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June snow likely in town by Tuesday morning

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Sunny skies and strong winds from the south have returned to Steamboat Springs this Sunday afternoon behind Saturday’s storm. A large and cold storm to our northwest will first bring a dry cold front through our area tonight, followed by a stronger cold front later on Monday that now looks moist enough to bring accumulating snows at higher elevations and even snowfall downtown overnight. Temperatures will start the work week in the fifties and end in the seventies, with dry weather expected after the snow.

Along with very strong winds, rainfall amounts ranged from one to three tenths in the Yampa Valley from the storm on Saturday. Winds have picked up again today ahead of the next storm currently located around southern Idaho. Showers look to be confined to the northwest corner of Colorado today ahead of the initial cold front that should pass through our area early this evening.

Monday morning will be cold, though the coldest mornings look to be Tuesday and Wednesday, and I would suggest protecting sensitive vegetation for all three mornings, and possibly Thursday morning as well. High temperatures on Monday will be in the fifties, fifteen to twenty degrees below our average of 71 and thirty to thirty five degrees below our unseasonably warm day last Friday!

While Monday should be mostly dry with temperatures in the fifties as cold air filters in, a reinforcing cold front is forecast to pass through our area around Monday evening as the southern end of the parent storm moves through. And there is now enough moisture forecast to make snow, with accumulations of several inches at the higher elevations, including Rabbit Ears Pass, and some snow likely on the grassy surfaces in town by Tuesday morning.

Showers may hang on Tuesday morning in the classic cold, moist, unstable and favorable northwest flow before ending by noon. Even though the sun is strong as we are only two weeks away from the summer solstice, temperatures will once again be relegated to the fifties behind the departing storm.

Another cold morning is in store for Wednesday, though temperatures should warm into the sixties under mostly to partly sunny skies as a ridge of high pressure begins building over the West.

Keep an eye on your plants for Thursday morning, since temperatures that are forecast to be in the thirties may allow low-lying areas to be near freezing. But the warming continues, with temperatures back near average on Thursday under sunny skies.

Another cold storm is forecast to form in the Gulf of Alaska over the week, with the southerly flow ahead of the storm forcing the ridge of high pressure over the West to amplify. As the storm makes landfall along the West Coast late in the work week, the ridge of high pressure is forced eastward over the Rocky Mountains, and we may see a chance of showers return on Friday and Saturday along with warmer than average temperatures as moisture to our south is brought northward.

The storm gets close enough to our area around the weekend for windy southerly or southwesterly conditions, but it looks like summer is going to win this battle as the storm is deflected mostly to our northwest. If it is deflected as currently advertised, we may see a grazing cool front for late in the weekend or early the following work week, though after our likely snow Monday night and the summer solstice present last year, I’ll reserve judgement on that until my next weather narrative, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

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