Another weeks end storm

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A ridge of high pressure will keep our beautiful weather around until a strong Pacific storm currently bringing precipitation to the northwest affects our weather starting this weekend. Even California looks to receive significant precipitation as the storm makes landfall there late Friday night.

Southwesterly flow ahead of the storm will bring increasing moisture into our area on Saturday, though temperatures will be warm with high clouds. As the storm approaches the Great Basin on Saturday it is expected to split, making the forecast for Sunday through Tuesday a bit uncertain.

Current forecasts have a lead shortwave moving over our area early Sunday with some precipitation expected, though it will likely be light and relatively warm, with high snow levels. Cool air will filter in through the day Sunday, but most of the storm will be felt as the southern portion of the storm approaches our area later that day or evening.

The American GFS keeps this southern energy over our area during the day Monday, leading to snow and sharply colder temperatures as northwest flow is established behind the front. Snow may be moderate to heavy at times Monday, even in town, before ending that night. The European ECMWF, on the other hand, is forecasting more energy left behind in the Great Basin, and in fact closes off the storm and forms a cutoff low that moves over the U.S. - Mexico border later in the week. This solution would lead to warmer weather and less precipitation as energy passes south of us, though the unsettled conditions would be with us longer, likely through Tuesday.

In either case, a flat ridge is forecast behind the storm, leading to warmer temperatures by mid-week and lasting through at least the rest of the workweek. A storm from the Gulf of Alaska is currently forecast to stay north of us for the following weekend, though that forecast is uncertain at this time.

Beautiful weather interrupted near weeks end

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spectacular fall weather will continue through most of the weekend before a storm affects us sometime on Sunday and Monday. There is uncertainty as to whether precipitation starts early or late in the day Sunday, but the heaviest precipitation should occur through the overnight hours and early in the morning Monday as the cold air associated with the storm sweeps through the area and lowers snow levels. Most of the accumulating snow should be confined to above 9000 feet, but we may see snowflakes in town as well.

Showers will persist through the day Monday in cool and unstable northwest flow behind the departing storm. Tuesday should be pleasant after a cold morning start before there is again disagreement between the models for midweek. The American GFS model is predicting a fast-moving wave from the Pacific interacting with a wave traveling southward from the Canadian Plains and producing some precipitation late Wednesday into Thursday. The European ECMWF, on the other hand, rebuilds a ridge over the inter-mountain west, leading to dry weather. Both models, however, show some of the cool air from the north filtering over our region late in the workweek and possibly into Saturday.

Both models also have that ridge strengthening by mid-next weekend and dominating our weather into the following week, leading to more warm and dry weather.

Pleasant fall weather through early next week

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Beautiful fall weather will continue through early next week. A small circulation currently off the northern Baja coast will pass over southern Colorado tomorrow, perhaps bringing some high cloudiness into our area for Friday.

Then, early in the weekend, a Pacific storm crosses the California coast and strongly splits, with the southern portion drawing some moisture from the southwest over our area by Sunday. Southern Colorado may see some showers, but we should remain dry.

A stronger storm is forecast to cross the California coast early in the workweek and again strongly splits. This storm is currently forecast to be strong enough so that the northern branch will bring a cool front through our area sometime on Wednesday, and this cool air should phase with a surge of moisture brought over our area from the southern branch.

Current longer term models have beautiful fall weather returning soon after the system departs by Thursday and possibly lasting through most of the rest of October.

Roller-coaster weather through Columbus Day

Thursday, October 9, 2014

We will have quite the interesting mix of weather over the next week as we will be influenced first from the south by former hurricane Simon today and tonight and then by a cold storm from the northwest for Sunday through Sunday night.

Periods of light to moderate rain should occur this afternoon and evening as former hurricane Simon travels over southern Colorado today, with snow confined to the highest elevations. Most of the precipitation should fall south of us as the easterly flow north of the closed circulation dries and stabilizes as it moves down the slopes of the Continental Divide.

Conditions will rapidly improve tomorrow, though some afternoon showers are possible as the flow turns to the northwest behind the departing storm. Saturday will also be pleasant, though there may be some clouds and a small chance of afternoon showers as a very weak wave traverses the area late in the day.

However, a seasonably cold storm from the northwest will move over the area early in the day Sunday, bringing snow to the mountain and first rain and then possibly some snow to the valley. The storm is forecast to be quick moving, and precipitation should end by midnight, leaving a dry but brisk Monday.

Some more spectacular fall weather is forecast to continue through at least midweek as a transient ridge moves over the area and brings warming temperatures through Wednesday. A weak wave from the Pacific is forecast to clip our area Thursday or Friday and bring slightly cooler temperatures, though precipitation looks to stay well to our north.

Temperatures rebound behind this glancing wave for at least part of the weekend before some models forecast another storm sometime around mid-weekend.

Dry and seasonable weather for the next week

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The storm that brought the season’s first snowfall to the Steamboat ski area and snowflakes to town has moved east of the area leaving cool temperatures and some clouds in its wake. A trailing wave will graze our area late tonight into early tomorrow morning, reinforcing our cool temperatures and keeping some clouds around early in the morning.

Temperatures should rebound into and through the weekend, especially at higher elevations. The warmup will be tempered, however, as the storm that just passed deepens and becomes a strong closed low just north of the upper Midwest border with Canada. This will bring unseasonably cold temperatures to the Great Plains and will leave us susceptible to cool air surges on Sunday and Monday as waves of energy rotate around this feature.

Dry and pleasant weather should persist through the rest of the workweek as a flat ridge builds in the Gulf of Alaska. However, waves of energy from the Pacific rounding this ridge are forecast to eventually break the ridge down, allowing cool air and precipitation to move over our area from the north. Timing is uncertain this far in advance, but current model forecasts bring a change to more stormy weather sometime next weekend.

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