Snow chances wait until next week

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the upper teens and low twenties are over the Steamboat Springs area on this Thursday noon, the last day of 2020. While there was some snow possible on New Years Eve earlier in the week, those chances have all but disappeared as the storm splits around our area. A couple of storms will pass to our north this weekend, with a moderate storm forecast for around Tuesday.

A storm just entering the Great Basin is in the process of splitting, and unfortunately it looks like we will be left with just clouds as the southern piece dives toward the Mexican border and the northern piece races across the Canadian border. We’ll probably see a mix of sun and clouds for New Years Day with high and low temperatures around our average of 27 F and 3 F.

A couple of storms will pass to our north on Saturday and Sunday nights, with the first being close enough to drag some cooler air across our region along with an increase in clouds.

Then, a flat ridge of high pressure will keep the storms away on Monday, though there will be enough moisture traveling through the ridge for some clouds. All in all, a rather uneventful start to the New Year, weather-wise.

A storm is forecast to cross the West Coast Monday night, and weather forecast models disagree both between and with themselves as to whether this storm will split and to what degree. At this point, we may see some snow showers ahead of the storm during the day Tuesday before a cold front is forecast for Tuesday night, bringing possibly moderate snows to our area for a time before they taper off Wednesday morning. I’ll hold off on snowfall guesses for now and hopefully the models have a clearer idea on the evolution of this storm by my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

A peek at the longer range weather forecast models indicates a steady stream of storms crossing the Pacific, though the general pattern looks disorganized and hard to predict. Some snow dances and other rituals to start the new year are entirely appropriate and may help nudge the storm track into a favorable position.

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23 November 2021

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