Active spring weather will moderate by mid-weekend

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A broad upper level trough extending across almost the entire continental U.S. has brought a series of strong spring storms across the Steamboat Springs area this week. The last wave in this series is currently traveling southeastward through the Great Basin and will form a strong closed low around the Four Corners region by Friday night.

The track of the storm will carry most of the weather to our south on Friday and east along the Front Range by later Friday and Saturday, but cold, moist and unstable northerly to northwesterly flow will keep snow showers going on Friday. These will be capable of producing localized moderate to heavy precipitation, especially in the afternoon.

Showers will diminish through Saturday, ending by sunset, in still cool temperatures. There is some dry air lurking to our north, and if it makes it over the Steamboat Springs area Saturday night, I would expect a quite cold Sunday morning. Temperatures will warm on Sunday, though they will still stay below average.

As the storm continues moving to our east across the central U.S. through the remainder of the weekend and early next week, a couple of waves in northwest flow will keep our weather unsettled and likely bring showers from Sunday night through Monday and again Tuesday night through Wednesday.

For those weary of winter, strong warming and drying is advertised for Thursday and Friday making those days feel relatively summer-like. Lots of uncertainty for next weekend, though, as another Pacific storm moves the ridge of nice weather eastward. There is disagreement among the models as to whether the Pacific storm makes landfall as a consolidated system as indicated by the American GFS, bringing another period of unsettled weather, or as a split system as per the European ECMWF, preserving the nice weather into the weekend.

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