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Cool front for Friday may bring some showers

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Sunny skies and delightfully cool temperatures near the mid-sixties are observed early this Thursday afternoon in Steamboat Springs. A cool front early Friday will bring our best chance for showers this week before temperatures warm a bit for the weekend and more for the following work week.

A storm complex that was over over the northwestern quarter of the country this past work week is forecast to grudgingly move east over the weekend. Our current cool temperatures are courtesy of ejecting waves of energy from a large and cold storm in the Gulf of Alaska that are mixing with a pool of cold air centered over the southern Canadian Plains.

The wettest and strongest of the upcoming waves will drag a cool front through our area early Friday during which we will see our best chance of showers for the upcoming week. But the chances are not that great, with at best only light showers expected along with another cool day of temperatures ten degrees or so below our average high of 75 F.

By Saturday, we should see warming temperatures in the mid-seventies under mostly sunny skies and light winds from the northwest. As is often the case with northwest flow, we will be susceptible to some afternoon showers from Sunday through Tuesday afternoons as hard-to-time waves of moisture and energy periodically eject from the Gulf of Alaska storm and mix with cool air from the southern Canadian Plains as they graze our area.

The last mostly dry cool front ejected from the Gulf of Alaska storm is expected on Monday before the parent storm is forecast to move toward our area by the end of work week. Ahead of that storm, soaring temperatures around ten or so degrees above average and sunny skies are expected for Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly Thursday as a transient ridge of high pressure builds over the West.

There is a fair bit of weather forecast uncertainty as to how close the eastward moving Gulf of Alaska storm gets to our area by the end of the work week. The usually weaker European ECMWF, which incidentally has trended toward the stronger American GFS these past few months, is now stronger than its American counterpart.

There is quite a difference in the resultant weather outcomes, with the European ECMWF introducing cool and showery weather starting around Friday and lasting through the weekend. The American GFS, on the other hand, is much weaker, drier and further north with the storm, only bringing a dry and grazing cool front through our area on Friday before warming temperatures and sunny skies return for the weekend.

There is plenty of time for these models to change their tune, and I’ll have more information on how the Gulf of Alaska storm evolves for my next weather narrative scheduled on Sunday afternoon.

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