Lots of sun before weather turns unsettled after midweek

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Steamboat Springs area is seeing its second sunny day in a row this Sunday, which has been an infrequent occurrence during this active winter season. We should see a fair bit of sunshine along with seasonably cool temperatures through midweek before an approaching Pacific storm spreads first clouds and then showers over our area as soon as Thursday, with unsettled weather forecast to continue through next weekend.

A ridge of high pressure over the West Coast is responsible for our current pleasant weather, and weak and dry waves of energy traveling over or through the ridge will keep the seasonably cool temperatures around through midweek. One of these waves looks to bring some clouds to our area by Monday afternoon that may last into or possibly through Tuesday, depending on how quickly we see the dry air behind the grazing storm.

Meanwhile, a large and cold storm between Hawaii and the West Coast splits as it approaches the West Coast ridge of high pressure, with the southern section warming as it it moves slowly underneath the ridge. By Tuesday night, the storm is forecast to cross the West Coast, likely bringing our warmest day of the week on Wednesday in weak southwest flow ahead of the storm.

The storm is forecast to lumber across the Great Basin around Thursday and Friday, and first clouds around Wednesday night and then showers by Thursday are expected as bits of energy and moisture are ejected out ahead of the storm.

Weather forecast models disagree on details regarding the track and speed of the storm, but seasonably warm weather with a chance of rain showers at the lower elevations and snow showers at the higher elevations are most likely on Thursday and perhaps Friday as well.

Another Pacific storm follows quickly on the path of the first, crossing the West Coast later Friday before traveling across the Great Basin on Saturday. There may be a downturn in the showery weather on Saturday, but the weather should turn more active again on Sunday and lasting into Monday as we see some favorable moist and unstable northwest flow as the storm passes. However, cold air is absent from this storm, as was the case with the first, so best accumulations will likely be at the higher elevations.

There may be a brief break in the unsettled weather after the weekend by later Monday into some of Tuesday before a colder Pacific storm looks to start precipitation up again around midweek.

Save your soles! You suspect that the grating and grinding sounds you hear from your ski boots as you walk across hard surfaces can’t be good. In fact, worn boot soles make your binding unsafe as it interferes with the boot-binding interface. Cat Tracks¬†are a flexible protector that keeps your boot soles pristine, and adds a cushion for walking comfort. When it’s time to click into bindings, I take them off and stash them in my coat pocket. Yaktrax are similar, but I have not used them since they appear they would take up a bit more space in my jacket pocket. But you get a rocker sole that promotes a natural stride which may be worth the space sacrifice. If I did not have to carry them around all day, these would be my choice.

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31 May 2021

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