.

Drier air and warmer temperatures grace most of the west Sunday for a beautiful day after a chilly start.

Another Pacific Northwest storm approaches the coast on Monday and splits, with the resultant southern part of the storm traveling over Steamboat Springs on Tuesday. There is uncertainty with respect to how much energy and moisture is partitioned between the split storms, but snow showers are currently advertised for late Monday into early Tuesday.

Showers will end later Tuesday and temperatures will begin warming as a ridge of high pressure builds over the western states. However, moisture moving through the ridge will keep some clouds for Wednesday, Steamboat’s anticipated Opening Day, and Thanksgiving Day.

Longer-range models agree that another storm that moves across the Gulf of Alaska will impact our area around Friday or Saturday. The European ECMWF has the storm splitting, with the southern part of the storm forming a closed low and moving over our area Saturday. The American GFS keeps the storm more consolidated, bringing it across the area on Friday. Both models bring precipitation, however both have not been consistent with the late week predictions, leading to a fair bit of uncertainty regarding the forecast.

Precipitation likely later Thursday with cold front

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A large storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska will eject some energy that will weakly affect the Steamboat Springs area on Tuesday. The parent storm will move over our area later Thursday or early Friday with warm showers ahead of the front turning to snow behind the front.

The current warm and dry weather will continue through Monday, though clouds may increase ahead of a weak cool front ejected from the Gulf of Alaska storm that will gaze northern Colorado on Tuesday. There may be some high elevation snow showers Tuesday afternoon or evening along with a decrease in temperatures, but the system looks similar to the mostly dry one that just passed this last Saturday.

I spend a lot of time skiing and mountain biking, depending on the season, and these are some of the products that have worked very well for me. Consider purchasing them through these links as I will earn a small commission that will help me keep SnowAlarm running. And feel free to contact me if you would like to see your product endorsed.

These gloves are all about warmth. And when combined with the standard HotHands handwamers which I use below about 5F, I’m good for the day.

A split-finger design gives the Black Diamond Guide Finger gloves extra warmth while maintaining the dexterity that mountain professionals need for bell-to-bell days. The GORE-TEX® inserts ensures total moisture protection while the large gauntlets keeps powder from sneaking its way in through the back door. In addition to a 300 g Polartec® fleece palm lining, the Guide Finger gloves also features removable liners with PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation and boiled wool.

  • 100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX insert with Plus Warm Technology stays with removable liner
  • Abrasion-resistant, woven nylon shell with 4-way stretch
  • Removable liner features 170 g PrimaLoft Gold and boiled wool 300 g Polartec fleece palm lining
  • Goat-leather palm and palm patch
  • Foam padding on knuckles for impact protection

You may not know it, but you want progressive flex in your ski boots. This allows the tongue of the boot to maintain contact with your shin through all phases of the turn. Comfort and control with no sore shins!

The Booster Strap is made of high strength elastomeric webbing with an anti-slip micro-adjustable cam buckle. The elastomer allows flexibility, vibration and shock damping. The cam buckle assures a better fit and more comfort.
The Booster Strap elastically fastens together the leg and the ski boot and provides direct ski control so the skis will start turning sooner and will end the turn faster. The graded elasticity of the product allows skiers to choose the reaction speeds that best suit their technical and physical characteristics and skiing ability.

I’ve used these from their beginnings, and can honestly say that each iteration of the product is better than the last. I have the S4 custom, attached to my powerstrap so they are never fall off, and my toes stay warm for my entire ski day.

Hotronic’s Foot Warmers S Series are the culmination of years of experience in research, design, and testing. With thin profile, high capacity, cold-temperature-operation Battery Packs, the S Series are Hotronic’s most powerful yet compact Foot Warmer designs to date. Maintain comfort and warmth in your feet when it matters most, in the cold!

Temperatures will warm again on Wednesday as high pressure briefly builds ahead of the now eastward-moving Gulf of Alaska storm. Clouds and winds from the southwest will increase on Thursday as the storm tracks across the Great Basin, with low elevation rain and high elevation snow starting during the day Thursday.

The cold front will pass around Thursday night or Friday morning, with continued breezy southwest winds veering to the northwest and bringing a burst of snow that will be locally heavy for a time. Much colder temperatures are expected for Friday as snow showers taper off during the day or evening. There is some uncertainty with respect to the timing of the cold front, as the European ECMWF is about 12 hours behind the American GFS. Six to twelve inches of snow at the higher elevations is possible, along with a few inches at the lower elevations during the cold part of the storm.

If skies clear Friday night behind the storm, Saturday will start quite cold, but with plenty of sun during the day to help warm temperatures. As was the case this past weekend, the best warming will wait until the following day on Sunday as the cold airmass takes longer to warm with shorter days and lower sun angles.

Another storm drops into the Gulf of Alaska late next weekend, and this storm is currently forecast to split as it approaches the West Coast early in the next work week. There is uncertainty regarding to how much energy stays with the eastward propagating part of the storm and how much is left behind off the coast of California, but currently it looks like some sort of storm will travel through the Steamboat Springs area just before Opening Day, which is scheduled for Wednesday, November 22.

Quiet weather week ahead

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Generally warmer temperatures and dry weather is expected for the upcoming week, with a ridge of high pressure over the western states causing incoming Pacific storms to weaken and travel mainly north of the Steamboat Springs area.

The weak storm advertised in the previous forecast for Friday night has split, ensuring only minimal precipitation, if any, for northern Colorado. The northern piece of the storm may bring some clouds later Friday, while the southern piece will travel near northern Colorado on Saturday. Temperatures will cool a bit Saturday, and along with some clouds there will be a slight chance of minimal precipitation later in the day.

Sunday is still looking beautiful as a dry and warm airmass moves across the area.

A large storm will form in the Gulf of Alaska early in the work week, and a weakening piece of it will travel over our area on Tuesday. Ahead of that, clouds may be on the increase on Monday ahead of a slight chance of spotty showers and cooler temperatures on Tuesday.

The Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to cross the West Coast on Wednesday, and we will see some clouds and normal temperatures ahead of it.

By Thursday, current model runs have trended stronger with the storm as it crosses the Great Basin, bringing a cold front through the area along with windy southwest flow ahead of the front and windy northwest flow behind the front. While it looks like we will have a decent shot of cold air and precipitation, the strength of the storm will likely vary in future model runs, so confidence is low.

The longer-term forecast for week two has turned drier the last few days as Gulf of Alaska storms form and now move southwestward, pumping up a ridge of high pressure over the western states. However, there is still plenty of time for the long-term model to revert to the earlier solutions which were far colder and snowier.

Clearing and warming for the next week starts Wednesday except for a small storm Friday night

Monday, November 6, 2017

A leftover part of the current storm currently spinning in Idaho will keep the cool and unsettled weather going through Tuesday in the Steamboat Springs area, before warming and drying is advertised for the next week, save for a small storm forecast for Friday night.

Showers will pick up again this afternoon and last through mid-evening before they slowly taper off over the next 24 hours or so. The Idaho part of the storm will travel to the southeast and be over Colorado Tuesday night with minimal additional precipitation and colder temperatures.

If skies clear later Tuesday night, Wednesday morning will be quite chilly, but a dry airmass settles over the area, bringing sunny skies and warming temperatures. The warming may be moderated on Thursday by a grazing storm well to our northeast, but will continue on Friday.

Clouds will be on the increase during the day Friday as a weakening storm crosses the West Coast and brings some light snow showers to northern Colorado by Friday night. Light accumulations at the higher elevations are possible, but the storm should be past by noon on Saturday with dry weather and warming temperatures returning for later in the day.

A beautiful Sunday is currently forecast by the numerical weather models, with clouds on the increase on Monday as another weak storm approaches the area, bringing some showers to northern Colorado on Tuesday.

Since the Steamboat Ski Area is scheduled to open in only two weeks from Wednesday, I’m sure there is a lot of interest in the longer term forecast. The American GFS forecasts out to 16 days, though precision usually quickly decays by around day 10. However, in the interest of providing fodder to those eager to consume it, I will note that an active pattern looks to begin several days before opening. Both the European ECMWF and the American GFS build ridges of high pressure over the Bering sea and the Greenland area, and this allows energy and cold air rotating around a low pressure center over Hudson Bay to cross the North Pole and travel across Alaska. At this point, it looks like this will phase with Pacific energy and form a strong storm in the Gulf of Alaska, continuing the wet and cold weather for the Pacific Northwest. Eventually, at least the last two iterations of the American GFS bring some of that energy across the Rocky Mountains the weekend before opening in the form of cold and snow.

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