Active weather quiets down for the weekend

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Steamboat Springs area saw periods of heavy snow early this Thursday afternoon as a very productive storm cell, accompanied by a couple of lightning flashes, passed overhead. More showers are expected for later today and Friday before we see a bit of a break for the weekend, especially on Sunday. More snow arrives on Monday.

The storm bringing us this wintry weather is currently located over the Colorado / Utah border, and waves of energy and moisture ejecting out of the storm have brought periods of snow, some heavy, to our area today. The Steamboat Powdercam showed 9” of snow had fallen by 3 pm with the Mid-Mountain Powdercam showing 6”. While some of that snow fell early this morning, about 4” fell between noon and 2 pm as a strong storm cell moved ahead of the parent storm.

Additional energy moving south from the the Canadian Plains will not only force the parent storm over our area tonight but also form an eddy that moves into the Desert Southwest for the weekend. We should see more snowfall as the parent storm moves overhead tonight, and continued showery snowfall behind the storm on Friday. Unfortunately, that eventual Desert Southwest eddy steals some energy from the parent storm, so our favorable northwest flow behind the storm will not be as productive as usual, but we could still see an additional 3-6” by Friday afternoon.

Showers should be mostly ended for Saturday as the focus for precipitation shifts to southern Colorado thanks to that Desert Southwest eddy. And Sunday is shaping up to be quite pleasant as some dry air between the two storm systems is forecast to move overhead.

But the break in the active weather will be short-lived as a wave of energy originally from Siberia is forecast to move south of the North Pole on Friday, across the Yukon on Saturday and over Montana by late Sunday. The strong cold front is timed to reach our area sometime during the day Monday, accompanied with another round of likely significant snow.

Meanwhile, a storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska will intensify over the weekend and early next week before ejecting a wave of energy and moisture toward the West Coast early in the work week. Weather forecast models at this point have additional waves of energy from Siberia heading toward our area for the rest of the work week as well for another week of cool and unsettled weather, though it is not clear how those waves will interact with the ejecting energy from the Gulf of Alaska storm.

Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on a hopefully nice Sunday afternoon as the active weather for the next work week comes into sharper focus.

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7 May 2021

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