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Hot, hot, hot this weekend

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Thursday, July 11, 2024

Though some afternoon clouds are trying to temper the heat, temperatures are already in the upper-eighties under mostly sunny skies this Thursday mid-afternoon. And we can expect even warmer temperatures with a nine handle through the weekend for the hottest days of the summer so far.

A ridge of high pressure currently over the West is sandwiched between areas of low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska and the Great Lakes. A storm moving through the northern Canadian Plains will keep the ridge from amplifying further while nudging it eastward and toward our area this weekend.

The associated heat dome under the ridge means the hottest temperatures of the season so far will be with us this weekend, with high temperatures of ninety degrees or a bit more, almost ten degrees above our average of 83 F. But our daily records in the mid-nineties do not look to be challenged by this heat wave.

Mostly sunny mornings will accompany the heat, and after a mostly sunny Friday, there may be afternoon clouds around on Saturday with the slightest chance of an isolated shower as the intense heating of the ground lifts some meager moisture trapped under the ridge.

Thankfully, mostly clear skies will allow the overnight temperatures to drop to around fifty degrees, around five degrees above our average of 46 F.

More Pacific energy forecast to cross the British Columbia coast late in the weekend should nudge the West Coast ridge eastward on Sunday. Light winds from the south on the backside of the ridge are forecast to carry moisture pooling over the Mexican Plateau over our area by Sunday afternoon in a classic North American Monsoonal pattern, which usually gets going this time of year.

So we should see some more clouds and a slightly better chance for an isolated shower on Sunday, with those chances and coverage increasing to start the work week. Right now, the weather forecast models show only modest moisture through midweek before the West Coast ridge rebounds ahead of another Gulf of Alaska storm and cuts off the limited monsoonal moisture supply.

But subtle changes in the position of the ridge of high pressure over the West can change this forecast, and I’ll have the latest details in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Summer heat to overtake Steamboat Springs this workweek

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Sunday, July 7, 2024

Temperatures are approaching seventy degrees under cloudless late this Sunday morning in Steamboat Springs, on their way to the mid-seventies. Mostly sunny skies with occasional afternoon clouds will accompany rising temperatures through the workweek with upper-eighties expected by Thursday.

A ridge of high pressure is currently centered over the West Coast while dangerous storm Beryl intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico as it approaches the mid-Texas coast. A wave of energy traveling over the ridge will brush our area today with a cool front that will keep high temperatures in the delightful mid-seventies with some afternoon clouds and only the slightest chance of a shower, most likely to our north and east. Like yesterday, any precipitation will likely produce more wind than rain as the rain evaporates in the dry lower atmosphere and cools, forming virga and creating the associated gusty winds when the falling cool air hits the ground.

A large storm developing in the southern Gulf of Alaska is forecast to move eastward through the workweek, pushing the West Coast ridge eastward and toward our area. So look for mostly sunny skies and increasing temperatures, with highs reaching toward eighty degrees on Monday, low-eighties on Tuesday, right at our average of 83 F, mid-eighties on Wednesday and upper-eighties on Thursday.

And our cool crisp overnight low temperatures this past weekend five degrees or so below our average of 45 F will also rise, reaching toward fifty degrees by the end of the workweek as the hot air mass encroaches.

Weather forecast models are insistent we may see a bit of moisture peaking around midweek, possibly drawn from the south and east as small disturbances rotate through the east side of the ridge, with only some possible later-day clouds likely starting by Tuesday afternoon.

Even hotter weather is forecast for next weekend as the ridge of high pressure moves overhead, with the return of moisture from the south now not expected until late in the weekend or soon after. So enjoy the classic summertime weather and check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon for more details on when we may see a break from the heat and the return of significant moisture.

Gorgeous weather to continue through the weekend

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Thursday, July 4, 2024

Sunny skies and comfortable temperatures in the mid-sixties, on their way to the mid-seventies, are over Steamboat Springs this Independence Day. The gorgeous weather today will continue through the weekend along with breezy afternoons, especially on Saturday, and some clouds later Sunday.

This tranquil and very comfortable weather pattern is courtesy of dry and cool northwest flow over our area ahead of a building ridge of high pressure over the West Coast. After last month ended up as our fifteenth wettest June since 1893, with 2.86” of precipitation compared to our average of 1.58”, precipitation will be hard to come for at least a week as moisture from the south is cut off by the ridge of high pressure to our west.

So look for sunny days with comfortable high temperatures in the mid to upper-seventies, several degrees below our average of 82 F, and cool crisp nights with low temperatures several degrees below our average of 44 F.

A couple of weak waves traveling over the top of the West Coast ridge will brush our area over the weekend, with the first bringing increased afternoon breezes Saturday afternoon and the second bringing clouds by Sunday afternoon with only the slightest chance of precipitation.

The West Coast ridge is forecast to move slowly inland next week with temperatures slowly increasing toward average by Tuesday and the upper-eighties after midweek, with little hope of precipitation until the ridge of high pressure moves to our east around next weekend.

So enjoy this gorgeous summertime weather lasting through the weekend, and check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon for the latest on how hot next week will be and when we may see moisture return.

Good precipitation chances to persist into Tuesday

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Sunday, June 30, 2024

Temperatures are around eighty degrees in Steamboat Springs under mostly sunny skies this Sunday mid-afternoon. But clouds are building ahead of good precipitation chances from this afternoon through Monday and into Tuesday morning thanks to an approaching cool front interacting with increasing moisture. Cooler temperatures in the seventies and dry weather behind the cool front will bring very pleasant summertime weather through the Independence Day holiday.

A trough of low pressure is currently crossing the West Coast while a subtropical ridge of high pressure centered over the lower Mississippi Valley extends westward across Texas. The atmosphere is having a tough time letting go of the wintertime pattern of storms approaching our area from the northwest even as the summertime pattern of a subtropical ridge of high pressure over the south takes hold. In addition to the stormy pattern over the Midwest, we have done quite well in the moisture department from this weather pattern this June, with 2.51” of precipitation measured downtown through last Thursday, compared to the monthly average of 1.51”. While the rest of the official precipitation data for June won’t be published for a few days, adding in an estimated third of an inch we received on Friday with whatever falls through today means we should be around double the monthly average. Look for a vibrant wildflower display in July and a great summer berry crop for the wildlife.

A wave of moisture rotating clockwise around the west side of the subtropical high pressure will bring good precipitation chances from later today and tonight through Monday with possibly strong storms. The high temperature will cool from the low eighties today, several degrees above our average of eighty degrees, to the upper seventies on Monday thanks to cloud cover.

And similar to last Friday, the approaching storm from the West Coast will interact with the existing moisture to bring likely storms from Monday afternoon through the night and into Tuesday morning. We should see a final push of precipitation early Tuesday morning as the cool front passes through our area, with dry air and mostly sunny skies by the afternoon and high temperatures almost ten degrees below our average.

Temperatures will rebound back to average on Wednesday, but cool and dry air from western Canada dropping southward behind a building ridge of high pressure over the West Coast should keep very pleasant weather overhead with plenty of sun and high temperatures in the upper seventies for Independence Day.

Another wave of cool air may approach our area before the weekend, and another after, but there is weather forecast model uncertainty as to the timing and strength. So enjoy the last couple of days of our wet June pattern and the very pleasant weather that follows for midweek and Independence Day, and be sure to check back Thursday afternoon for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative.

Showers to decrease and temperatures to warm this weekend

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Thursday, June 27, 2024

After reaching the upper-seventies within the last hour in Steamboat Springs, temperatures have fallen into the mid-seventies under cloudy and threatening skies this Thursday mid-afternoon. Showers are likely from now through Friday, including tonight, before being relegated to the usual afternoons and evenings for the weekend under sunny morning skies and low to mid-eighty-degree afternoon temperatures.

The showers from yesterday afternoon through the night were due to moisture from the south being carried over our area by winds rotating clockwise around a ridge of high pressure over the Southeast in a monsoonal pattern. The unusually high humidity for our area created efficient rain showers yesterday leaving about a third of an inch of rain at my house near the base of the Steamboat Ski Resort.

Storms may be stronger today thanks to the southern end of a storm currently moving through Montana grazing our area through Friday and providing an additional source of atmospheric lift. This extra lift means that the sun is not necessary to trigger the storms, so look for the possibility of showers tonight and even tomorrow morning. Of course, daytime heating adds to the atmospheric instability, so storms may be stronger later on Friday.

By Saturday, a mid-latitude ridge of high pressure briefly builds overhead as the Montana storm moves through the upper Midwest. The drying atmosphere should lead to a sunny Saturday morning with high temperatures moving back toward the mid-eighties with a chance of afternoon and evening storms thanks to lingering moisture.

Meanwhile, a wave of energy ejecting out of a persistent area of low pressure over the Aleutian Islands is forecast to cross the Gulf of Alaska on Saturday and the Pacific Northwest coast early on Sunday. At the same time, the ridge of high pressure over the Southeast is forecast to squirt back westward underneath the Midwest storm during the weekend, reintroducing moisture from the south back to our area on Sunday and Monday.

So look for another sunny morning Sunday with a degree or two of warming from Saturday and more chances for afternoon and evening storms. The Pacific Northwest storm is then forecast to cross the Great Basin on Monday, and energy ejecting out of the storm will conspire with the already-present moisture for an active day of weather on Monday.

Right now, moisture is forecast to be scoured from our area by the passing Great Basin storm on Tuesday, but I’ll have more details about that in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

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1 July 2021

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