Weekend storm continues into early next week

Thursday, November 2, 2017

After a pleasant Friday, a storm off the British Columbia coast will move southward and begin affecting the weather in Steamboat Springs on Saturday. The evolution of the storm will be complex, with a part of the storm moving southwestward along the West Coast and another part moving southeastward towards the Great Basin. Additional energy and cold air moving southward along the British Columbia coast will split as well later in the weekend, reinforcing both the northern and southern parts of the storm.

The forecast is not quite as uncertain as you might expect, with the snow levels being the largest unknown, as our area alternates between warmer southwest flow ahead of several cool fronts and cooler northwest flow behind the fronts.

Showers will start as rain in the Yampa Valley by noon on Saturday along with breezy southwest winds, with snow levels lowering to the valley floor by Saturday evening or night as the first cool front passes through the area and winds back to the west or northwest.

Showers will continue Sunday and Monday as additional energy from British Columbia elongates the storm to the southwest, stretching a wavering stationary front across the Great Basin. The front will loosely represent the precipitation type, with snow north of the front and rain south of the front. The battle between the warmer air overriding the front in southwest flow and the cooler air north of the front will likely lead to periods of both rain and snow before another cool front passes through the area around Monday night, changing the precipitation to snow again.

The front will be slowly dissipate on Tuesday, leaving decreasing showers before southwest flow behind the storm brings some warmer temperatures to the area later in the day.

Wednesday looks warmer and drier based upon the current suite of numerical models, though there is a storm that is forecast to affect southern Colorado as energy lingering off the West Coast finally moves inland. This may or may not be far enough north to affect our area with high elevation snow.

Impressive disagreement exists for the end of next week among the numerical models, with the forecasts ranging from cool and stormy to warm and dry heading into next weekend.

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