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.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Sunny skies and and temperatures in the upper seventies are observed in Steamboat Springs on this Thursday mid-afternoon. More summery weather is on tap for the upcoming week, and while today will be dry, most of the following days will have chances for at least afternoon showers.
The week of summery weather ahead is courtesy of a large ridge of high pressure currently sitting over the West and extending into eastern Alaska. A storm has become cutoff from the jet stream and is currently spinning off the northern Baja coast. This storm will be displaced tomorrow by a lobe of energy breaking away from a large and cold storm in the Gulf of Alaska, forcing the Baja storm to travel north along the west side of the western ridge of high pressure.
While almost all of the storm will be deflected well west of our area, leaving our temperatures mostly unaffected and ten to fifteen degrees above our average high of 66 F, the southerly flow associated with the storm will bring moisture to our south northward. So we should see a chance of afternoon storms for Friday and Saturday.
A piece of energy is forecast to break away from the storm and move over our area Saturday night, perhaps keeping showers going into Sunday morning.
Drier air briefly invades our area from the Desert Southwest on Sunday for another warm day that is currently looking dry.
Meanwhile, the lobe of energy from the Gulf of Alaska storm, after spinning off the West Coast for a couple of days, is forecast to approach the coast and make landfall around midweek. Southerly flow ahead of the storm will once again bring moisture from our south northward, increasing our shower chances again starting Monday afternoon.
And similar to this weekend, pieces of energy ejecting from the storm will wander over our area at times, bringing better chances of heavier and more widespread rain showers for the work week. There is some uncertainty with respect to the track of the storm and how quickly it moves inland, but right now it looks to affect us with more than a grazing blow sometime around the end of the work week or the following weekend. Stay tuned for my Sunday afternoon weather narrative for an update on this possibly wet storm.
Sunday, May 24, 2020
While I did observe some snowflakes mixed in with light rain early this Sunday morning in Steamboat Springs, the cool morning temperatures are moderating as the sun peeks through the clouds this afternoon. We will still see a chance of afternoon showers today and tomorrow with the well below average temperatures today eventually ending up well above average by next weekend. The warming trend will be briefly interrupted midweek as a cool front grazes our area and brings a chance of showers on Wednesday.
The cold storm that is bringing today’s unsettled weather is mostly affecting the Front Range, though it’s always notable when snowflakes are observed in town this late in May. We may see some showers this afternoon and evening as another surge of cool air moves across this evening, but the bulk of storm will stay to our east. Though temperatures have warmed into the upper forties, our high temperature for today will likely be fifteen degrees below our average of 66 F.
Memorial Day will be much nicer, with a mostly sunny morning and high temperatures warming to a bit below average, though there is a chance of some afternoon showers.
The current storm is forecast to become cut off from the main jet stream Monday night and form an eddy that will bring an extended period of heavy rains to eastern Texas through the week. But we should see a very pleasant and dry Tuesday with temperatures in the seventies.
Meanwhile, some Pacific energy and moisture is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast on Tuesday and head along the northern Rockies around midweek. We should see a chance of showers on Wednesday as weak cool front is forecast to graze our area in the afternoon or overnight.
Behind this passing storm, a ridge of high pressure is expected to amplify over the interior West through the coming weekend, likely allowing high temperatures to reach into the eighties for the first time this season as soon as Friday. While we will have some moisture around for some clouds, and perhaps a shower on a pleasant Thursday with high temperatures in the seventies, dry weather is expected for Friday and most of Saturday.
Additionally, a storm currently loitering well off the southern West Coast is forecast to travel northeastward along the west side of the ridge of high pressure, eventually crossing the northern or central California coast around mid-weekend. There is the possibility that moisture will be drawn northward over our area in the southerly flow ahead of the storm by then, though weather forecast models are not in agreement that there will be enough for showers. I hope to know about this possibility by my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
The Steamboat Springs area is seeing a beautiful sunny, cool and breezy late spring day this Thursday afternoon. We’ll see another couple of nice days heading into the Memorial Day weekend, but enjoy them as the weather turns colder and unsettled for the last two days of the long holiday weekend. More summery weather is then forecast to return for the last week of May.
There are currently ridges of high pressure over the Gulf of Alaska and Great Lakes, with a large trough of low pressure extending from the Desert Southwest to almost the North Pole. Cold air from the north has moved southward in the northerly to northwesterly flow within the trough, as reflected by our current mid-afternoon temperature of 60 F, which is five degrees below average.
Temperatures will warm under sunny skies for Friday and part of Saturday towards or a bit above average before three cold storms approach our area from Saturday night through Monday. So after pleasant weather for most of Saturday, the first storm grazes our area to the north and brings a cool front through Saturday night. Though clouds will increase, possibly as early as Saturday afternoon, showers currently look to stay north of the Yampa Valley and closer to the Wyoming border.
The next cold storm is forecast to pass through our area early in the day Sunday, followed by another cold storm for Memorial Day. At this point high temperatures for both days look to be ten to fifteen degrees below average, with showers possible through most of the day Sunday and at least Monday afternoon. While I don’t think we will see snowflakes in town, there may be snowflakes down to 9000′ or even 8000′ and an inch or two of accumulations at the top of Mt. Werner over these two days.
Meanwhile, the Pacific jet stream is forecast to penetrate inland across the northern Rockies during the weekend and cut off the cold air flowing into these storms from the north. While I cannot promise bluebird skies, much warmer weather with average or a bit above average temperatures return on Tuesday and lasts through the remainder of the work week.
Additionally, while midweek will be dry, a chance of showers may return near the end of the work week and headed into the following weekend as a storm to our north grazes our area. Stay tuned for my next weather narrative, scheduled for a possibly gloomy Sunday afternoon, for more details on not only the weather for Memorial Day but the following weekend.
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.