Pleasant weather turns wetter for next week

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-sixties are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday afternoon. The current pleasant weather looks to continue through the weekend, with afternoon and early evening shower chances highest on Friday and Sunday ahead of a warm storm system starting early next week.

The jet stream is currently mostly north of our area, though it is close enough for some westerly and northwesterly breezes this afternoon under temperatures about five degrees above our average of 63 F. More of the same is expected for Friday but with an increased chance of afternoon and early evening storms as a weak wave passes to our north.

A stronger wave currently just off the Pacific Northwest is forecast to develop into an eddy cut off from the main jet stream as it travels into the Desert Southwest through the weekend. Winds should turn to be from the southwest by Saturday ahead of the advancing storm, increasing temperatures into the seventies with less of a chance for showers than on Friday as drier air briefly tickles our area through the day.

Temperatures will be similar on Sunday, though chances for afternoon and evening storms increase again as energy begins ejecting out of the eddy. These chances increase further on Monday and Tuesday as the eddy eventually tracks into New Mexico by Tuesday, and high temperatures will cool back to the sixties under increased cloud cover.

The weather forecast becomes more uncertain by midweek as a powerful storm currently off the Aleutian Islands travels across the Gulf of Alaska through the weekend and early next week and makes landfall along the West Coast around Tuesday. Weather forecast models agree that the storm will be largely deflected to our northwest by a developing ridge of high pressure over the Midwest, though disagree on exactly how that will happen. The European ECMWF has a drier solution for midweek as the storm takes a slower and more southern trajectory while the American GFS has a wetter solution as energy and moisture are ejected out over our area ahead of the grazing storm.

And even though there are substantial differences in the placement of the storm by the weekend, they both agree on drier weather returning for the end of the work week and the following weekend. The storm will almost certainly be different that either forecast, so stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon for updates to our coming weather.

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