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Stormy pattern returns tomorrow

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The dry weather the past few days that led to the very cold valley temperatures will end tomorrow as a quick-moving storm from the Pacific Northwest moves over the Steamboat Springs area. Ironically, the approach of the cold front will warm the surface and eliminate the current temperature inversion by increasing surface winds tonight and mixing the stagnant airmass. Periods of light to sometimes moderate snow start during the day tomorrow and continue overnight, leaving 2-5” for the Friday morning report.

Snows will diminish and perhaps even end very early Friday morning before a similar but stronger storm moves over our area later in the morning. Snowfall rates will be moderate to sometimes heavy during the afternoon Friday as this storm drags some cold air from the Canadian Plains southwards. A substantial part of the 5-10” I expect to be reported Saturday morning will occur Friday afternoon.

Snowfall will decrease during the day Saturday before increasing again early Sunday as a trailing wave drags a reinforcing surge of cold air over the area. Snowfall should diminish again during the afternoon and likely end by sunset, so the bulk of the snow I expect for the Monday report should occur Sunday morning.

Temperatures should warm on Monday as a transient ridge tries to build to our west, but the warming will be short-lived as another Pacific storm moves through the ridge and begins a round of light to sometimes moderate snows Monday night.

Snowfall is currently forecast to end around Tuesday before possibly the strongest storm in this series threatens significant snows starting around Wednesday. The forecast for then is uncertain with so much weather occurring over the next week, however.

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