First fall-like cool front of the season to arrive midweek

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Temperatures are once again around eighty degrees in the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday noon under mostly sunny skies. Better cloud cover than yesterday and a chance of late-day showers should shave at least a few degrees from the last two days of hot temperatures, where 89 F and 91 F were recorded at the Bob Adams airport. A couple more hot days are forecast to start the work week before our first fall-like cool front is advertised for later Wednesday, accompanied by good chances for beneficial rainfall through Thursday.

A ridge of high pressure currently over much of the West has brought the hot temperatures around ten degrees above our 81 F average this past work week to our high valley in north-central Colorado. There looks to be better moisture overhead today than in the past week as indistinct circulations underneath the ridge of high pressure bring some moisture to our south northward, so there is some chance of afternoon and evening showers.

Meanwhile, a couple of storms off the Aleutian Islands are forecast to mix with some southward moving cold air near the seasonally cooling North Pole over the next couple of days before moving across the Gulf of Alaska. The first storm is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast Monday night and move across the Great Basin on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Expect another couple of hot days on Monday and Tuesday with shower chances near nil as some dry air ahead of the Pacific Northwest storm moves overhead. But increasing winds from the southwest ahead of the storm will combine with the clockwise flow around the high pressure area forecast to be to our east to substantially increase moisture over our area during Wednesday, leading to a good chance of late-day showers.

Weather forecast models are struggling with the speed of the storm, with the latest runs trending slower, but right now it looks the season’s first fall-like cool front should pass through our area overnight Wednesday. We will likely see showers ahead of the front, and if the front slows down, we could see another hot and mostly dry Wednesday afternoon, or not if showers begin in the afternoon.

Moisture with the storm will then combine with the moisture brought northward ahead of the storm leading to high precipitation chances from Wednesday night through Thursday night, with chances perhaps lingering into Friday morning as additional surges of cool air follow the first front. We could go from high temperatures near ninety degrees on Tuesday to high temperatures struggling to reach seventy degrees on a showery Thursday.

And the coldest air of the storm does not reach us until Friday morning when most of the showers will have ended, but snow levels are forecast to go as low as 11,500′. So look to the higher surrounding peaks Friday morning to see the first dusting of snowfall of the season!

It looks like at least another couple of likely dry cool fronts will pass through northern Colorado as we head into and through next weekend, so stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon to see what’s in store for the end of next week.

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