Gorgeous spring weather to reappear after some snow tonight and Monday

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Temperatures are in the mid-forties in Steamboat Springs and mid-twenties near the top of the Steamboat Resort with breezy winds under mostly cloudy skies late this Easter morning. The snow that should have been here by now looks to hold off until late this afternoon or early evening with modest accumulations expected on the hill by Monday morning. Another round of showery snowfall is expected for later Monday before skies clear on Tuesday and temperatures warm toward sixty degrees by the end of the work week.

SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT IN YAMPA-WHITE-LITTLE SNAKE as of 31 March 2024Before the weather forecast, north-central Colorado reached a milestone yesterday when the water stored in the Yampa-White-Little Snake basin snowpack surpassed our median peak of 21.4 inches, as shown in the accompanying graph. The blue line is the aggregate maximum, the red line is the aggregate minimum and the green line is the median over the last 30 years. The median peak is marked by the X (not formerly known as Twitter!). Note that we have reached this level a week ahead of the median peak of April 7, and we are certainly not done adding water to the snowpack.

Now, a large and complex storm currently extends from the northern Baja coast through the Great Basin and into the Canadian Plains. Additionally, a large ridge of high pressure centered over the Gulf of Alaska is directing waves of cool air and moisture from the north toward the Great Basin. The southern part of the storm to our southwest has formed an eddy and is responsible for the gusty winds from the southwest.

The eddy has moved further south than originally forecast, creating a stronger split between the northern and southern portion of the storm and delaying the arrival of cooler air from the northwest. So precipitation is now not expected to start until late this afternoon or early evening with 2-5” expected by the Monday morning mid-mountain ski report, along with subsiding winds.

Some of the cool air is forecast to move southwest across the Great Basin and drop into the backside of the eddy tonight, forcing most of it across the Desert Southwest through Monday. We should see a break in the precipitation to start Monday before brief and sometimes moderate to heavy showers reemerge by Monday afternoon and evening, leaving 1-4” of snow on the hill.

Meanwhile, another strong storm currently over the Aleutian Islands is forecast to move east and push the ridge of high pressure inland. So expect warming temperatures and mostly sunny skies to start Tuesday and last through Thursday, with high temperatures in town reaching the upper forties on Tuesday, mid-fifties on Wednesday and upper fifties on Thursday and Friday, five to ten degrees above our average of 51 F.

Meanwhile, that eastward-moving Aleutian storm is forecast to begin affecting the Pacific by midweek and elongate southward along the West Coast by Thursday. Winds from the southwest will begin increasing by later Thursday ahead of the storm with windy conditions expected on a still-warm Friday. So enjoy the upcoming gorgeous spring weather and be sure to check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where it looks like I will be discussing our next round of wintry weather for the coming weekend.

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1 April 2018

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