Nice weather turns unsettled on Saturday

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the fifties are over the Steamboat Springs area early this Thursday afternoon. Friday should be similar to today but warmer before we see a cool front on Saturday with showers starting later in the day and continuing into Sunday morning. While the weather clears for later Sunday and at least some of Monday, several days of stormy weather are forecast starting later Monday or Tuesday.

Currently a large and complex storm is now affecting the northern half of the West Coast while a transient ridge of high pressure builds over the Intermountain West ahead of the storm. We should see another lovely day on Friday with lots of sun and high temperatures in the sixties, around ten degrees above our average of 56 F, which incidentally is falling at a rate of a half degree a day.

Some energy ejecting out ahead of the storm will drag a cool front through our area on Saturday with gradually falling temperatures, increasing clouds and showers expected later in the day, overnight and into Sunday morning. There may be an inch or two of accumulations at the higher elevations, but only liquid is expected down at the Yampa Valley floor.

The weather should clear by Sunday afternoon, though temperatures will be slow to recover in the cool air left behind by the small Saturday storm.

Meanwhile, additional upstream Pacific energy and cold air moving from the North Pole across the Bering Sea will keep the complex parent storm evolving through the weekend, with a large part of the storm forecast to enter the Great Basin on Monday. Temperatures will warm back into the sixties for at least part of Monday as the increasing winds from the southwest ahead of the storm carry warm air from the south over our area.

Weather forecast models are struggling with the evolution of the storm as the incoming Pacific energy interacts with the southward moving polar air and the parent storm. Right now, cold and wet weather is a slam dunk with snow at all elevations and difficult travel, though it is not clear if it arrives later Monday or Tuesday. Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I expect to have at least some of the details ironed out.

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23 November 2021

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