Thursday, September 29, 2016
An incoming Pacific storm to our northwest and tropical and sub-tropical weather systems to our southwest will affect the Steamboat Springs weather over the next week. Southwesterly flow ahead of the Pacific storm, currently located off the Pacific Northwest coast, has brought moisture left over from last week’s storm and a tropical storm near Baja over Colorado. There is a good chance of nocturnal showers tonight as a wave of energy moves just west of Steamboat Springs after midnight.
We will also have a good chance of showers during the day on Friday as the airmass continues to moisten and additional energy from the southwest travels over the area.
Drier air invades the area for the weekend in still warm southwest flow with afternoon showers possible, more so on Saturday than Sunday.
Meanwhile, some cold air from western Canada will mix with the Northwest Pacific storm, causing it to split with a significant part of the storm forming a closed low that sinks southward along the West Coast over the weekend. By Sunday, the Pacific jet stream undercuts a transient ridge in the Gulf of Alaska and forces the closed low to make landfall around northern California.
The storm will move across the Great Basin on Monday, with relatively dry southwest flow ahead of the storm keeping warm conditions over our area with a slight chance of Monday afternoon showers.
However, the summery weather will come to an abrupt end Monday night as current forecasts have a strong cold front associated with the storm moving through the area. We will likely see moderate to heavy precipitation with the front, and snow levels will plummet to the valley floor, with the season’s first snowflakes likely falling in town on Tuesday. The warm road surfaces will likely preclude accumulations, but snow on the grassy surfaces is certainly possible.
Additional energy will keep the precipitation going on a likely dreary Wednesday with brisk northwest winds before current forecasts have the storm moving east of our area by Thursday. For those that plan travel to the East Coast over Columbus Day weekend, be aware that long range models have a hurricane threatening the East Coast for the end of the work week. There is lots of uncertainty, though, as not only may the track of the hurricane change, but it may or may not interact with either our last week’s storm currently spinning in the Ohio River Valley or our forecast storm for next week.