Thursday, January 28, 2016
A wet and relatively warm Pacific jet stream will bring increasing winds and moisture to the Steamboat Springs area starting Friday night. Temperatures will warm and precipitation may be mixed in the valleys Friday night and early Saturday before the cold front is forecast to sweep through the area early Saturday, changing any rain to snow and increasing snowfall rates.
The timing of the cold front will determine how much snow falls during the day versus overnight Saturday, but 7-14” of snow is expected at the Steamboat ski area for the Sunday morning report.
A brief break is then advertised for Sunday ahead of a large, complex and potentially dangerous storm crossing the West Coast late in the weekend. This storm will intensify as it crosses the Great Basin as very cold air from the Canadian Plains mixes with the relatively warm and wet overrunning Pacific jet stream.
Current forecasts have moderate to likely heavy snow going by Monday afternoon and continuing into Tuesday as very cold air invades the area, creating travel issues both in the mountains and the plains. Additional waves of energy and cold air move over the area in northwest flow later Tuesday and Wednesday, keeping low-density snows going through possibly Thursday morning.
The area will be under the influence of two major storms over the next week, the first of which affects our weather from Friday night through Saturday night. Precipitation may be mixed in the valleys starting Friday night before a cold front passes sometime early Saturday bringing all snow and gusty west winds.
Thursday night: Becoming mostly cloudy overnight with lows around zero in Craig and 10 in Steamboat.
Friday: Chance of rain and snow in the valleys with snow on the mountain. Highs around 30 in the valleys and 20’s on the mountain.
Friday night: Chance of rain and snow in the valleys and snow on the mountain with 1-3” of accumulations to be reported Saturday morning. Lows in the 20’s.
Saturday: Rain and snow likely in the valleys during the early morning turning to all snow by later in the morning or afternoon when the cold front passes. Accumulations around 1-3” in Craig, 2-4” in Steamboat and 4-8” on the mountain with highs around 30 early in the day before temperatures cool and westerly winds increase.
Saturday night: Snow and blowing snow with accumulations around 2-4” in the valleys and 3-6” on the mountain leading to a 7-14” Sunday morning report. Lows around zero in Craig and 10 in Steamboat with breezy west winds.
The current sunny conditions will end by tomorrow as a quick moving wave skirts our northern border Friday, creating some light snow at the Steamboat ski area with perhaps several inches of accumulating snow during Friday.
Following closely is a wet and relatively warm Pacific jet stream that will begin precipitation Friday night. Because temperatures are forecast to warm through noon or afternoon Saturday, there may be rain in the valleys before the cool air associated with this storm sags south over northern Colorado by later Saturday. There is disagreement in the models about how much warming occurs during the day Saturday, and this will affect how much snow we see during the day, with 2-5” of relatively dense snow likely.
Cooler air Saturday night will lead to moderate and sometimes heavy snow overnight, leaving 6-12” of snow for the Sunday morning ski report.
Snow looks to taper off during the day Sunday as brief and shallow ridging moves over the area ahead of a large, complex and potentially dangerous storm crossing the West Coast on Sunday. This storm will intensify as it crosses the Great Basin as very cold air from the Canadian Plains mixes with the relatively warm and wet overrunning Pacific jet stream.
The dynamic nature of this storm makes forecasting difficult, but current models bring light snow over our area by early Monday morning before turning moderate to heavy by later Monday. As the storm moves somewhere along the southern Colorado border on Monday, moderate to heavy snows may continue for our area as a TROWAL is indicated to form and persist overnight. Additionally, very cold air will move southward along the west side of the storm as it moves east of our area, possibly creating a huge powder day for Tuesday.
Additional waves of energy and cold air move over the area in northwest flow later Tuesday and Wednesday, keeping snows going through possibly Thursday morning.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Another couple of cold valley nights ahead of a couplet of Pacific storms, the first of which will be moving over our area late Friday into Saturday. The first storm should begin precipitation Friday afternoon and increase winds over the area by Friday night as snow increases through Saturday.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with lows in the minus single digits for Craig and single digits for Steamboat.
Thursday: Mostly sunny with highs in the 20’s.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy with lows around -10 in Craig and single digits in Steamboat.
Friday: Becoming cloudy ahead of the next storm for this weekend with light snow likely on the mountain and rain or snow possible in the valleys during the afternoon. Highs in the 30’s in Craig, around 30 in Steamboat and in the 20’s on the mountain.
Friday night: Precipitation chances and winds increase with a greater chance of rain and snow in the valleys and light snow likely on the mountain. Lows in the 20’s.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Tuesday night: Cold as temperature inversions reform with patchy fog near Craig. Lows around -10 in Craig and minus single digits in Steamboat.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny with highs around 20 in the valleys and mid-20s on the mountain as higher elevation slopes warm noticeably.
Wednesday night: Cold with lows around -10 in Craig and minus single digits in Steamboat.
Thursday: Mostly sunny with highs around 30 in the valleys and 20s at mid-mountain.
Thursday night: Lows in the minus single digits for Craig and near 10 in Steamboat.