Nice start but unsettled end to the weekend

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A couple of storms will pass mostly north of the Steamboat Springs area on Friday and Sunday, with the Sunday storm likely extending into Monday and providing the best chance of wetting rains this week.

After a sunny day this Thursday with above average temperatures, the first grazing storm for Friday will drag a dry cool front through northern Colorado during the day. Winds will turn from the west to the northwest, and the dry airmass will limit the effects to cooler high temperatures closer to our mid-seventies June average, and perhaps a storm in the evening that would produce far more gusty wind than rain.

We should see warming temperatures with mostly sunny skies and perhaps some high clouds on Saturday ahead of a much stronger storm moving over or just north of northern Colorado by Sunday. Weather forecast models still disagree on the southern extent of the storm, but a seasonably strong cool front is advertised to pass through our area Saturday night with the chance of some showers.

Unsettled and below average temperatures are expected on Sunday when the storm is closest to our area and again on Monday behind the storm as it makes its way eastward. Sunday could be showery for most of the day, similar to last Sunday, if the storm takes the southern path, or showers could be confined to more of the afternoon if the storm takes a more northern path.

The unsettled and cool weather will last through Monday in the unstable northwest flow behind the storm.

Drier air starts to invade Colorado by Tuesday, and mostly sunny skies should dominate for the rest of the work week. Temperatures should be around average as the seasonal ridge of high pressure over the western states is suppressed by an active storm track well to our north.

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Nice weather ahead of midweek and weekend storms

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Though the weather turns nicer after this Sunday, we will see good chances of showers again around midweek and the coming weekend as a pair of storms pass over or near the Steamboat Springs area.

But first, the remnants of former Hurricane Bud will continue to affect our area through the rest of Father’s Day and into the overnight. Copious moisture, an unstable atmosphere that is becoming more unstable with periods of afternoon sun, and a grazing cool front from the north will fuel passing storms, with some areas receiving locally heavy rainfall under the stronger cells.

Behind the departing tropical moisture from Bud, much drier air will infiltrate the region in the southwest flow ahead of an unseasonably cold and large storm wobbling over the Great Basin. We should see pleasant temperatures on the seasonably cool side and plenty of sun for Monday and Tuesday.

Weather forecast models have the large and weakening Great Basin storm finally moving eastward by Tuesday and over our area by Wednesday, courtesy of another incoming Pacific storm. Temperatures will be knocked back and the chance of storms will return during the day Wednesday and overnight, with some of them possibly strong and capable of producing locally heavy rainfall and small hail.

The first day of summer on Thursday should be pleasant with temperatures staying on the cool side behind the departing storm. Much drier air and warmer temperatures are advertised to wash over much of the southwest, including Colorado, on Friday and Saturday ahead of another difficult-to-forecast storm passing through the Great Basin. The strong surface heating and residual low-level moisture will bring the chance of our typical summertime storms in the afternoons of both those days.

There is uncertainty with respect to the timing of the next Great Basin storm, but current forecasts have the it moving over or grazing our area around mid-weekend or soon thereafter, bringing cooler temperatures along with a good chance of strong storms for Sunday.

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Weekend rains on track

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Remarkably, the forecast from last Monday calling for weekend rains in the Steamboat Springs area looks to verify as an unseasonably cold Pacific Northwest storm, originally formed with some air from the North Pole, drops into the Great Basin and mixes with the remnants of former Hurricane Bud, currently near the southern tip of Baja.

Mid and upper-level moisture is already increasing as the southwesterly and southerly flow ahead of the storm carries subtropical moisture from the Mexican Plateau over Colorado. Our area will see the chance of an afternoon storm or two today, though they may produce more wind than rain as the lower levels of the atmosphere remain quite dry.

The coverage of storms should increase tomorrow afternoon and evening, with a better chance of precipitation reaching the ground as moisture continues to improve at all levels of the atmosphere.

By Saturday, the moisture from the Mexican Plateau is replaced by the deep tropical moisture associated with the remnants of decaying Hurricane Bud as it moves northward. Timing is still subject to change, but there may some showers early in the day before they intensify and become more numerous in the afternoon and overnight. Locally heavy rainfall rainfall is likely for those areas under the stronger cells, but most areas should see a twelve hour period of at least light to moderate rain.

There will likely be a break Sunday morning as the remnants of the hurricane pass north of our area, but additional energy rounding the Great Basin storm will continue the chance of Sunday storms, perhaps as early as late morning. Additionally, another storm from the north may graze northern Colorado Sunday afternoon and drag a cool front near our area which may, if it is close enough, be another trigger for strong storms.

It is unusual to have so much weather several days before Summer Solstice next Thursday, and worth noting.

And as might be expected with so much weather, there is a fair bit of uncertainty with the position of the unseasonably cold Great Basin storm as it wobbles to our west. Right now, weather forecast models keep the storm to our west through most of the upcoming work week. The southwest flow ahead of the storm is advertised to carry some dry air from the Desert Southwest over Colorado and return seasonable temperatures and mostly dry conditions to our area.

At some point late in the work week or early next weekend, shower chances increase again as at least a piece of the Great Basin storm is forecast to be nudged toward our area by another Pacific storm approaching the West Coast.

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Increasing chances of rain for the weekend

Monday, June 11, 2018

The storm that brought a cool front through the Steamboat Springs area last night and pleasant near-normal temperatures this Monday is passing to our northeast, ahead of another storm forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast later Tuesday. This storm looks to eventually conspire with the remnants of hurricane Bud currently well south of Baja to bring a good chance of wetting rains for a part of the weekend.

Tuesday will be similar to today before winds turn to the southwest ahead of the Pacific Northwest storm. This storm is forecast to mix with some cool air from the North Pole by tomorrow and split as it makes landfall in the Pacific Northwest late Tuesday. Some of the storm will continue to the northeast, but a large part of the storm will be left behind in the northern Great Basin. The southwest winds ahead of the storm will again cause the hot and dry weather we experienced last week for Wednesday.

But there may be some modest moisture drawn northward form the Mexican Plateau for the end of the work week as the storm loiters in the northern Great Basin, and this would increase the chance of afternoon showers. Deeper moisture likely arrives around mid-weekend as current hurricane Bud moves northward through the work week. Note it is rather unusual to have a late spring storm that contains some cool air from the North Pole and tropical moisture from a hurricane.

As might be imagined, there is a fair bit of uncertainty with the timing of these pieces, but right now I would guess that we’ll see a twelve hour period that contains some good rains, probably around late Saturday or early Sunday , with afternoon showers increasing late in the work week and into the weekend as the remnants of hurricane Bud near.

The Great Basin storm is forecast to wobble in place through at least the early part of next week, and the unseasonably cold storm looks to continue the chance of at least afternoon showers through then.

At this point, it is not clear if the storm will remain strong enough to bring a cool front through our area around midweek, as it is battling the strong warming from a sun approaching the summer solstice on Thursday, June 21.

Dry and breezy cool front for later Sunday

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Not much change to the current beautiful weather conditions in Steamboat Springs is expected until later Sunday when a dry cool front associated with a grazing Pacific storm passes through our area. Daytime temperatures will remain above average under sunny skies through Saturday, and even become warmer ahead of the dry cool front currently timed for Sunday afternoon or evening.

Winds from the southwest will become gustier and increase on Sunday in advance of the front before turning to the west by Sunday night when the front passes Unfortunately, it will be quite dry and no rain is expected. While breezy conditions will continue on Monday, the cooler air behind the front will allow daytime temperatures to drop back towards average through midweek.

There appears to be some sort of tropical disturbance that is forecast to develop off the coast of Baja early in the work week, and this will conspire with the clockwise flow around a flat ridge of high pressure over the southwestern U.S to bring some moisture and likely meager precipitation chances northward over the Four Corner states starting around Wednesday, along with warming temperatures that will last through the rest of the work week.

There is uncertainty with respect to the the fate of this tropical disturbances and whether it interacts with another Pacific storm approaching the West Coast late in the work week. There is the possibility of wetting rains by around the following weekend or soon after if some of the current forecasts from the various weather prediction models verify.

Please note that I will write my next Sunday afternoon forecast on Monday as I will be traveling that day.

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