Thursday, November 30, 2017
Ahead of a long-overdue storm that will begin affecting the Steamboat Springs area this weekend, more above normal daytime temperatures are expected. A sunny day today will be followed by a cool front that will graze northern Colorado on Friday, slightly lowering temperatures and increasing winds a bit.
Meanwhile a large storm in the Gulf of Alaska moves southeastward, crossing the central West Coast on Sunday. Winds will back to the southwest and moisture will increase bringing some clouds for Saturday in still above normal temperatures.
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Rain showers at the lower elevations and snow showers at the higher elevations are possible by Sunday afternoon as some energy ejecting out of the storm travels over our area. Showers will turn to all snow when the cold front sweeps through the area Sunday night or Monday morning.
Numerical forecast models have struggled mightily with this storm, so there is even more uncertainty than usual for snow amounts early next week. We will have a better chance for accumulating snows as compared to the last 2 disappointing storms, with at least an inch or two likely for Monday through Tuesday, and possibly more if the storm tracks further south or west.
The forecast for cold air, however, has been far more consistent, with cooler temperatures hanging around through at least Tuesday.
Behind this storm, a building ridge of high pressure is forecast over the West Coast as this storm eventually mixes with some cold air from Canada and brings very cold temperatures to the eastern two thirds of the country. The Rocky Mountains will probably delineate the boundary between the warm and dry air under the western ridge and the much colder but still dry air to our east.
Our weather for next week will likely vacillate between warmer as the West Coast ridge expands eastward, and cooler as the West Coast ridge retreats westward. Right now, the forecast calls for some slight warming around midweek before a grazing storm may bring some more cold dry air over our area later Wednesday or Thursday.
The currently advertised eastward expansion of the West Coast ridge brings warming and more dry air to our area for the following weekend.