Wednesday, October 28, 2015
The active jet stream advertised in last week’s forecast will continue to affect the Steamboat Springs area late Thursday into Friday with a quick moving storm, followed by a large, complex and slow moving storm starting around Monday and lasting through much of the next work week.
A wave currently crossing the West Coast will split as it crosses the Great Basin, keeping most of the precipitation to our south. Some cool air from the the northern part of the split will be reinforced by additional energy moving across the Pacific, but overall the winds never turn to our favorable northwest direction, limiting the cold air and overall precipitation. The end result is showers should begin Thursday afternoon or evening and leave 1-4” of snow on the upper part of the hill by noon Friday, with lesser amounts at lower elevations and rain in the valleys.
Drier weather with average temperatures will return after this storm passes from Friday afternoon through the weekend, with perhaps breezy conditions at times.
However, this break will end by Monday morning as a large storm forecast to be off the Northwest Coast by Sunday afternoon moves south and east, reinforced by a number of upstream waves crossing the Pacific. Some of these waves will be be ejected out of the parent storm, forecast to be located around mid-California by Monday, and move over our area, with the first wave forecast by early Monday morning.
Currently, models forecast most of the precipitation to fall as rain in the valley bottom as a relatively stationary front settles over our area, but likely significant snow at the higher elevations for Monday and most of Tuesday. However, it looks like Steamboat Springs will be right on the edge of the rain-snow elevation, and precipitation may switch to snow during the overnight hours before changing back to rain during the day.
A large piece of energy is forecast to move along this front by Tuesday night, likely keeping precipitation as snow along the valley bottom by Wednesday. Continued precipitation is expected for Thursday and possibly Friday as this storm eventually moves eastward and likely south of our area, but the complexity evident early in week greatly reduces forecast confidence beyond midweek.