Showers to continue tomorrow before likely warming and drying

Monday, October 31, 2016

While one weather system leaves the area tonight, another one that is currently crossing the northern California coast will split tomorrow as it enters the Great Basin. The weaker northern part of the storm races eastward and brings the possibility of light showers to our area as early as noon Tuesday that may persist into Wednesday morning with similar temperatures to today.

Meanwhile, the dominant southern portion of the split forms a closed low by Wednesday as it sinks into Arizona. The track and evolution of these cutoff lows are notoriously difficult to forecast which leads to some uncertainty for the rest of the week’s weather. Current forecasts agree that the bulk of the warm moisture and precipitation will be to our south, with northern Colorado sandwiched between dry air to our north and the wobbly cutoff somewhere to our south and west.

The end result is Wednesday will show clearing skies and the dry air to our north will likely move over our area for Thursday and Friday with noticeably warmer temperatures.

After meandering for a few days in the Great Basin, models have the cutoff low weakening and moving eastward across Colorado during the weekend. While warm precipitation is a good bet for southern Colorado, small changes in the actual track will be the difference between thin weekend clouds for a nice Steamboat Springs weekend, thicker clouds for a cooler weekend or even a showery weekend if the low moves far enough north.

Even more uncertainty is advertised for early in the next work week behind what is left of the departing closed low. The American GFS brings a strong trough with colder temperatures and good moisture through our area on Monday while the European ECMWF brings a much weaker and drier trough through or even north of our area around then.

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