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Unsettled weather for the upcoming week

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The past few days of beautiful mostly sunny weather in Steamboat Springs will be turning more unsettled for the upcoming week. Waves of Pacific energy and moisture will move over the West and increase rainfall chances starting on Friday and lasting through midweek.

Though our area has enjoyed mostly sunny skies with high temperatures right near our average of 73 F over the last few days, atmospheric moisture this Thursday is already increasing ahead of several Pacific disturbances taking aim on the West. The first will bring some more clouds this afternoon, and any showers will be confined to the higher elevations to our north and produce more wind than rain as the lower levels of the atmosphere are quite dry.

But that changes on Friday as a stronger disturbance passes by in the afternoon and substantially increases the moisture in all levels of the atmosphere. Showers will become more likely by later in the day and overnight, some of which may produce brief periods of locally moderate to heavy rain.

Another disturbance is forecast for later Saturday, so more showers producing locally moderate to heavy rain for a time are again likely. In fact, a parade of nebulous and hard-to-time disturbances will pass by in generally west to northwest flow through Tuesday of next week, keeping good chances of mostly afternoon and evening showers, some moderate to heavy, on each day.

By mid-next week, a series of stronger Pacific disturbances are forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast. There is weather forecast disagreement with regards to the southern extent of these disturbances, but models agree that we will at least see breezy to windy west to northwest winds as these disturbances move eastward.

Lastly, I am considering decreasing the frequency of these weather narratives to once per week on Thursdays in order to lessen my workload. And I’m just not sure how many people are reading this in the summer. Please contact me if you have thoughts about this possible change.

Several cool fronts ahead of end of upcoming week unsettled weather

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Early on this Saturday afternoon in Steamboat Springs, temperatures are running about fifteen degrees below yesterday behind the cool front that passed through last night. Additional mostly dry cool fronts are timed for Sunday and Tuesday, and a moister one on Thursday, after which a stream of Pacific moisture and energy will turn the weather warmer but unsettled, lasting through Father’s Day weekend.

An unseasonably cold storm currently centered over Idaho is located behind ridges of high pressure along the West Coast and northeast North America. Though temperatures will warm today toward our average of 71 F, some Pacific energy moving over the top of the West Coast ridge will force the Idaho storm eastward, and another wave of cool air will sweep over our area on Sunday. High temperatures will be cooler than today, with low temperatures both Sunday and Monday five to ten degrees below our average low of 37 F.

The strong June sun (we are only 2 weeks away from summer solstice, which represents the time of year when the sun is highest in our northern hemisphere sky) will allow temperatures to recover and warm back towards average on Monday before they are knocked back a bit below average again on Tuesday by another dry cool front traveling down the east side of the West Coast ridge.

As the Idaho storm intensifies over the upper Midwest and Canadian Plains, another cool front is forecast to move through our area on Thursday. Additionally, the Pacific energy and moisture that had been riding over the top of the West Coast ridge will pass through and underneath the ridge instead, allowing warmer temperatures and more moisture to move across the West. This pattern looks to persist through Father’s Day weekend and into the following workweek, and would bring increased chances of showers through the period.

Cooler for Sunday with moisture returning after midweek

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The current mostly sunny skies with seasonable temperatures will continue in the Steamboat Springs area through midweek after which moisture is advertised to return for the end of the work week.

Currently, a transient ridge of high pressure has built behind a departing storm that passed mostly south of our area yesterday and ahead of an unseasonably cold storm crossing the Pacific Northwest coast. As the northwest storm moves mostly north of our area across the northern Rockies over the weekend, we should see breezy southwest winds Friday ahead of the storm, along with some afternoon clouds and a chance of a storm that will likely bring more wind than rain.

Several cool fronts will be dragged through our area on Saturday, Sunday and Monday as energy rotating around the storm grazes our area. The Saturday front will be weak enough so its effects may only be noticed by the winds markedly decreasing and shifting to the west.

The Sunday front will still be dry but stronger, with cool morning temperatures approaching or below freezing, which is five to ten degrees below our average of 37 F, and high temperatures falling a bit to below average.

Monday will start on the cool side, but temperature will warm to around average as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West Coast behind the strong storm that is now forecast to be over the central Canadian Plains.

We should see generally light northwest winds and average temperatures Monday and Tuesday as the ridge of high pressure is pushed eastward by a series of Pacific waves of energy and moisture. Wednesday will likely be the warmest day of this forecast period before the Pacific waves bring westerly winds and increasing moisture, leading to the chances for showers for the end of the work week and heading into the weekend.

Warm storm for midweek followed by a dry cool front around mid-weekend

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The current seasonable weather in Steamboat Springs will largely continue during the upcoming week, with the weather highlighted by a good chance of wetting rains on Wednesday and possibly Thursday and a dry cool front around mid-weekend.

What has been a stationary area of low pressure currently in southern California will be forced eastward across the Desert Southwest early in the workweek by a strong and cold storm moving eastward from the Gulf of Alaska. Some energy and moisture ejecting out of the southwest storm will conspire with the surface heating from a strong early June sun to bring the chance of afternoon and evening storms today, Monday and Tuesday, with high temperatures within about five degrees of our 69 F average. However, the lower atmosphere will remain dry enough so that we may see more wind than rain from the storms.

As the Desert Southwest storm moves across the the Colorado / New Mexico border on Wednesday, we should see more clouds than earlier in the workweek as the atmosphere moistens, along with a better chance for wetting rains during the day and evening.

The storm will be east of our area on Thursday, and though the atmosphere dries, some cool air behind the storm will help destabilize the atmosphere and produce a chance for stronger, but perhaps more isolated, storms on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, the eastward moving Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast. While the previous two weeks featured very significant snowfall in our area from this type of storm, summer is going to win the battle this time as the storm stays mostly north of our area as it travels along the U.S. / Canadian border through the weekend and the beginning of the following workweek.

A downturn in shower activity is expected for Friday and Saturday as drier air in southwest flow moves over our area ahead of the storm, along with warming temperatures on Friday. One or possibly two dry cool fronts are forecast to graze our area on Saturday and Sunday, with the Sunday cool front more certain and cooler.

The drier weather looks to persist into the beginning of the following workweek before moisture possibly returns to our area,

Summery weather for the upcoming week

Thursday, May 30, 2019

After another 17” of snow fell atop Mt. Werner in about 17 hours on Tuesday, along with a high temperature of 40 F in the town of Steamboat Springs (27 F below our average!), the weather will turn more seasonable for the upcoming week.

Over 1.5” of liquid water or liquid water equivalent fell from the Tuesday storm, which is the second such occurrence in consecutive weeks in our very stormy May. June is only two days away, and winter-weary residents can finally expect summery weather to appear over the upcoming week as the forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and warming temperatures with the chance of an afternoon storm.

Though another Pacific storm is currently sliding down the West Coast, a ridge of high pressure over the southern Rockies is forecast to build behind a cold series of storms developing over the eastern U.S. This ridge will temporarily keep the Pacific storm spinning in southern California during the weekend and early next week before it eventually moves over our area around midweek.

Until then, high temperatures will warm towards our average of 68 F tomorrow and settle in a range that is five to ten degrees above average for the weekend and early next week. There will be a chance of afternoon and early evening storms through the weekend as the strong late spring sun cooks moisture in the atmosphere, though there is disagreement among the weather forecast models as to whether energy ejecting out of the southern California storm will be close enough to force stronger and more numerous storms for Sunday.

In any event, much drier air is forecast to overrun our area in southwest flow on Monday and Tuesday that will decrease or eliminate the chance of afternoon showers and keep our warm temperatures around.

The California storm is forecast to move east when the series of cold eastern U.S. storms move east, and the current forecast has clouds increasing by midweek as the storm approaches our area. The storm will have lost most of its cold air by then, so unsettled weather along with temperatures near or a bit below average can be expected for Wednesday and Thursday.

After that, another cold Pacific storm is forecast to cross the West Coast near the end of the work week, though weather forecast models disagree on how fast the storm will move near our area and how cold it may be.

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