Thursday, October 1, 2015
The above average temperatures of this early fall will continue through most of tomorrow before a storm currently off the California coast brings cooler temperatures and showers into the Steamboat Springs area later Friday.
This storm will be forced eastward from the coast as a second splitting storm currently in the western Canadian high latitudes takes its place along the West Coast by Saturday night. The first storm will bring a noticeably cooler airmass by Friday night, with showers developing ahead of and along the front by Friday afternoon or evening.
Saturday should start off dry and cool before there is a chance of light showers redeveloping in the afternoon and evening. The second storm will then develop into a closed low cutoff from the jet stream to our north around Sunday, backing our winds to the southwest and initially bringing some drying into the area for Sunday and Monday.
This second storm is forecast to move eastward or southeastward across the southern Great Basin on Monday, and will bring increasing moisture from the south over Colorado, similar to the active monsoonal pattern we saw for a lot of this summer. There may be a small chance of showers on Monday afternoon, but the heaviest rainfall is reserved if the storm moves over our area from later Tuesday through Thursday.
Models are struggling with the timing and position of the storm. A fair bit of uncertainty exists with how far south the storm eventually moves, with the latest European ECMWF favoring a more southern, slower and drier solution. If the storm takes a more northern track like the American GFS, showers may continue through Thursday and perhaps even Friday as the storm moves east of the area, leaving the classic-for-Steamboat cool, moist and unstable northwest flow.
Some ridging is forecast to occur behind the storm, bringing improving conditions for the following weekend.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
The current warm days and cool nights reflective of this quintessential Colorado autumn weather will endure through this weekend, highlighting the spectacular fall colors.
Starting early in the work week, model differences make the forecast uncertain. All models have a Pacific storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska splitting, with the northern part of the storm moving north of the Steamboat Springs area late in the weekend. This grazing storm will drag some cooler and more seasonable air over the area by late Sunday or early Monday.
The American GFS insists on the southern part of the storm crossing the West Coast and bringing moisture into the Steamboat Springs area by Monday afternoon. The European ECMWF, on the other hand, has been consistent in keeping the southern part of the storm off the coast for the first few days of the work week and moving it towards our area by later in the week.
Because the GFS has been trending towards the slower and drier ECMWF the last few model runs, I expect this trend to continue, leading to only a slim chance of showers early in the work week.
The ECMWF does finally bring the southern part of the Pacific storm over our area later in the work week, so the weather around then and heading into the following weekend may be unsettled.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
There is one more wave grazing the northern Colorado border tonight which will drag the coldest air of the season over the Steamboat Springs area . Though moisture rapidly diminishes as the wave passes, there may be enough around when the coldest air arrives overnight to produce a light dusting of snow at the highest elevations of Mt. Werner by Friday morning.
Temperatures will stay cool under mostly sunny skies Friday before the clear night brings strong cooling, leading to temperatures near or even below freezing by Saturday morning. Temperatures will begin to warm towards normal Saturday and after another cold start Sunday morning, will return to normal by Sunday afternoon and above normal by Monday. Locals will need to protect their tomato plants both mornings!
Warm and dry weather looks to last through much of Tuesday as the upper level flow backs to the southwest, with another surge of moisture forecast over Colorado during the day. There is the potential for more wet weather from Tuesday night through Wednesday as this moisture and energy pass over Colorado, with current long range models predicting a return to warm and dry after the midweek storm passes.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
The remnants of former hurricane Linda and a Pacific storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska will conspire to keep the Steamboat Springs area cool and likely wet starting tomorrow afternoon.
Moisture from the former hurricane is beginning to overspread Colorado today, as some smoke the wildfires to our west invaded the area in weak northwest flow overnight. Periods of rain by later Monday and lasting overnight into Tuesday morning may occur as the circulation is forced eastward across the Great Basin today and through Colorado tomorrow by the approaching Pacific storm. The intensity of this rain may be tempered if cool and cloudy conditions are present earlier in the day.
Though the possibility of rain will decrease during the day Tuesday, waves ejecting ahead of the Pacific storm will keep the temperatures cool with a chance of showers during the rest of the day.
Waves are forecast to continue moving through the Pacific storm, keeping its eastward motion slow and the chance of continued cool and showery weather through Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday, current model guidance indicates some warming and drying heading into the weekend.
Some models have another much weaker Pacific storm approaching the West Coast early in the weekend, and this may allow moisture to return from the south and increase the chance of showers by mid-next weekend, though this chance will be greatest south of the Steamboat Springs area. This will be a quick moving storm with warm and dry weather quickly returning heading into the following work week.
Sunday, September 6, 2015
A storm currently to our north that brought some snow to the higher elevations of Idaho yesterday morning and cooler temperatures to the Steamboat Springs area today will stay to our north but keep a chance of passing showers around for today and tomorrow. Trailing waves behind this storm will reinforce the cool weather through Tuesday before more drying and warming is forecast to occur by Wednesday.
There is a possibility of smoke from the Pacific Northwest wildfires being transported over our region as the flow veers from the southwest to the west-northwest by midweek, but otherwise the weather should be classic early-September beautiful for the rest of the work week with warm sunny days and cool nights.
A dry wave in west-northwest flow is forecast to stay mostly north and east of the Steamboat Springs area late Friday or early Saturday, but may knock temperatures back a bit before they rebound for the rest of the weekend.
The next storm of interest will approach the West Coast early by late next weekend and will likely significantly affect our weather for the following work week.