Steamboat Springs area weather forecast from Sunday

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Since the snow stake was cleared early this afternoon on the top of Sunshine Peak, where an inch of snow had fallen on top of yesterday’s 4”, about 5” of additional snow has fallen near the top of Mount Werner as shown by the Steamboat Powdercam, with 1”/hour snowfall rates over the last couple of hours.

Snow levels have dropped to near 7500′ this evening, and continued snow showers above that level and rain or mixed rain and snow showers below that level will continue overnight. There may be another 2-5” overnight on the hill as a short range model has periods of sometimes moderate showers continuing.

By Monday, the storm that has affected us since Friday will be east of our area, though we will still be susceptible to showers during the first half of the day as energy rotates around the backside of the low.

A colder storm from the Pacific Northwest is forecast to quickly follow this storm after a brief break during Monday evening into Tuesday morning. This will bring a moderately strong cold front through the area around midday Tuesday, with the possibility of some snow down to the valley bottoms by Tuesday night.

Previous forecasts had moisture quickly eroding behind the front, but now there is disagreement among the models, leading to uncertainty with respect to the duration of the precipitation. I’m inclined to side with the numerical guidance that has more energy upstream, bringing around 3-6” of snow on the mountain by Wednesday morning and likely allowing for accumulating snowfall on the grassy surfaces of the valleys.

Going with the slower solution also keeps showers around the area for Wednesday, delaying the drying until the evening. But Thursday and Friday still look warm and mostly sunny before some cool air from the Canadian Plains and incoming Pacific energy combine to possibly threaten our weather late in the weekend.

Steamboat Springs area weather forecast from Saturday

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The expansive Great Basin storm has currently elongated to the northeast and southwest, extending from southern California to northeastern Colorado. The slot of dry air indicated in yesterday’s forecast did move over our area before sunrise, but moved just far enough east to give way to the observed thunderstorms with hail this morning. As of this afternoon, about 4” of snow has fallen near the top of Mount Werner as shown by the Steamboat Powdercam.

The forecast has a band of showers either over our area or just north of our area overnight into tomorrow morning. While we just missed some sun this morning, there is a small chance that we may be just south of the precipitation early in the day, possibly allowing for some sun for Mother’s Day morning. Showers will reform or continue in the unsettled weather for the afternoon, with snows continuing on the hill for another 2-5” above 9000′ or so between this afternoon and Sunday afternoon.

By Monday, the storm will be east of us, though we will still be susceptible to showers during the day as energy rotates around the backside of the low.

A colder storm from the Pacific Northwest is forecast to quickly follow this storm after a brief break during Monday night into Tuesday morning. This will bring a moderately strong cold front through the area around midday Tuesday, with the possibility of some snowflakes down to the valley bottoms by Tuesday evening. However, moisture is sparse and quickly erodes behind the front, precluding accumulations on the valley floors and limiting snows on the hill. Furthermore, the NAM model has a bit of a split in the storm which keeps most of the precipitation north and south of our area, though the AVN and some global models keep the storm more intact with more precipitation over our area.

Nonetheless, the quick clearing behind the storm should bring a cool but mostly sunny Wednesday followed by warming and at least a dry Thursday to close out the work week.

Steamboat Springs area weather forecast from Friday

Friday, May 6, 2016

Another large Pacific storm that split along the West Coast yesterday has left a large slow-moving closed low, cutoff from the jet stream, near Las Vegas, with energy ejected in the southwest flow ahead of the storm bringing the thunderstorms observed this afternoon. A trailing cool front will be dragged over our area by the northern part of the split tonight, keeping showers going through this evening.

A slot of dry air is forecast to be tantalizingly close to our area Saturday morning and may bring some sun to start the day. However, showers will once again reform, possibly becoming strong with thunder in the afternoon, as more energy is ejected from the southwest storm as it trundles eastward across the Great Basin.

We may have some sun early in the day for Mother’s Day, though a band of showers forecast to be mostly north of our area in the morning may sneak southward enough to preclude that. Showers will reform or continue in the unsettled weather for the afternoon.

By Monday, the storm will be east of us, though we will still be susceptible to showers during the day as energy rotates around the backside of the low.

A colder storm from the Pacific Northwest is forecast to quickly follow this storm after a brief break during Tuesday, keeping the active weather going for later in the day Tuesday and Wednesday, with snow a possibility down to the valley floors by Tuesday night.

Steamboat Springs area weather forecast from Thursday

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Another large Pacific storm has split along the West Coast, with the dominant southern portion forming a large closed low cutoff from the jet stream and the northern branch speeding eastward north of the Canadian border. Energy ejected over our area from the cutoff low to our southwest may bring light showers to our area as soon as noon on Friday, but the showers will likely become strong by the afternoon and be accompanied by thunder as a cool front from the northern stream adds additional lift and instability to the atmosphere. Snow levels will be quite high in this warm storm, likely staying above 10,000′.

There is still uncertainty in the details, but a slot of dry air is forecast to be over or east of our area Saturday morning, possibly bringing some sun to start the day. However, showers will once again reform, possibly becoming strong with thunder in the afternoon, as more energy is ejected from the southwest storm.

We may have some sun for Mother’s Day morning, though the latest model trends have that less likely, before more showers reform in the unsettled weather for the afternoon. Additionally, the afternoon storms may be stronger than I thought yesterday.

By Monday, the storm will be east of us, though we will still be susceptible to showers during the day as energy rotates around the backside of the low.

A colder storm from the Pacific Northwest is forecast to quickly follow this storm after a brief break during Tuesday, keeping the active weather going for later in the day Tuesday and Wednesday, with snow a possibility down to the valley floor of Steamboat.

Steamboat Springs area weather forecast from Wednesday

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Thursday will likely be the warmest day of the season so far, though there will be a threat of afternoon and evening storms, possibly with thunder, as south or southwesterly winds bring some moisture over Colorado ahead of yet another large Pacific storm.

This new storm is in the process of splitting as it approaches the West Coast, with the southern portion forming a large closed low cutoff from the jet stream while the northern branch speeds eastward north of the Canadian border. Energy ejected over our area from the cutoff low to our southwest may bring light showers to our area as soon as noon on Friday, but the showers will likely become strong by the afternoon and be accompanied by thunder as a cool front from the northern stream adds additional lift and instability to the atmosphere.

There is still uncertainty in the track of the storm, but a slot of dry air is forecast to be over the area by around Saturday morning bringing some sun to start the day. However, showers will once again reform, possibly becoming strong with thunder in the afternoon, as more energy is ejected from the southwest storm.

We may have some sun for Mother’s Day morning before before more showers reform in the unsettled weather for the afternoon. However, the showers should be lighter than the previous couple of days as we will be in the eye of the storm by the evening.

By Monday, the storm will be east of us, though we will still be susceptible to showers during the day as energy rotates around the backside of the low.

A colder storm from the Pacific Northwest is forecast to quickly follow this storm, keeping the active weather going for Tuesday and Wednesday, with snow a possibility down to 7000′.

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