Tempest Weather Station
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Snows continue through Monday night ahead of warming and drying

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Light snows that started around sunrise in the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday morning are expected to be showery early this afternoon and increase ahead of a short break after midnight before picking up again after sunrise Monday. Clearing starts on Tuesday, with warmer and dry conditions now forecast through at least part of next weekend.

The current storm affecting the west left impressive amounts of snow in the Sierras so far, with 19” reported this morning at Squaw / Alpine Meadows and lots more expected. For our area, light snow will pick up this afternoon ahead of a weak cool front expected to pass through northern Colorado early this evening. Southwest winds aloft will turn westerly when the front passes, with snows becoming moderate for a time, before temporarily ending around midnight.

I would expect 5-10” of snow to be reported at mid-mountain at the Steamboat Ski Area for the Monday morning report, before they pick up again during the day as another storm with stronger westerly winds but less moisture moves across our area. Those that ski Steamboat know that westerly winds can adversely affect snow quality as much of the mountain faces west, and this may be the case during the day with increasing westerly winds, though there may be a slight turn to the west-northwest by Monday night.

With snow showers possibly hanging on through early Tuesday morning, we could see another 2-5” by the morning report. Thankfully, winds will decrease as a ridge of high pressure moves across the west, first bringing clearing behind the storm for Tuesday and warming for Wednesday, along with plenty of sun.

The storm for the end of the work week in the previous forecast discussion has mostly disappeared from the weather forecast models, with the once strong Gulf of Alaska storm expected to weaken and split as it approaches the West Coast on Wednesday, The northern part of the split may bring some clouds and a slight cooldown on Thursday as it is forced to our north by the ridge of high pressure over most of the west, but precipitation is no longer expected.

Friday and Saturday look dry, though another storm which has very little moisture rides over the top of the western ridge of high pressure and grazes our area on Saturday. The eventual strength and position of the western ridge will determine how much cooling we see early in the weekend.

Another couple of Pacific storm approach the West Coast early and late in the weekend. While the first once looks to also strongly split as it crosses the coast, there may be enough moisture that penetrates inland to bring clouds to our area late in the weekend. The second storm is looking more promising for early in the next workweek, though considerable uncertainty exists this far out in the forecast as the American GFS is far more enthused about the storm than the European ECMWF.

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23 June 2017

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