Monday, October 24, 2016
Southwest flow ahead of a large storm currently spinning off the Pacific Northwest coast will carry some tropical and subtropical moisture through the Steamboat Springs area later today into Tuesday. Relatively warm showers should start later this evening and peak during the overnight hours, with the snow level near the top of Mt. Werner.
Light showers may persist in the cool northwest flow behind the small storm on Tuesday, but should end later in the day as the atmosphere dries and stabilizes under a building ridge.
Warm and sunny weather should return for Wednesday and Thursday before additional energy dropping southward from the Aleutians forces the Pacific Northwest storm to elongate and move eastward. The storm is forecast to split, with the the tail end of the northern branch bringing a dry cool front through the area on Friday as it moves across Montana.
Meanwhile, the southern end of the split makes landfall around central California on Friday and mixes with a topical system moving northward from Baja. Current model forecasts have the ridge rebuilding behind Friday’s cool front, so it is unclear how much of this energy will make it to the Steamboat Springs area by Saturday, but another round of relatively warm showers are possible.
Drier weather should return for the end of the weekend for a short time before more Pacific energy moves what was once the Aleutian storm eastward. Once again, the threat of showers will increase by late in the weekend or early in the next work week as that storm crosses the California coast and moist southwest flow increases.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
A large storm off the West Coast has pumped up a ridge over the western U.S. promising a beautiful weekend with warm temperatures. Additional energy from the Aleutians moving southward this weekend will force the storm to dig southward along the coast, and increasing southwest flow ahead of the storm will direct some tropical and subtropical moisture over the Four Corners states on Monday and Tuesday. The end result will be an increasing chance of rain showers on Monday and early Tuesday for the Steamboat Springs area before drier weather returns as soon as Tuesday afternoon or evening.
There is a fair bit of uncertainty with the evolution of the West Coast storm, with the latest run of the models keeping most of it offshore through midweek, allowing the ridge of high pressure to rebound and bringing warm and sunny weather for Wednesday and Thursday.
If current model forecasts hold, the trough will elongate and undergo a modest split, with the southern portion making landfall around the end of the work week and directing another round of tropical and subtropical moisture across California and into the Great Basin. It is unclear whether this moisture and energy will be close enough to the Steamboat Springs area to threaten warm showers next weekend or whether the western ridge will be strong enough to deflect the weather to our north.
Monday, October 17, 2016
A couple of waves of energy moving within a strong Pacific jet stream will affect our area today and later Tuesday into Wednesday. Though I just saw some snowflakes in the valley, the rain-snow line looks to be around 7500′ - 8000′ and the current rain showers, mixed with snowflakes at times, should persist through most of the afternoon.
We should have a break in the precipitation tonight lasting into Tuesday afternoon before a stronger wave brings a cold front through the Steamboat Springs area late in the afternoon or early in the evening. Snow showers, moderate to heavy at times, should occur overnight Tuesday even in the valley, likely leaving accumulations on the grassy areas and possibly even the roadways under the heavier showers.
Wednesday will be quite chilly, especially with a trailing wave keeping the possibility of some light and non-accumulating snow showers over the area through the day.
Thursday should be a sunny and cool day with warming afternoon temperatures as a flat ridge builds behind the departing storm, with the coldest morning temperatures of the season if skies clear by sunrise.
The ridge will bring dry and pleasant weather with much warmer temperatures for Friday and the weekend, with a dry wave passing over the top of the ridge knocking temperatures back a bit on Sunday.
A complicated and uncertain upper level pattern then evolves off the West Coast early in the next work week, possibly bringing the threat of precipitation back to the area, especially by midweek.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Cool air from western Canada deposited in the Gulf of Alaska has created persistently stormy weather there. Though a storm is currently pounding the Pacific Northwest, models have trended weaker with any energy forecast to cross the Great Basin and affect the Steamboat Springs area for the weekend and next week. As a result, Friday will be dry with breezy west to southwest winds as the Pacific Northwest storm moves to our northwest.
Clouds will likely appear on Saturday with breezy conditions again as energy grazes our area, with showers confined to the very northwestern corner of Colorado.
Similar conditions are advertised for Sunday with less cloudiness likely.
Monday should start dry, but some energy from the Pacific makes it close enough to our area to bring a cool front through the area later in the day , threatening showers for the afternoon and into the evening.
Tuesday looks to be dry before another pulse of Pacific energy brings another mostly dry cool front through the area on Wednesday.
Models advertise the Gulf of Alaska storm elongating southward along the West Coast next week, pumping up a ridge of high pressure over the Intermountain West that should create beautiful and warm weather for the end of the work week and heading into the weekend.
Monday, October 10, 2016
The sharp and unstable ridge along the Canadian coast has materialized as advertised in the last forecast, forcing cool air from western Canada southward into the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, some Pacific energy will undercut the ridge and allow several shallow waves to moves across the area and threaten rain showers as soon as late this afternoon and overnight.
Increasing moisture and instability ahead of the advancing Pacific Northwest storm and additional disturbances undercutting the ridge brings a good chance of rain showers to the Steamboat Springs area on Tuesday, especially later in the day, with high snow levels.
Wednesday is forecast to be cooler and dry before another Pacific wave undercuts the rapidly disappearing ridge off the Canadian coast. Models have trended weaker and further south with the undercutting energy likely keeping showers to our south on Thursday.
While Friday currently looks dry and breezy, the breakdown of that unstable ridge allows more substantial Pacific energy to impinge on the West Coast and cool western Canadian air to pour into the Gulf of Alaska, ushering in a likely long-lasting and more active weather regime for the West. Models are now more aggressive in bringing another relatively warm wave across our area early in the weekend, with some forecasting breezy conditions and showers with high snow levels on Saturday.
Sunday looks to be an in-between day before a much colder and stronger wave threatens precipitation with snow levels approaching the valley bottom early in the next work week.