Sunday, July 24, 2016
A weak wave off the Pacific Northwest coast will allow a low-amplitude ridge to rebuild over the western states, which will increase temperatures to above normal again for the beginning of the work week. As this wave moves inland around Tuesday, this shallow ridge elongates eastward, allowing a modicum of moisture from the south to move northward over Colorado on the western periphery of the ridge. This will result in a very weak monsoonal pattern, increasing the chance of afternoon storms for Tuesday.
This brief and unimpressive surge of moisture will be replaced with dry air by Wednesday as the wave moves through the northern Rockies. An additional wave taking a similar path will also pass north of our area by the end of the work week. Models have trended this wave further north as it is deflected by the western ridge and it no longer looks to bring any cooling to our area as was the possibility in the last forecast. Instead, more cool air forecast to move into the Gulf of Alaska will allow the western ridge to grow even stronger, bringing hot temperatures well above normal to the Steamboat Springs area by next weekend.
Longer-range models do have relief from the heat after next weekend as more cool air is forecast to move into the Gulf of Alaska and produce an upper level trough off the West Coast that may again allow monsoonal moisture to be drawn northward over Utah and Colorado from western Mexico. The longest-range model I regularly view hints that this wetter pattern may persist through at least the first week of August.