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Return to hot and dry for the week ahead

Sunday, August 5, 2018

After a welcome second morning of rain showers in three days, the Steamboat Springs area will be returning to hot and dry weather this upcoming week. The ridge of high pressure that was flattened and pushed eastward by a grazing Pacific storm to our north this past weekend will rebuild over the West Coast as southerly flow ahead of a strong fall-like in the Gulf of Alaska storm draws hot air northward.

Currently, even though dry air is moving in behind the grazing storm, lingering moisture and energy will continue the threat of afternoon storms this Sunday, with perhaps some breezy conditions. This looks to be the end of our precipitation chances until next weekend, or after, as the building West Coast ridge keeps dry air firmly entrenched over western Colorado.

Monday will be the coolest day of the week with temperatures approaching our 82 F average as some cooler air is left behind the departing storm to our north, but hot temperatures will return by Tuesday and last into the weekend. Luckily, the dry air will allow overnight low temperatures to drop toward or even below our 46 F average, which means we will see daily swings between lows and highs approaching 40 F or more!

The fall-like Gulf of Alaska storm will be reinforced by some cool air traveling southward across Alaska near the end of the work week, and weather forecast models disagree on the evolution of the storm through next weekend. This affects our weather since the eastward moving storm will be responsible for again flattening the ridge of high pressure over the West Coast and moving it eastward, and it is not clear if that will happen by the end of next weekend or during the next work week. When the ridge eventually moves eastward, we will likely see moisture increase again in the southerly flow along the western periphery of the ridge which would bring the possibility of showers back to our area.

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