Friday, April 7, 2017
A moderate atmospheric river event is currently pounding California again and will push the western ridge responsible for the warm and dry weather over the Steamboat Springs area eastward on Saturday. Breezy winds today will increase on Saturday ahead of the precipitation which will start as soon as Saturday afternoon.
The storm will come in two main pieces, with energy ejecting ahead of the storm bringing the possibility of some thunder by Saturday afternoon in windy conditions with snow levels above 9000′ or so. Precipitation will be showery, with some showers capable of producing periods of localized moderate to heavy precipitation.
The main cold front looks to push through our area after midnight on Saturday as the parent storm travels across the Colorado - Wyoming border, dropping snow levels to the valley bottom by Sunday morning. But a promising storm has become less promising over the last few model runs as a further-north storm track and quickly eroding moisture limit the accumulations. Due to the likely variable nature of the precipitation, especially during the first part of the storm, I would guess 1-4” by Sunday morning with another 1-4” during the day as cool and unsettled weather continues in the favorable northwest flow behind the storm.
Drying and seasonable temperatures are expected for Monday. The midweek storm from the last forecast is now expected to only graze our area on Tuesday, keeping our area dry and dropping temperatures a bit.
Another western ridge builds behind the weak storm, bringing warming temperatures by Wednesday and much above normal temperatures by Thursday.
Another powerful Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to cross the West Coast around Thursday. However, the higher sun angles of Spring will bolster the western ridge, weakening the Gulf of Alaska storm as it moves eastward across the great Basin on Friday. Right now, only light and relatively warm showers are expected later Friday before the western ridge rebounds for the Closing Weekend. However, the models are struggling the interaction between Pacific energy and the western ridge, and I expect the forecast for Closing Weekend to evolve over the next week.
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