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A warm and mostly dry weather week ahead

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Summery weather is over the Steamboat Springs this Sunday with warm temperatures, partly sunny skies and rapidly greening (and yellowing, in the case of my dandelions) lower-elevation vegetation in the Yampa Valley. The warm temperatures will continue for Monday and Tuesday accompanied by windy conditions ahead of a mostly dry cool front for Wednesday. Pleasant and seasonable weather is expected for the end of the work week and heading into the weekend ahead of a possible round of unsettled weather.

Temperatures in Steamboat Springs are running several degrees above our average high of 64 F early this Sunday afternoon under mostly sunny skies, on their way into the mid-seventies as a ridge of high pressure sits over the Continental Divide.

The ridge of high pressure will be pushed eastward early in the work week by a strong storm currently just off the coast of northern California. Expect the warmest temperatures of the year so far, ten to fifteen degrees above average, along with windy to very windy southwesterly flow on Monday and southerly flow on Tuesday as the storm moves toward the Great Basin.

Due to the strength of the ridge of high pressure, the storm will be deflected to our north on Wednesday, but not before pushing a weak cool front through our area sometime during the day. There may be some showers as moisture that was carried northward in the earlier southerly flow is lifted by the front, but these would likely bring more wind than rain as the lower levels of the atmosphere are forecast to remain very dry.

The front will knock temperatures back towards average or even a bit below, perhaps by Wednesday if the front moves quickly enough, and certainly for Thursday.

Meanwhile a storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to intensify as it mixes with some quite cold air from western Canada while traveling southward along the Vancouver and Pacific Northwest coasts. While temperatures will warm for our area in the southwesterly flow ahead of the storm for Friday and at least part of Saturday, there is considerable uncertainty in the forecast for the second half of the weekend.

The uncertainty is due to the degree of interaction between this new storm and the older midweek grazing storm that is forecast to occur over the Pacific Northwest. It does look like unsettled weather will return as some or all of the merged storms pass over our area, though the timing, strength and duration of what will eventually pass through are currently unknown. I’ll have a much better idea of what the weekend’s weather will be like by my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon.

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