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Showers possible starting today and lasting through the weekend

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Temperatures in the upper seventies and mostly sunny skies are over the Steamboat Springs area early this Thursday afternoon. There is a lot of interesting weather to our west, with some of that weather moving close enough to our area to produce chances for showers starting today and lasting through the weekend. Expect increasingly windy weather ahead of a significant cool down early next week as a strong but dry cold front passes through, followed by a return to hot temperatures as we head into the long Fourth of July weekend.

A storm to our west is in the process of splitting, with the northern portion of the split moving across our area later today and the southern part of the split moving over our area on Sunday. Starting this afternoon, we’ll have the possibility of afternoon and evening showers for the four days it takes the pieces of the storm to move across our area, with Friday having the best chance of showers. And Friday will likely be the coolest day of this four day period, with high temperatures close to our average of 77 F; otherwise expect hot temperatures in the eighties.

Meanwhile, a storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska is mixing with the cold air from the North Pole, and is expected to form an impressively cold and strong storm in the Pacific Northwest by the end of the weekend. We should see the effects from this storm as soon as Sunday as winds increase, first from the west and then from the southwest as we see our last day with shower chances for around a week.

The storm is forecast to rotate through the Great Basin, with the business end of the storm being deflected to our northwest by a strong summer ridge of high pressure to our east. While it currently looks like we will see no precipitation from this system, we will see much cooler air as a couple of cool fronts move through.

There is weather forecast model uncertainty with respect to the timing of these fronts, but right now it looks like they may pass through later Monday and again later Tuesday, accompanied with lighter winds from the west. Most noticeable will be the cooler temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday five to ten degrees below average.

Temperatures will quickly rebound starting Thursday as the ridge of high pressure to our east moves westward and over our area through the long Fourth of July weekend. While that weekend is currently looking hot and dry, I see the first indications this summer of the North American Monsoon becoming established.

Generally, a monsoon is defined as a seasonal reversal of winds, and for us it means upper level winds from the south carrying moisture originally from the Gulf of Mexico toward our area. While that forecast is highly uncertain at this point, it is encouraging to see the monsoon signal in the weather forecast models at about the time we expect it to start. We’ll see if this signal is still present in my next weather narrative scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

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