Thursday, August 12, 2021
Temperatures are around eighty degrees in the Steamboat Springs area under cloudless and less smokey skies this Thursday noon, on their way to the mid and upper eighties. The chance for afternoon and evening showers returns on Friday and at least Saturday as some moisture returns to the area, with our first fall-like cool front forecast to approach our area around midweek
A broad ridge of high pressure currently sitting over the Gulf of Alaska and extending into the Intermountain West is flanked by deep and cold areas of low pressure over the Bering Sea and Hudson Bay. The Bering Sea storm is forecast to move east and force the ridge of high pressure to also move east and weaken over the weekend.
Indistinct circulations under the ridge of high pressure will allow some moisture from the south to move overhead starting on Friday, fueling possible afternoon and evening storms for Friday and Saturday with continued warm afternoon temperatures around five degrees or so above our average of 81 F. The refreshingly cool overnight lows will continue to run around or a few degrees below our average of 45 F.
The Thursday morning NOAA smoke plume forecast has some smoke hanging around today and tomorrow, though far less than we saw earlier in the week when winds from the west transported smoke from California wildfires directly into our area. This model has the smoke increasing modestly on Saturday as winds circulating underneath the ridge of high pressure carry smoke originally from the British Columbia wildfires over the region.
By mid-weekend, the Bering Sea storm is forecast to move into the Gulf of Alaska and by late Sunday cross the Pacific Northwest coast. We may see some dry air ahead of the storm on Sunday for a reduced chance of afternoon storms, or not, under continued above average temperatures.
By Monday we will see another warm day with increased winds from the southwest as the Pacific Northwest storm moves inland, with the storm currently indicated to bring a couple of the season’s first fall-like cool fronts through the region around late Tuesday or Wednesday and Friday. And it looks like there will be significant moisture drawn northward in the southwest flow associated with the Pacific Northwest storm as it moves eastward, so beneficial rainfall of over a quarter inch is likely.
Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon for details on what may be our first cool fronts of the season and the increased chances for wet weather next week.