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Pleasant work week ahead of cool and unsettled weekend

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Steamboat Springs area is currently experiencing warm and pleasant weather, and this is expected to continue for the bulk of the work week. However, this weather is no longer expected to last into next weekend as suggested in my last Thursday forecast, and instead a wet and cold weekend is looking increasingly likely.

Our current nice weather is courtesy of a ridge of high pressure over the western states. A weak and grazing Pacific storm with some trailing energy will move through the ridge later Monday and Wednesday along with some clouds, but no precipitation is expected.

But a strong storm currently north of Hawaii will move northeastward across the Pacific and make landfall in the Pacific Northwest midweek. Additionally, there is still cold air circulating around a persistent vortex over Hudson Bay, and some of this cold air may move into western Canada and mix with the Pacific storm as it moves into the Great Basin by the end of the work week.

We may feel the effects of the Pacific storm by Thursday afternoon as moisture and energy eject out ahead of the main storm and bring the possibility of showers. Right now, there is a break advertised for Friday before the Hawaiian moisture and Canadian cold combine over the Great Basin.

Details will no doubt change this coming week as weather forecast models get a better handle on the storm, but right now a strong cold front looks to move into northern Colorado around late Friday. The front will likely stall over parts of Utah and Colorado as the storm slowly makes eastward progress across the Great Basin, eventually reaching our area around Saturday.

Though the heaviest precipitation, with moderate to heavy rain at the lower elevations and snow at the higher elevations, will occur if the main part of the storm passes over our area around Saturday, the back end of the storm is forecast to elongate to the southwest as more cold air drops down from the north, keeping showery but still cold weather around for the rest of the weekend.

And I’ll say it - there is a possibility for snowflakes down to the Yampa Valley floor for Mother’s Day. The storm should depart near the end of the weekend, after which another ridge of high pressure builds over the western states and restores more seasonable spring weather to our area.

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