Sunday, December 2, 2018
This cold and sunny Sunday morning over Steamboat Springs will yield first to clouds later today and then snow showers starting later tonight and lasting through Monday night. A break in the weather is forecast for Tuesday before unsettled weather returns Wednesday through Friday followed by warming and drying for next weekend.
A cold and deep trough of low pressure currently sits over the northern two thirds of the U.S while a ridge of high pressure lies just off the West Coast. Even though we will see plenty of sun today, high temperatures will stay well below our average high of 31 F before clouds overspread the area later today. Light snow showers should start by early Monday morning and continue through the day and overnight as energy and moisture move through the expansive low pressure area. There won’t be much moisture, but the snow will be low-density and fluffy, leaving 2-5” for the Tuesday morning report.
Meanwhile, another Pacific storm approaches the West Coast ridge and splits, with some energy riding over the top of the ridge and some diving underneath, forming a closed low pressure system that stalls off the West Coast for a few days.
The energy traveling over the top of the ridge will force the Monday snow showers out of our area with a sunny and cool day forecast for Tuesday.
By Wednesday, the northern part of the storm will have mixed with some cold air from the Canadian Plains while the southern part of the storm approaches the southern California coast. Current weather forecast model trends brings a warm front associated with the southern part of the storm over our area on Wednesday which will start snow showers that may be enhanced overnight as the northern part of the storm swings through our area.
By Thursday, the southern storm is expected to make landfall, and southwest flow ahead of the storm will continue clouds and precipitation chances over northern Colorado that continue into Friday, though the best activity will stay to our south.
Though the weather forecast models predict only several inches of snow each day between Wednesday and Friday, precipitation may be focused along the front separating the cold air to our north and the warmer air to our southwest. This may produce more precipitation at times than is currently expected for each of those days.
Warming and drying are expected to begin the following weekend and last through the early part of the next work week before a strong Pacific storm follows for more snow chances starting around midweek.
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