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Small storms Friday night and Sunday followed by more warm and dry

Friday, March 10, 2017

A couple of weather disturbances will move by the Steamboat Springs area tonight and Sunday before very spring-like weather returns for the following work week.

Models have come into better agreement with respect to how the polar and subtropical jet streams and the persistent Bering Sea ridge will interact over the coming week. Energy traveling down the east side of the Bering Sea ridge within the polar jet stream has formed a large low pressure system in the Gulf of Alaska, and a wave ejecting from that will move over northern Colorado on Friday night in northwest flow. Warm and dry weather will be observed again today ahead of that storm, with increasing clouds expected later in the day. The American models have trended weaker and further north with this storm, similar to the more consistent European ECMWF model, and I would optimistically expect only an inch or two by the Saturday morning report.

Clearing and drying will move over our area by Saturday afternoon and night, ahead of another wave of energy from the Gulf of Alaska storm in northwest flow timed for Sunday. This one has mixed with energy from the subtropical jet moving underneath the Bering Sea ridge, and will be a bit moister and stronger, but it is still unimpressive, and I would expect 1-4” by the Monday morning report, most of which will fall before sunset on Sunday.

More energy propagating southward in the polar jet will strengthen the Gulf of Alaska storm early in the week and pump up a ridge over the western U.S. states that will lead to very warm work week temperatures. A small disturbance may affect the region with clouds and possibly light showers as it moves over the area around midweek, but the American models have trended weaker and further north with this solution, similar to the once-again more consistent European ECMWF model.

Another wave moving through the subtropical jet undercutting the Bering Sea ridge mixes with the Gulf of Alaska storm and brings another disturbance near our area by the end of the work week. At this point, that disturbance also looks unimpressive as another round of polar jet energy travels down the east side of the Bering Sea ridge behind that storm and keeps the downstream western U.S. ridge intact.

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