Warm and dry this week interrupted by cold front on Thursday

Monday, October 23, 2017

A weak storm that passed through the Steamboat Springs area earlier today has exited the region, with skies clearing and temperatures rebounding behind the quick-moving disturbance. Dry weather and warming temperatures are on tap for Tuesday and especially Wednesday ahead of another storm timed for Thursday. Winds may become breezy Wednesday afternoon ahead of the storm.

This storm has trended further east and drier with successive numerical model runs, but the forecast for colder temperatures has persisted. The front is forecast to pass through northern Colorado during the day Thursday, accompanied with some light snow showers down to the Yampa Valley floor.

Cooler than normal temperatures will persist for Friday as trailing energy reinforces the cool air and keeps some clouds around, but there should be no additional precipitation.

The weekend look warm and beautiful ahead of a possible early-week storm which will contain the remnants of typhoon Lan. Currently affecting Japan, the storm will be absorbed by the Pacific jet stream and move over the top of a ridge of high pressure that builds near the West Coast this weekend.

Significant forecast differences persist between the numerical weather models, and it relates to the location and size of the West Coast ridge. The American GFS keeps the ridge strong and most of the storm travels north and east of our area in northwest flow, with a glancing blow of cooler air and some precipitation later Monday. The European ECMWF is more aggressive with the storm, moving it through the ridge and keeping it further south and west. Ironically, the more aggressive solution keeps Monday nice for our area as the storm digs into southern California, before possibly phasing with some cold air from the north around Tuesday as it moves along the southwestern U.S. border.

I have no preference for either model at this point, and would suspect some sort of compromise solution emerges, which I will write about in the Thursday forecast.

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