Cooler and showery end to Memorial Day weekend

Sunday, May 30, 2021

While the Steamboat Springs area saw some clouds and sun for the first part of this Sunday, temperatures have dropped and thicker clouds have moved in ahead of a good chance of late afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Memorial Day will be similar, with slightly less of a chance of storms before a warming and drying trend starts on Tuesday ahead of possibly our first eighty degree day of the season.

Our current weather is the result of a diffuse area of low pressure around northern Baja and a fast-moving storm currently centered just north of North Dakota. The southerly flow ahead of the Baja storm helped bring moisture to our area today while the grazing North Dakata storm dragged a cool front through our area around 3 pm this afternoon. In fact, the temperature near the top of Mt. Werner fell about 10 degrees in the half hour after 3 pm while the temperature at the Bob Adams airport fell about 8 degrees in the half hour after 3:30 pm.

Showers should form along and behind the front before ending later this evening. Similar to today, we should see a nice Memorial Day morning before showers may return for tomorrow afternoon and evening, though with less of a chance than today.

A warming and drying trend starts on Tuesday as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West, though there will still be decreasing chances for afternoon storms. After a couple of days with high temperatures in the sixties today and tomorrow, expect low seventies for Tuesday, upper seventies for Wednesday and perhaps our first eighty degree day by Thursday or Friday.

And even though weather forecast models agree on the warm late-week weather, they disagree on the shower potential. A storm currently rounding the developing ridge of high pressure over the West Coast may or may not partially mix with that Baja storm, and the American GFS wants to draw some moisture over our area for increased storm chances late in the work week while the European ECMWF wants to keep the storms more separate and our area drier.

Regardless, there is agreement again that most of the Baja storm won’t be moving much, or even moving to the southwest for a day or two. Eventually, the storm is forecast to be ejected to the east by a powerful incoming Pacific storm and bring another couple of days of good shower chances, though it is not clear if it is during next weekend or soon after.

And it appears we will see some affects from that incoming Pacific storm, the least of which will be wind. So stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon when I’ll have more details on the weather for next weekend.

Increasing chances for rain showers this Memorial Day weekend

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Temperatures in the low sixties under cloudless skies are over the Steamboat Springs area early this Thursday afternoon. More of the same with warmer temperatures will start the long weekend on Friday before cooler temperatures and an increasing chance of showers start Saturday and persist through Memorial Day. A quick moving storm then follows for midweek.

A modest ridge of high pressure will be over our area today and Friday behind the grazing storm last night and ahead of another similar one forecast for later Saturday. While temperatures today will struggle to reach our average high of 67 F, they should be in the seventies on Friday.

Enjoy the spectacular start to the long weekend as temperatures cool back to near average on Saturday with a slight chance of afternoon and evening showers as a second grazing storm passes by. Following quickly is a weak and diffuse storm system that will bring a good chance of rain showers in the afternoons and evening of Sunday and Memorial Day, with Sunday looking to be the cloudiest day with the highest chance of showers.

We should sneak in a dry day on Tuesday with seasonable temperatures before another grazing storm from the Pacific Northwest drags a cool front through the region later Tuesday. This one looks to have better moisture than the previous grazing storms, so some showers may follow the cool front Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Another dry day is currently advertised for Thursday before yet another grazing storm from the northwest passes by around Friday.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather heading into the unofficial-start-of-summer weekend, and I’ll post my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon when I should have a better idea of the shower potential for Memorial Day.

Mostly sunny with seasonable temperatures this week

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Cloudy skies, brisk southerly winds and cool temperatures in the mid-fifties are over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday afternoon. The cool temperatures and windy conditions will continue today, along with periods of sun this afternoon, but a very pleasant and mostly sunny work week starts on Monday that may persist into and possibly through the coming Memorial Day weekend.

As was the case in the last weather narrative on Thursday, the weather over the continental U.S. is still dominated by a strong winter-like storm in the West, now over Idaho, and a ridge of high pressure that is now over the eastern half of the country. We did receive some precipitation from the storm, with around a tenth of an inch reported in the 24 hours ending at 7 am this morning around town, though my unofficial weather station near the base of the mountain recorded almost twice that.

The cool temperatures around ten degrees below our average high of 66 F will continue today and overnight as we are grazed by the southern edge of the Idaho storm that is forecast to rotate into northern Montana by later Monday. We’ll likely see below-freezing temperatures tonight about five or ten degrees below our average low of 35 F as skies clear and winds calm.

Winds will decrease behind the departing storm on Monday, but still remain breezy from the west as the jet stream maintains its position across the northern Rockies through the work week. And temperatures will slowly warm though midweek under mostly sunny skies with high temperatures in the seventies by Wednesday afternoon.

A couple of storms are forecast to quickly move through the jet stream on Thursday and again around mid-weekend, but right now they are forecast to only graze our area and bring some increased winds, cooler air and cloudiness, with some showers possible at the higher elevations north of town closer to the Wyoming border.

There is some uncertainty for the weather forecast near the end of the long Memorial Day weekend as that mid-weekend storm may undergo some sort of split that may leave energy off the California coast. Some of this energy may move inland and towards our area, leading to the possibility of showers if it eventually moves nearby, but the track, timing and even existence of this feature is questionable at this time. Enjoy the beautiful spring week coming up, and stay tuned for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon for more details on the weather for Memorial Day weekend.

Some showers possible through the weekend

Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Steamboat Springs area is seeing gusty winds from the south and temperatures in the low seventies under a mix of sun and clouds early this Thursday afternoon. Modest chances for precipitation peak around mid-weekend before a dry cool front late in the weekend brings drier and a bit cooler weather for the beginning of the work week.

The weather over the continental U.S. is currently dominated by a powerful winter-like storm centered over the Pacific Northwest and a ridge of high pressure over the eastern third of the country. The remnant of that eddy discussed in the last weather narrative is located over the Gulf Coast and disappointingly brought only between a half and one-and-a-half tenths of an inch of precipitation to our area on Monday.

And we saw no precipitation yesterday as the Pacific Northwest storm is stronger and slower-moving than originally forecast. This has reduced the chance for showers on Friday, though some showers with meager precipitation potential will be around Friday afternoon and evening, along with cooler temperatures than today that should be around our average high of 65 F. We will see more wind from the south, though, as the Pacific Northwest storm draws closer while it moves southward through California.

The moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, also discussed in the last weather narrative, is still forecast to be over our area, but just a day later than originally forecast, as the eastern ridge of high pressure expands to the west and directs that moisture into the southerly flow ahead of the California storm. Weather forecast models have no more than very light precipitation forecast from these showers later Saturday and overnight with high temperatures during the day several degrees above Friday.

A lobe of energy and moisture is forecast to eject out ahead of the California storm on Sunday, and bring a renewed chance of showers and a cool front sometime during the day. Our best chance of precipitation will be ahead of and along the front as dry air from the southwest will overspread our area behind the front, with temperatures five to ten degrees below average behind the front.

The California storm is forecast to rotate and weaken as it moves to our northwest late Sunday and into Montana on Monday. We should see dry weather with a mix of sun and clouds through midweek with temperatures a bit below average on Monday warming to around average on Wednesday.

While weather forecast models agree that another couple of weak storms approach the West Coast starting midweek, they disagree on the evolution and amount of interaction between the storms. So the weather for the following weekend is unclear, but I should have a better idea of what may be in store by my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Showers possible for most of the work week

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Mostly sunny skies have returned to the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday afternoon with temperatures around seventy after a few showers passed near our area around noon. A couple of slow-moving storms will increase shower chances through midweek and again around Friday before warmer and drier weather is advertised for next weekend.

An eddy cut off from the jet stream is currently spinning over southern Nevada while a powerful storm evolves in the Gulf of Alaska. The Gulf of Alaska storm is expected to mix with cold air sourced from the North Pole over the next few days before making landfall along the West Coast around Tuesday. The storm will force the Nevada eddy towards the Four Corners region on Monday and across southern Colorado on Tuesday before it is deflected northward across eastern Colorado by a developing ridge of high pressure east of the Mississippi River.

We should see increased chances for afternoon and evening showers on Monday and Tuesday as the Nevada eddy approaches our area, and possibly sometime on Wednesday as the eddy moves northward along Colorado’s eastern border. While the likelihood of showers is high, the amount of water reaching the ground is modest, with perhaps a tenth of an inch or two possible each day.

Thursday looks to be the driest day of the work week behind the departing eddy as increasing winds from the southwest bring warm and dry air over our area. While the West Coast storm is expected to move very little through the weekend as the eastern ridge of high pressure expands westward and blocks any forward progress, a wave of energy and moisture ejecting out of the storm is forecast to move over our area on Friday for increased shower chances.

Depending upon the strength of the wave, our winds may turn to be more from the south and incorporate some additional moisture originally from the Gulf of Mexico, which will directly affect how much moisture we see from the showers.

The West Coast storm is expected to grudgingly move to the northeast through the weekend and into the following work week. Our area will see continued breezes from the southwest along with warm and dry air for a very pleasant and summery feeling weekend. Longer range weather forecast models have this weather persisting into and possibly through the next work week.

Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll review any precipitation amounts from the showers earlier in the work week and have a better idea on how showery Friday may be.

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23 November 2021

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