Cooler temperatures and shower chances this weekend

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Temperatures near eighty degrees and sunny but smokey skies are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday noon. We will see continued hot temperatures and smoke through Friday before several grazing cool fronts bring cooler temperatures and modest shower chances to our neck of the woods in north central Colorado starting Saturday.

An expansive ridge of high pressure extending northward to almost the Arctic Circle is currently centered over the Four Corners, and has brought hot and dry weather to the western two thirds of the country this week. Meanwhile, a storm elongated to the south is currently in the Gulf of Alaska as another storm brews off the Aleutian Islands.

These storms are forecast to move eastward through the weekend and substantially weaken the dominant ridge of high pressure over the West, allowing several cool fronts to graze our area starting Saturday. There is some moisture associated with the storms, but not a lot, as well as some additional sparse moisture forecast to be carried northward along the western side of the flattened ridge of high pressure.

So expect another hot day on Friday with temperatures reaching the mid-eighties, like today, but with modestly improving air quality as the NOAA smoke plume model shows the main plume of smoke shifting to the east. However the smoke will be slow to clear as what is already here is recirculated under the heat dome tomorrow, with further improvement likely by Saturday ahead of the first in a series of grazing cool fronts.

The first cool front on Saturday will bring some breezy afternoon winds from the west, along with a chance of showers that may bring more wind than rain as the lower atmosphere starts very dry. High temperatures will also drop closer to our average of 74 F, with the shower chances persisting through the night.

Another grazing cool front for Sunday will keep the modest chances for showers around with continued high temperatures in the seventies. There is at least one more grazing cool front after the weekend, so stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I’ll discuss the shower chances to start the new work week.

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