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Strong cold front for later Monday

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Pleasant early afternoon temperatures around 70 F and mostly cloudy skies followed a light shower that passed through the Steamboat Springs area soon after noon on this Sunday. A strong cold front is expected later Monday, followed by a weakening cool front for later Tuesday, both of which may be accompanied with some precipitation. Mostly sunny skies return by midweek along with hot temperatures ahead of what would be our first monsoonal moisture surge of the season timed for Independence Day weekend.

The current unsettled weather is courtesy of the southern part of a storm that split earlier in the week and is moving through our area.

A strong cold front associated with a robust storm currently over the Great Basin (the Salt Lake City forecast office is predicting snow down to 8000′ tonight!) will pass through our area later Monday afternoon or evening. Mostly sunny skies, winds from the southwest and hot temperatures five to ten degrees above our average high of 78 F are expected ahead of the cold front, which may be accompanied by showers.

Much cooler temperatures five to ten degrees below average are expected Tuesday ahead of a weakening cool front for Tuesday afternoon or evening. While we should see sunny skies for some of Tuesday, clouds will increase and we may see a chance for some showers as the front passes through.

This may be the last cold front of this season as a ridge of high pressure to our east encroaches on our area. Mostly sunny skies are expected for Wednesday and Thursday, with temperatures warming from near average on Wednesday to five to ten degrees above average on Thursday.

As the ridge of high pressure continues to move westward, the North American Monsoon gets started, with moisture from the south tickling our area Thursday night and becoming more substantial by Friday. The air mass under the ridge of high pressure will be quite warm, though our temperatures will be moderated by the cloudier weather expected with the monsoon. Though daily widespread heavy rain is unlikely as discussed here, we’ll see a good chance of showers starting on Friday and lasting through the Independence Day weekend in the presence of increased atmospheric moisture.

While another Gulf of Alaska storm develops over that weekend, the summer ridge of high pressure over our area will keep the storm at bay, deflecting it across the northern Rockies. And further storms expected to move across the Gulf of Alaska after the weekend will follow a similar path. The main effect of these storm for our area will be to possibly interrupt the monsoonal moisture plume at times, though for what its worth, current longer-term forecasts have a reasonable stream of moisture lasting through at least mid-July.

I’ll have more details about the weather for Independence Day weekend in my next weather narrative scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

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