Another round of cool and unsettled weather on tap

Thursday, September 28, 2017

This forecast sounds like a broken record, but several more storms will impact the Steamboat Springs area through at least early next week, with a possible break around midweek.

Currently, a compact storm in central Utah has brought a round of precipitation to the Yampa Valley earlier today as waves of energy and moisture from the south rotated through our area. Though moisture decreases, there will still be a chance of showers later today before ending in the evening.

Friday will be another unsettled day as the storm in central Utah lifts to the northeast and clips northwestern Colorado, with showers starting as soon as noon.

We will have a brief break in the weather Friday night and Saturday behind the departing storm and in advance of another stronger and much colder storm from the Pacific Northwest that is forecast to arrive later Saturday or early Sunday.

This storm has mixed with some cold air from the North Pole and will bring a series of cold fronts through the region. Showers will become numerous and increase in strength later Saturday and last through the night as the first cold front approaches. Much cooler temperatures and continued showery weather is expected for Sunday as snow levels fall to around 8000 - 9000 feet.

As is often the case with these large storms, reinforcing waves of cold air will follow behind the initial front. Numerical weather models had this cold air washing directly over northern Colorado in my Monday forecast, but now the cold air is forecast to elongate the storm to the southwest, keeping the coldest air to our north and west as southwest flow develops over Colorado. Cool and showery weather is expected for Monday, with snowflakes still possible down to the valley floor, though models have trended this weather further north in recent runs, reducing the confidence in that forecast.

There will be a battle between the cool air to our northwest and warmer air to our southwest, and numerical weather models now have the cold front retreating northward by Tuesday as the warmer air briefly wins the battle. This retreat will create the break in the cool and showery weather for Tuesday and Wednesday before remnants of the storm move eastward over our area later in the work week. Details will have to wait until there is better model agreement as to exactly how that might happen.

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