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Warm and dry with some wind for the upcoming week

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The warm temperatures experienced the last two days in Steamboat Springs will continue for the upcoming week. Though several surges of cooler air will be in our proximity that will be most noticeable on the Front Range, we will see an increase in breezy to windy conditions around and behind the fronts.

The recent high temperatures of five to ten degrees above our average of 80 F will continue today ahead of a cool front that will graze our area on Friday. We will see clouds this afternoon and only slightly cooler temperatures tomorrow behind the cool front, with a chance of showers both today and tomorrow, possibly producing brief periods of locally moderate to heavy rain. Aside from any gusty winds associated with passing showers, winds will veer from the southwest today to westerly or northwesterly later on Friday behind the cool front.

Daytime wind speeds should remain elevated through the weekend thanks to a seasonally strengthening jet stream situated to our north as temperatures once again rise to five to ten degrees above average.

Another weak cool front may decrease temperatures a bit for Monday, though again the effects will be most noticeable for areas east of the Divide.

Meanwhile, by midweek, some Pacific energy that mixed with some cool air in western Canada travels to our north and eventually forms a strong storm around Hudson Bay. Cool air drawn southward along the western side of the storm will keep at least the central part of the U.S. cool, and while it is a good bet that the Front Range will see the cooling, it is not clear if the cool air will make it far enough west to cross the Divide and affect our area on Wednesday.

After midweek, there are a couple of opportunities for moisture to increase over our area; first from a tropical disturbance currently off Baja that moves northward along the West Coast during midweek before being absorbed by the clockwise flow around the ridge and eventually directed eastward towards our area, and second from a possible brief reappearance of the North American Monsoon over our area as southerly flow underneath the ridge transport moisture northward.

The end result will be our best chance of showers in two weeks as we head into the long Labor Day weekend. However, what happens for the second half of the weekend is uncertain as it is dependent upon the path and speed of a strong storm forecast to travel across the Gulf of Alaska and how it affects the ridge of high pressure over the West.

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