Storms stay mostly south until moisture returns for the end of work week
Monday, August 29, 2016
A series of Pacific Northwest storms will move a building western ridge eastward through this week as energy from the storms moves generally northeastward from Oregon and Washington through the Canadian Rockies. As was the case last week, the best moisture in Colorado looks to say south of the Steamboat Springs area early this week and any storms that do develop will likely have more wind than rain as the lower atmosphere stays relatively dry.
Forecasts have the Pacific Northwest storm consolidating through the week, eventually forming a large trough of low pressure that moves ashore around Thursday. Winds over our area will increase from the southwest as the storm moves closer and deeper moisture will be pulled over our area starting Thursday. Hard to define waves in the southwest flow may provide enough forcing to allow for afternoon and possibly evening storms to form for Thursday and Friday before the moisture plume is shunted to the east for Labor Day weekend.
Currently, it looks like there may be enough moisture around for Saturday and Sunday for a small chance of afternoon storms in seasonably cool temperatures, while Labor Day looks dry and continued cool as a tongue of much drier air invades behind the main storm that is forecast to be over Montana then.
Additional trailing energy will force some sort of cool front through the area around next Tuesday possibly allowing for a cool day with showers depending upon the strength of the front.
Drier from mid-weekend into next week
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Even though rains have stayed mostly to the south as discussed in the last forecast, we will have another chance of showers this evening as a a wave moves though central Colorado and another chance Friday afternoon and evening as the southern end of a trough traveling across Montana swings through the Steamboat Springs area.
Drier air works into our area by Saturday afternoon, though there will still be a chance of afternoon storms as stronger surface heating cooks the remaining moisture.
A series of Pacific Northwest storms will keep mostly dry and light southwest flow over our area for Sunday and extending into midweek before a larger storm takes up residence off the coast of Washington and Oregon by the end of the week. Though we are right on the boundary, deeper moisture from the southwest may be able to travel over our area by midweek and possibly into the Labor Day weekend, increasing the chance of wetting rains.
Longer range models do indicate the trough will eventually make landfall around or soon after Labor Day and that may allow for our best chance of precipitation as it approaches and eventually moves though Colorado.
Best moisture stays south as a series of cool fronts pass through
Monday, August 22, 2016
A storm currently skirting northern Montana has dragged some energy in the Great Basin, leftover from the previous storm at the end of last week, over Colorado this afternoon. The best moisture is south of the Steamboat Springs area, and while we may see some showers, most of the rain will stay south.
Another piece of energy from the Great Basin will again be forced over Colorado on Tuesday, and again it looks like the best moisture and forcing will remain south of our area. There will still be a threat of showers tomorrow afternoon and evening depending on the eventual track of the diffuse Great Basin energy.
A dry cool front from from the Montana storm looks to cross the area early on Wednesday bringing cooler but still seasonable temperatures with some drier air working into the area.
Similar to last week’s storm, some energy from the Montana storm is also left behind in the Great Basin. This is forecast to move over our area on Thursday and Friday as another storm drops southward from western Canada, eventually moving over our area around late Friday night or early Saturday morning. We will have a chance of storms on both Thursday and Friday as upper level energy moves overhead, with some storms possibly becoming strong later Friday and into the overnight hours as the main front approaches and eventually crosses the area.
While some showers may remain for Saturday under continued cool temperatures, dry air looks to overspread the area around mid-weekend, bringing sunny conditions and warmer temperatures that look to last into the beginning of the next work week.
Cool start to the weekend followed by modest moisture next week
Friday, August 19, 2016
The well-advertised cool front is currently moving through the Steamboat Springs area with most of the precipitation occurring south of our area. There may still be a chance of a shower this evening, but drying behind the front will limit any rainfall.
Even drier air works into the region by Saturday afternoon, and combined with a final push of cool air by a trailing wave Saturday night, Sunday morning will start quite chilly. However a rapidly building western ridge will allow temperatures on Sunday to reach above normal.
Another Pacific Northwest storm approaches the coast on Sunday and drags some weak energy loitering off the California coast eastward. Southwesterly flow ahead of the southern portion of the storm will allow moisture to work back into the area, possibly producing some Sunday afternoon clouds and a stray shower.
Moisture, though modest, will continue to increase through Wednesday as the parent storm moves along the U.S. - Canadian border and continues to drag the southern portion of the storm across the Great Basin and over our area on Tuesday and Wednesday. This should produce a decent chance of wetting rains those days, with some of the storms possibly lasting into the overnight hours.
Earlier this week, it looked like dry air would overspread the area for the end of the work week in westerly flow, but now models have another push of cool air traveling southward from the Canadian Plains as the old Pacific Northwest storm phases with a storm over Hudson Bay. Most of the energy is currently forecast to stay north and east of our area for mostly dry and seasonably cool temperatures.
Fall knocks on the door this weekend
Monday, August 15, 2016
A couple of week circulation centers currently located in Nevada and just off the northern California coast will keep the threat of afternoon showers for the Steamboat Springs area through midweek as they meander around the Great Basin. The chance for afternoon showers will increase for Tuesday and more so for Wednesday as the airmass gradually moistens. Due to the still dry lower atmosphere though, we may see more wind than rain.
Some cool air from the North Pole will break away from the Polar Vortex and travel southwards across western Canada, bringing an unseasonably cool airmass southward in several pieces. The first minor front is timed for Thursday afternoon or evening and may phase with some of the Great Basin energy and allow for a good chance of wetting rains through Thursday afternoon and evening.
The strongest push of cool air looks to occur around Friday afternoon or evening as a well-defined wave travels from the north-northwest over northern Colorado. As with the Thursday wave, more Great Basin energy will be pulled over our area contributing to more wetting rains with possibly strong storms Friday, especially in the afternoon and evening.
Saturday should be noticeably cooler with possible light showers in the cool and unstable northwest flow. A trailing wave will reinforce the cool air with the third and final front timed for Saturday evening, and again this may increase the chances for showers that may last into the overnight hours.
The flow backs to the west by early Sunday bringing in dry air and allowing temperatures to warm and the skies to clear. This trend looks to continue into the beginning of the next work week.