Monday, January 9, 2017
Pieces of a massive Gulf of Alaska storm will move over the Steamboat Springs area over the work week, phasing with some cool air rotating down from western Canada tonight and Wednesday night leading to impressive snowfall accumulations of of over two to three feet in generally windy westerly flow.
As of noon on Monday, mountain-top temperatures have begun to cool as an ill-defined cool front moves through from the west. This should turn any rain or rain/snow mix in the Yampa Valley to all snow this evening, with moderate to heavy snows occurring overnight in the valley and on the hill. There may be 8 to 16 inches of snow on the Tuesday morning report, with the snow becoming less dense and fluffier toward the morning.
Snows will decrease but not end during the day Tuesday under warming temperatures, leaving another 4-8” on the Wednesday morning report as temperatures cool a bit overnight.
Another strong wave in the Pineapple Express passes through on Wednesday and Thursday and again phases with cool air moving southward from western Canada around Wednesday afternoon or evening. The air is colder than on Tuesday, and this is forecast to bring more wind and moderate to heavy snows on the hill and down to the valley floor, leaving another 10 to 20 inches the Thursday morning report.
The European ECMWF was the winner from the last forecast, bringing a splitting system into the West Coast near the end of the work week. This system has moved north from the previous forecast, and we are on the northern edge of precipitation from this warm system later Thursday, Friday and into Saturday morning.
Dry air is forecast to overtake the area later Saturday, marking an end to this impressive storm cycle. A wave moving westward across the Gulf of Alaska early in the weekend will bring some cooler air and at least clouds for Sunday. Some brief clearing is forecast for early Monday before snow showers are again in the forecast for later in the day or overnight, followed by a mostly precipitation-free work week as a flat ridge moves over the West.