Drying trend interrupted midweek and still followed by cool front

Monday, August 8, 2016

A storm currently located in in Washington state will first move east through the Idaho panhandle tomorrow and then northeast to the north of Montana by Wednesday. Energy ejecting from this storm earlier today gave us a couple of rounds of much needed early-morning thunderstorms today.

Additional Pacific energy will travel southwards along the West Coast and keep a trough of low pressure extending from the eventual north-of-Montana low back towards northern California. Ahead of this trough, the drying southwest flow evident this afternoon will continue Tuesday, though there is still a threat of late afternoon storms as lingering moisture is heated by the sun.

The dry Wednesday promised in last Friday’s forecast is in jeopardy as moisture from Tropical Storm Javier, currently located near southern Baja, is drawn northeastward ahead of the California trough. It again looks like the best moisture will remain south of northern Colorado, but there may be enough in proximity to Steamboat Springs to allow for a round of afternoon and evening storms in more humid conditions.

This moisture plume will be quickly shunted to our east as the California trough moves inland and then across the Great Basin on Thursday. Pieces of energy ejecting from this Great Basin trough will likely induce more afternoon storms for Thursday before a cool front moves through the area late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

There is some Pacific moisture within this trough, the first of this late-summer season, and there may be enough upward motion to induce some Friday storms in the relatively cool and unstable northwest flow behind the front.

Though there is mid and upper-level drying behind this trough, trailing energy in northwest flow looks to move over the area on Saturday and may spark another round of weaker afternoon storms. Temperatures should return to normal to above normal by Sunday and heading into the next work week as a flat western ridge builds behind the departing system.

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