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Cold valleys and warmer mountains persist through the weekend

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The valley temperature as of 1pm has warmed from a low of -23F to 6F while the summit of Mount Werner has warmed from a low of -7F to 13F under sunny skies. A dry grazing wave mostly north and east of us will drag some more cold air over the Steamboat Springs area later tonight, continuing the below -20F low temperatures for the valley into New Years Day and the day after. Meanwhile, a portion of the West Coast ridge bends over the area, noticeably increasing mountain temperatures by Saturday.

The mountains will warm further through the weekend and into the next work week before a Pacific storm makes landfall in Southern California early Monday, backing our winds to the southwest and likely mixing out the cold valley inversion either during the day Monday or Tuesday.

There may be some light showers by Tuesday afternoon as the weakened storm moves mostly south of our area, but it appears accumulations may be minimal. Another stronger storm follows closely behind, but current forecasts have this storm staying south of our area at the end of the work week as well.

Uncertainty increases by the weekend as the American GFS has another Pacific storm undercutting the West Coast ridge and perhaps phasing with some cold Canadian air while the European ECMWF keeps the weekend storm offshore and the cold Canadian air to our north.

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