Summer heat arrives just in time for the Summer Solstice

Monday, June 19, 2017

It is appropriate that a blast of summer heat will arrive by the Summer Solstice, which will occur on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 at 10:24pm. A ridge of high pressure is currently centered over the desert southwest, and this will move towards the Steamboat Springs area on Tuesday bringing very warm summertime temperatures.

Concurrently, a storm in the Gulf of Alaska will move eastward and mix with some cool air from the western Canadian plains. While the bulk of the storm will stay well to our north, the cool air moving southward will battle the warm air under the ridge, suppressing the ridge southward and bringing some cooling, clouds and winds for Wednesday. There is a small chance of some afternoon storms that would likely bring more wind than rain due to the dry lower atmosphere, especially at the higher elevations.

Thursday will be similar to Wednesday before disagreement between the numerical forecast models appears for Friday and the weekend. While both the American GFS and the European ECMWF have another wave of cool air traveling mostly north of us, the American GFS brings this through on Friday with most of the cool-down experienced on the Front Range, while the European ECMWF keeps Friday warm and brings the cooler air and breezy conditions further west through the mountains on Saturday.

After that, both models agree on a building ridge of high pressure over the Intermountain West by the second half of the weekend, which will bring a return to hot and dry conditions heading into the next work week.

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