Cold storm for Tuesday followed by warming and drying for the work week

Monday, April 3, 2017

Another storm traveling through the Great Basin today will move across northern Arizona tonight and the Oklahoma panhandle tomorrow. As was the case with the two previous storms, most of the precipitation will stay south of the Steamboat Springs area closer to the storm. However, several surges of cold air from the north will move over our area overnight and tomorrow, increasing the chance of snow showers, especially during the day Tuesday as the cold air destabilizes the atmosphere and allows for the possibility of thunder-snow.

Snowfall amounts are likely to be highly variable as the heaviest snowfall associated with showers will be localized, especially during the day tomorrow. We may see an inch or two after midnight and another 2-4” during the rest of Tuesday before skies clear overnight and bring seasonably cold temperatures for Wednesday morning.

A sharp ridge of high pressure builds over the western states and will allow temperatures to increase to near normal by Wednesday afternoon and above normal for the rest of the work week.

A moderate atmospheric river event impinges on the California coast around Friday and pushes the western ridge eastward. Models are waffling on how quickly the moisture and energy penetrates inland, but agree that breezy to windy southwest conditions will occur ahead of the precipitation.

Right now, Saturday will be the windy day with showers starting by the afternoon and increasing overnight. There is disagreement among the models with respect to how much cold Canadian air mixes with the storm, with the European ECMWF more aggressive than the American GFS in bringing the cold air southward, resulting in a stronger and slower moving storm.

Regardless, a break in the weather is forecast for early next week before a colder and stronger storm from the Gulf of Alaska brings another chance of possibly significant snowfall around mid next week.

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