Periods of rain and snow through midweek
Sunday, April 28, 2019
After the previous week of warm and very pleasant weather in the Steamboat Springs area, change has arrived. Energy and moisture that ejected over our area ahead of a strong and cold Pacific Northwest storm brought soft hail of almost a half inch in diameter just before noon this Sunday morning, and showers are expected to continue through the day. Our area will continue to see precipitation through midweek, along with high temperatures ten to twenty degrees below our average high of 58 F, first as a warmer and wetter storm moves through from later Monday into Tuesday and then as the colder Pacific Northwest storm moves through from later Tuesday through Wednesday.
Showers will continue into this Sunday evening before ending for a time later overnight. The break will be short-lived, however, as a warm and wet storm that originally broke off from the active Pacific jet stream and moved south early last week finally crosses the West Coast early tomorrow. While temperatures will cool behind today’s passing disturbance, they will warm a bit as the southern storm approaches, but still remain unseasonably cool due to thick cloud cover. Showers should begin around mid-morning or so and continue through the afternoon before they become moderate to heavy by the evening and continue into early Tuesday. Though there likely won’t be snowfall accumulations in the Yampa Valley, there could be as much as 5-10” of wet and heavy, high density snow around 10,000′, with about half that much at around 9000′.
There may be a small break in the weather early Tuesday behind the departing southern storm and the advancing colder Pacific Northwest storm, or more likely just less productive showers, before they pick up again later in the day. A cold front is forecast to pass through north-central Colorado Tuesday night, and along with the cooler temperatures comes snowfall that will be a bit fluffier and lower density. Moderate to sometimes heavy snowfall is again expected overnight before it becomes more showery during the day Wednesday, with another 5-10” expected above 9000′. Notably, the Yampa Valley may also see some accumulating snowfall of several inches by Wednesday, May Day, morning.
Clearly, this is an impressive spring storm, and might yield around 2” of liquid or liquid equivalent through Wednesday afternoon, which water managers and emergency personnel will surely be watching closely. Furthermore, travel over the passes will likely be difficult at times through the storm, especially Monday and Tuesday nights when the heaviest precipitation is expected.
The active weather then becomes much quieter after Wednesday, with much warmer temperatures and a dry day forecast for Thursday. Weak cool fronts pass to our north around Friday and again mid-weekend, though at this point they are not expected to bring much more than a slight cool down and possibly some showers.
Active weather week ahead
Thursday, April 25, 2019
After a weak cool front passed through the Steamboat Springs area last night, this mostly sunny Thursday afternoon is currently seeing temperatures around our average of 57 F. However, the beautiful and quiet weather this past week will change starting on Friday as several storms pass near or over our area through the next week.
Ahead of a cold storm currently spinning in the Gulf of Alaska, some energy and moisture moving through the storm will drag a cool front through our area on Friday afternoon or evening that will be stronger than the one last night. Winds will increase first from the west during the day Friday and eventually northwest after the front passes and temperatures cool. Being springtime, we can expect some possibly strong thunderstorms during the late afternoon and early evening that may be accompanied by some small hail and gusty winds, along with some snow at the highest elevations.
Showers may linger into Saturday morning before a transient ridge of shallow high pressure builds ahead of the advancing Gulf of Alaska storm., bringing mostly sunny skies and pleasant temperatures near our average.
The active weather resumes on Sunday, perhaps early in the day, as we see some showers ahead of the cold front associated with the storm to our west that is forecast to pass through our area later Sunday. We should see accumulating snowfall on Mt. Werner along with snowflakes in the Yampa Valley overnight as the storm moves through.
Following the cold front, a complicated weather pattern ensues as not only do we have a very moist leftover storm currently off the coast of southern California taking aim on our area, but an additional Gulf of Alaska storm that is colder and stronger than the previous one.
The end result is a somewhat stationary front that is draped near our area for most of the work week separating the cold and moist air to our north and northwest with the warm and very wet air to our southwest. Monday will start quite cool and showery, though temperatures moderate during the day as the warm storm approaches and passes near our area around Monday night or early Tuesday. There will likely be periods of heavy rainfall later in the day and overnight, which water managers and emergency personnel will surely be watching closely as that may contribute to flooding concerns.
Showers will lighten, but may not completely end during the rest of Tuesday before the second Gulf of Alaska storm swings through the Pacific Northwest and travels across the Great Basin during the day. Winds will once again increase from the west ahead of another good cold front timed currently timed for Wednesday.
The unsettled weather looks to continue for the end of the work week and the following weekend as additional storms of varying strength are forecast to pass near our area.
Another miss from incoming storm
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Skies have cleared this Easter Sunday afternoon after a line of light showers passed through Steamboat Springs earlier in the day. Monday will see another good chance of afternoon showers before the weather turns much quieter for the rest of the work week and the following weekend.
Currently, the southern portion of a split storm is spinning west of our area in the Great Basin. Some energy and moisture that ejected out ahead of the storm passed over our area earlier in the afternoon and was responsible for some light showers.
The northern part of the split storm will drag a cool front through some of Colorado tonight and tomorrow, though the southwest flow ahead of the storm to our west is limiting its effects to areas east of us. We may have another round of showers later today, and again Monday afternoon as the storm sinks to our southwest before moving eastward across the Mexican border, but significant weather will be limited to southern Colorado and areas south.
The weather turns quiet and seasonably warm with high temperatures above our average of 55 F behind the storm as a ridge of high pressure begins to build over the West. Several weak storms will travel across the northern U.S. from Wednesday through Friday, and we may see brief cooling and afternoon showers if the storms are close enough to graze our area.
The ridge of high pressure is forecast to strengthen a bit for the first half of the weekend which will reduce the threat of showers. Meanwhile, a warm Pacific storm is forecast to approach and cross the West Coast at some point during the weekend, though weather forecast models disagree on the timing. Shower chances will increase when this storm moves near our area later in the weekend or early next week.
Warm and dry ahead of early week storm
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Skies have cleared in the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday afternoon behind the underwhelming midweek storm. Warm and dry conditions are expected through the first part of the weekend before a couple of approaching storms begin precipitation chances as soon as later Saturday. Precipitation chances will persist through at least Monday, with warming and drying eventually expected around midweek after the second storm passes.
The past storm split even more severely than I thought in my previous forecast which kept the precipitation well north and south of our area. Looking ahead, a ridge of high pressure over the west will move over our area starting tonight and bring dry and unseasonably warm temperatures to the Yampa Valley, with high temperatures on Friday and Saturday expected to be five to fifteen degrees above our average high of 54 F.
A couple of storms will affect our area starting around mid-weekend. The first storm was part of an earlier storm that was left off the coast of southern California, and this will be nudged toward our area on Saturday night by a stronger incoming Pacific storm. The storm is warm and weak, and any showers that form will likely be rain even at the higher elevations.
There does not appear to be much of a break ahead of the second storm, and the weather will be cooler and more unsettled for most of Easter Sunday ahead of the storm with a good chance of afternoon and overnight showers.
The storm looks to become less organized on Sunday as it elongates southward while crossing the Great Basin. However, at this time it looks to stay strong enough to bring a cold front through our area on Monday, with snowflakes possible in the valley and accumulating snows at the higher elevations.
The storm has trended slower, with weather forecast models disagreeing on the track and timing of the storm. Cool and unsettled weather may stick around for Tuesday, possibly with continued higher elevation snow accumulations in the favorable moist and unstable northwest flow behind the front, but warmer and drier weather is advertised after the storm eventually clears the area.
The warm and dry weather will stick around for part of the following weekend before another Pacific storm may bring more precipitation to our area by Sunday or Monday.
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.
Closing Day showers followed by another midweek storm
Sunday, April 14, 2019
Sunny skies are gracing the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday morning, which is also Closing Day for the Steamboat Ski Area. We’ll see a good chance of showers today after noon with less of a chance Monday before another strong Pacific storm approaches on Tuesday and brings more significant precipitation on Wednesday and Thursday. Warming and drying are then expected heading into and through the first half of next weekend.
After three remarkable days of mid-winter powder skiing in mid-April, Closing Day will bring a mix of sun, clouds and showers as northern Colorado is clipped by a passing storm to our north. The showers will persist through midnight or so, especially at the higher elevations, where 2-5” of snow could fall that would be reported Monday morning if the ski area was still open.
Monday looks to be a precipitation-free day, though showers just to our north may encroach on our area. Temperatures finally approach our average of 53 F after a stretch of days with high temperatures ten to fifteen degrees below that.
Meanwhile, a strong Pacific storm currently crossing the Gulf of Alaska makes landfall late Monday and starts showers in our area by later Tuesday as it crosses the Great Basin. However, the storm is expected to split Tuesday with the southern end diving toward the Desert Southwest and the northern half racing eastward across the northern Rockies.
Snowfall will pick up behind a cool front Tuesday night and persist through Wednesday as the storm travels eastward along the Colorado/New Mexico border. Another colder Pacific wave of energy and moisture moving over a building ridge of high pressure over the West Coast is forecast to slide down the backside of the Wednesday storm and bring less dense and fluffier snowfall Wednesday night through the day Thursday in favorable cool, moist and unstable north to northwest flow.
By Friday the ridge of high pressure over the West Coast moves inland, bringing drying and significant warming for Friday and Saturday. A weak storm may or may not be close enough to our area for warm showers on Sunday, after which an active spring storm track brings more precipitation back to our area for the following week.
Stop battling cold feet! I’ve used the awesome Hotronic foot warmers from their beginnings, and can honestly say that each iteration of the product is better than the last. I have the S4 custom, attached to my powerstrap so they never fall off, and my toes stay warm for my entire ski day.