Beautiful week followed by cold and unsettled weekend

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Enjoy the current spectacular weather since a big change is forecast starting around late Thursday or Friday.

In the meantime, sunny warm days and cool nights will persist for Monday and Tuesday as a flat ridge keeps the dry air around. Meanwhile, to our west, some energy left behind by last week’s Great Basin storm is currently spinning off the southern California coast and will be joined by a tropical storm traveling northward from Baja on Tuesday. An incoming Pacific storm from the Gulf of Alaska will mix with additional cold air in Alaska and move southward along the West Coast early in the week, pushing this warm complex across the southwestern US.

Models have struggled with the northward extent of this complex as it mostly passes to our south, but it appears clouds may be the only affect for northern Colorado by Wednesday, similar to way these events developed over the last half of the summer.

Thursday will be a breezy to windy day with southwest winds as the large Pacific storm makes landfall. A wave ejecting from the storm may bring showers to Steamboat Springs as early as Thursday afternoon, though the most noticeable affects will occur when the cold front associated with the parent storm crosses the area later Thursday or Friday.

The exact timing of the front is questionable as the storm elongates to the north and south as energy ejects in both those directions, but models agree that significant cooling accompanied by precipitation will occur for a couple of days, most likely Friday along and behind the front and Saturday when trailing energy keeps showers going in cool, moist and unstable northwest flow. While snow accumulations are a good bet near the top of Mt. Werner, snowflakes could fall to 8000′ or lower by Saturday morning.

Models do have have clearing in continued below normal temperatures by Sunday, though that will be jeopardized if the storm moves slower than currently forecast.

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