Skies dry and temperatures warm through the weekend and next week

Thursday, July 15, 2021

After a sunny morning in the Steamboat Springs area, temperatures have reached just above eighty degrees this Thursday mid-afternoon with skies clouding over as approaching storms bring the chance of precipitation. Moisture will decrease and temperatures will increase through the weekend and next week with an interesting possibility of significant precipitation emerging around next weekend.

A broad and modest ridge of high pressure is currently centered over the Rockies with areas of low pressure over the Gulf of Alaska and Hudson Bay. Both areas of low pressure are forecast to deepen and elongate to the south and southwest through the weekend and most of the following work week. Winds from the southwest ahead of the Gulf of Alaska area of low pressure will bring warmer and drier air inland which is forecast to amplify the ridge of high pressure over the Rockies through midweek before nudging it to the east through the rest of the work week.

This means warming temperatures and a drying atmosphere for our area, with shower chances persisting but decreasing through Saturday. There will be enough moisture for the possibility of brief moderate to heavy rain through Saturday under the stronger storms, but there is also a chance that we will see more wind than rain as the atmosphere dries.

The comfortable temperatures below our average of 82 F these past two days will be long gone by Sunday as temperatures rise into the upper eighties with almost no chance for precipitation. And this trend continues into the work week as precipitation chances become nil and high temperatures rise further with nineties likely.

A meterologically very interesting pattern may emerge early in the work week that could bode well for significant precipitation over our area by around next weekend. Weather forecast models have the southern end of the elongating Hudson Bay area of low pressure forming an eddy that is forecast to drift under the eastward moving ridge of high pressure through the work week. The evolution of this pattern is still up for debate, but it is possible that the eddy, which will be relatively moist if it maintains its forecast trajectory across the southern states, will be caught in the clockwise circulation around the high pressure system.

Furthermore, the positioning of the ridge of high pressure to our east will direct moisture to our south northward in a classic North American monsoon pattern, and this may further moisten the eddy as it treks around the western periphery of the ridge. There are several moving pieces that may contribute to the possibility of rain over our area for next weekend, but even if we don’t see that eddy, chances for precipitation will increase solely from the monsoonal push of moisture. Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I hope to have more clarity on how this interesting weather pattern may unfold.

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