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Cold storm for Easter Sunday

Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Steamboat Springs area has cracked the vaunted sixty degree mark for the first time this year, with the Bob Adams airport currently showing a Thursday mid-afternoon temperature of 64 F. A storm to our southwest will approach our area beginning tonight with little affect on our weather ahead of a strong and cold storm starting later Saturday. The cool and showery weather looks to hang around for the following work week.

Currently, a storm cut off from the jet stream is spinning over southern California. Additionally, a strong storm in the Gulf of Alaska has mixed with some very cold air from the North Pole, and this storm is forecast to move to the southeast towards our area as a ridge of high pressure builds over the Gulf of Alaska behind the storm.

The California storm is forecast to travel along the southern U.S. border through the weekend. Not much weather is expected from this storm as it stays to our south, though we’ll see some clouds tonight and perhaps a bit of snow at the highest elevations as moisture is drawn northward ahead of the storm.

Friday should be nice, with possibly some afternoon clouds, with high temperatures decreasing to only around five degrees above our average of 51 F.

Though there should be some sun early Saturday, clouds will increase through the day with showers beginning in the afternoon. A strong cold front associated with storm is forecast to blast through north-central Colorado Saturday night, with snow becoming moderate to heavy at times and creating difficult travel, not that there is much of that these days.

We should see 3-6” of snow on the Powdercam at the top of Sunshine Peak by Sunday morning, with snow even down to the Yampa Valley floor. Snow showers will continue through the day Sunday in the cold, moist, unstable and favorable northwest flow behind the front, with another 2-5” expected up top. High temperatures on Sunday will be thirty or so degrees below what we are observing today, bringing back winter for Easter Sunday and what should have been our Closing Day celebration.

The weather looks to remain cold and unsettled through much of the work week as waves of energy and moisture travel around the ridge of high pressure in the Gulf of Alaska. Weather forecast models disagree on the timing and strength of the waves, starting as soon as Monday night, but it appears a moderate storm, or perhaps two, may bring another round of accumulating snows to our starting around midweek.

Lots of uncertainty heading into the following weekend as weather forecast models disagree on the expansion of the ridge of high pressure inland as well as the fate of additional Pacific energy and moisture interacting with the ridge. A broader ridge positioned further to the east will allow for warming and drying over our area, otherwise more cool and unsettled weather is likely.

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