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Showers later Friday followed by mostly dry and windy weather

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Steamboat Springs area is enjoying another quintessential Colorado early fall afternoon with temperatures in the mid-seventies and lots of sunshine. The aspen are sure taking their time this year, though the just-refreshed website feature photo shows pockets of good color at around the 9000′ level of the Steamboat Ski Area, with more uniform coverage above 9500′.

I expect rapid changes in color as nighttime temperatures more consistently drop below freezing, but the leaves may have a tough time staying attached to the trees as winds will substantially increase through the next week ahead of an unseasonably strong and cold storm forecast to be located around the Pacific Northwest this weekend.

We’ll see warm temperatures close to ten degrees above our average of 67 F today with some clouds associated with a disturbance well to our southwest in southern Arizona. However, a cold front currently in Montana will move south tonight and tomorrow as the northwest storm intensifies, crossing our doorstep in the late afternoon or early evening on Friday. Increasing clouds, westerly winds and a good chance of showers will result.

Whereas my last weather narrative considered cool and showery weather possible behind the front, it now looks like the northwest storm will be strong enough so that the southwesterly flow ahead of the storm will force the cold front to retreat north of our area by Saturday. So the strong and moist westerly winds from later Friday will stay strong, but will dry and turn to be from the southwest on Saturday.

A lobe of energy is forecast to eject from the strong and sprawling storm on Sunday, and this will be bring even stronger southwest winds along with some moisture. The details will depend upon the exact track of the ejecting energy, but it may be close enough to bring a chance of showers back to our area on Sunday.

After that, a building ridge of high pressure over the southeastern U.S. bulges to the northwest and deflects the additional energy ejecting from the storm to the north of our area. Much drier air in still windy southwest flow is forecast for the rest of the work week, with mostly average or a bit below average temperatures, with the coolest day either Tuesday or Wednesday when the remaining part of the storm finally brushes by.

Another storm from the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to approach the West Coast around next weekend, but we have lots of weather to get through before guessing how that storm will affect our area.

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