Reprieve from the heat starts later Sunday

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Temperatures in the Steamboat Springs area are already in the mid-eighties early this Thursday afternoon, and we may again threaten the high temperature record for this day of 89 F set in 1940. Some clouds will be around on Friday and Saturday that will temper the high temperatures a bit before a cool front for later Sunday will bring a chance for some showers and relief from the heat. Though high temperatures will drop markedly towards our average of 74 F on Monday, they will return to around ten degrees above average for the rest of the work week.

Unseasonably cold air over the Northeast and a flat ridge of high pressure over most of the rest of the country is continuing our current heat wave. In fact on Tuesday, we recorded the hottest temperature for that date of 91 F, which shattered the old record of 86 F recorded in 1964. The official temperature from the long term climate weather station behind the High School did not report a high temperature on Wednesday as of this weather forecast, though I suspect the 89 F record recorded in 1893 was at least threatened, And the same record temperature for today recorded in 1940 will also likely be under assault.

Some moisture moving through the ridge of high pressure over our area from a series of grazing storms well to our north will bring at least some clouds to our area on Friday and Saturday that will moderate the excessive heat by several degrees. While there may be some showers around in the afternoon and evenings, they will likely produce just gusty erratic winds as any precipitation falling from the cloud will evaporate in the very dry atmosphere below the cloud. Unfortunately for our worsening wildfire conditions, there may also be some dry lightening.

A storm currently traveling around a localized area of high pressure over Alaska will drag some cold air from near the North Pole southward and graze our area later Sunday, according the the American GFS, or a bit later than that according the the European ECMWF. At the very least, this will knock the high temperatures back around fifteen degrees and be accompanied with some wind. Weather forecast models have trended wetter with the front, and we may actually see some wetting rains along and behind the front, though that is uncertain at this time.

We should be in store for a much cooler Monday, with chilly morning temperatures that will also occur on Tuesday. And while the ridge of high pressure is expected to build to our west during the work week, its strength will be mitigated by cold air still pouring south from the North Pole. So while our weather will be hot and dry for the remainder of the work week, it won’t be as hot as this week with highs closer to ten degrees above average.

There is uncertainty for late in the work week and the weekend as weather forecast models agree that another storm from northern Canada will drop southward and mix with an area of low pressure that is forecast to form off the coast of California, but disagree on exactly how that will happen. But as of now, there is at least a chance that our weather will turn cooler and wetter around next weekend.

Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon when I should have more clarity on our precipitation potential later that day and the possible change in the weather for next weekend.

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23 November 2021

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