Sunday, April 3, 2016
A very complicated jet stream pattern over the next two weeks will affect our weather in the Steamboat Springs area, with Pacific waves from the northwest and then southwest traveling over our area and possibly mixing with cold air from the Canadian Plains.
After a couple of spring days today and tomorrow, with even some afternoon and evening showers possible later Monday, winter returns on Tuesday as a quick-moving storm from the Pacific Northwest brings snow and breezy to windy northwest winds to the area. Models are struggling with the southern extent of the system, but currently it looks like 4-8” of snow will fall during the day and into the evening Tuesday, to be reported Wednesday morning.
Skies will clear and spring will return for midweek into the beginning of the weekend before a possibly prolonged period of wet weather starts around Closing Day and extends through the following week.
A piece of the Tuesday storm, left behind and loitering west of Baja during the week, is forecast by some models to be pushed over our area mid-weekend by another strong and cold Pacific storm upstream. The storm will initially be warm due its vacation west of Baja, bringing rain to the valley and snow to the higher elevations around Saturday afternoon of Closing Weekend.
The cold Pacific storm upstream is forecast to split around a rapidly building Gulf of Alaska ridge, and models are struggling with how much energy is partitioned in the northern and southern streams of the split. Furthermore, cold air from the Canadian Plains is forecast to push westward toward the northern Rockies and mix with the northern stream of the split, while the southern stream is forecast to undercut the Gulf of Alaska ridge and approach our area early the following work week.
There is a lot of energy in the Pacific, and at least the American GFS is forecasting an active and wet period for the following week. It’s a shame that Steamboat is currently planning to close as the mountain bases will likely continue to build through April. Would the possibility of a 400” season induce them to stay open another week? Take it upon yourself to convince them!