Sunday, May 31, 2020
After a couple of quick showers passed through Steamboat Springs early this Sunday afternoon, temperatures are once again approaching the eighty degree mark. And incidentally, this past Friday saw our first over-eighty degree day of the year when the temperature reached 81 F at 5:35 pm local time. More of the same is forecast for most of the upcoming week, with light showers possible on some days, before a possibly wet storm may move over our area around next weekend.
Though I thought in my last forecast that yesterday and yesterday night would have the best chance of showers this weekend, the moisture present on Saturday produced just clouds over our area, with the showers waiting till midday today as some weak upper-level forcing approached later than originally forecast. There may be an opportunity for another shower later today or tonight before the wave departs our area and drier air moves overhead.
As a ridge of high pressure sits over the Rockies, the southern part of a storm that moved through the Gulf of Alaska earlier this weekend will form an eddy cutoff from the Pacific jet stream on Monday off the California coast. The storm will loiter off the coast for the work week until it is forced inland by a second Gulf of Alaska storm around next weekend.
Meanwhile, the northern part of the storm that left the California eddy will cross the northern Rockies around midweek, and our winds will turn to be more from the west than from the current southwest. While high temperatures will remain ten to fifteen degrees above our current average of 68 F for most of the work week, except possibly for Wednesday when a weak and dry cool front grazes our area, moisture will remain rather sparse. So there may be a spotty shower or two this work week, though wetting rains may be hard to come by until the California eddy is forced inland and moves near our area early in the weekend.
Though weather forecast models agree the storm will be deflected to its northeast as it moves inland by a rebuilding ridge of high pressure over the Rockies, they disagree on the proximity of the storm to our area and the amount of moisture. The European ECMWF, which proved more accurate for this weekend’s weather, is much drier than the American GFS.
Both models agree, however, that dry air will overspread our area from the Desert Southwest for the remainder of next weekend and that the second Gulf of Alaska storm will move inland early in the work week. That stronger storm is advertised to bring cooler temperatures with a chance of rain by midweek, but stay tuned to my next weather narrative on Thursday afternoon for the evolving details on these upcoming two storms.