Hot and mostly sunny week ahead

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-seventies are over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday noon. While there may be a slight chance of some afternoon and evening storms today, that chance goes away for the rest of the upcoming week as hot temperatures and afternoon breezes from the southwest dominate the weather.

While I suspect Steamboat Springs saw at least near-record temperatures on Friday when the Bob Adams airport hit 86 F around 4 pm, which is 16 F above the average of 70 F for that site, the official National Weather Service data indicated that the town of Hayden broke the daily records for high temperature both on Friday when they recorded a high of 93 F (which broke the previous record of 91 set in 1977) and on Saturday when they recorded a high of 91 F (which broke the previous record of 89 set in 1946). Both of these records are well above their average high temperature of 76 F.

We may see a chance for an afternoon or evening shower today, though less of a chance than yesterday when only a few drops of rain fell from the sky around 7 pm. There really is no hope of precipitation for the upcoming week as a a powerful trough of low pressure develops off the West Coast from a series of storms moving through the Gulf of Alaska, and keeps hot, dry and increasingly breezy winds from the southwest over our area.

A dry and compact storm currently spinning off the West Coast will be forced inland by the developing low pressure in its vicinity and skirt just to our west on Tuesday. So after a hot and dry Monday, we may see a few degrees of cooling on Tuesday, but more likely increasing breezes from the southwest as the storm scoots by.

That area of low pressure off the West Coast is forecast to move inland and rotate to our northwest starting midweek, so after decreasing winds on Wednesday, they should be increasing again on Thursday and be stronger than on Tuesday.

The trough of low pressure will be close enough to force a cool front through our area late Thursday or early Friday. At this point, there is no indication of precipitation, but we will see some relief from the heat on Friday as high temperatures cool from the eighties to the seventies, which will still be above our average high temperature.

But the hot and dry weather returns for the weekend and looks to persist into the following week. Unfortunately, longer-range weather forecast models have backed off any moisture signals from the south, which deals a blow to the hoped for beginnings of the North American Monsoon discussed in the last weather narrative.

Be mindful of increasing fire danger through the week as the winds pick up, and I’ll have a better idea about how much cooling we will see on Friday in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon.

Hot week ahead with some shower chances this weekend

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Mostly sunny skies with delightful temperatures around 77 F are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday mid-afternoon. Warmer temperatures are in store as we head into the weekend with some shower chances centered on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evenings. A storm passing to our north will first cool the hot afternoon temperatures by several degrees as we close out the weekend ahead of drier and breezier weather for the upcoming work week.

A large ridge of high pressure over the West will move eastward and over the Rocky Mountains on Friday, bringing the warmest day of the season with plenty of sunshine. If we don’t hit the eighty degree mark today, we should tomorrow as the ridge sits overhead. And this summery warmth is several weeks early as our current average high temperature is only 69 F.

A storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to move across Montana on Sunday and drag a weak cool front through our area. Expect another warm day on Saturday ahead of the front, with some shower potential on Saturday afternoon and evening.

We should see temperatures knocked back several degrees on Sunday, though they will still be around ten degrees above average, along with breezier conditions and better chances for afternoon and evening showers as moisture from the south is drawn northward.

Some energy left behind from that Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to sit off the West Coast for a couple of days before being forced to move inland and near our area around midweek by more energy moving through the Gulf of Alaska. Ahead of that, expect the shower potential to diminish on Monday and most of Tuesday as dry air from the Desert Southwest moves overhead.

By later Tuesday or Wednesday, weather forecast models have that left-over piece of energy off the West Coast moving near our area thanks to additional upstream Pacific energy. The system will be quite dry, but there may enough moisture and energy for a chance of some showers later Tuesday.

There is considerable uncertainty regarding the evolution of upstream Pacific energy, with the American GFS keeping it mostly to our northwest late in the work week while the European ECMWF has it moving further eastward and closer to our area. Unfortunately, it does not look like we will see any moisture from this, but the ECMWF solution predicts cooler temperatures by the end of the work week.

And for the weekend, the ECMWF is cooler and drier as compared to the American GFS which has a ridge of high pressure building over the West. Some moisture may be drawn northward in the southerly flow on the backside of the ridge for an increase in shower chances next weekend, though those chances would be highest to our south. Interestingly, this pattern either mimics or may truly be the first hints that the North American Monsoon is becoming established, though a forecast ten days away will almost certainly change over the coming week.

Enjoy the summery weekend, and I’ll have an updated forecast in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Cooler and showery end to Memorial Day weekend

Sunday, May 30, 2021

While the Steamboat Springs area saw some clouds and sun for the first part of this Sunday, temperatures have dropped and thicker clouds have moved in ahead of a good chance of late afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Memorial Day will be similar, with slightly less of a chance of storms before a warming and drying trend starts on Tuesday ahead of possibly our first eighty degree day of the season.

Our current weather is the result of a diffuse area of low pressure around northern Baja and a fast-moving storm currently centered just north of North Dakota. The southerly flow ahead of the Baja storm helped bring moisture to our area today while the grazing North Dakata storm dragged a cool front through our area around 3 pm this afternoon. In fact, the temperature near the top of Mt. Werner fell about 10 degrees in the half hour after 3 pm while the temperature at the Bob Adams airport fell about 8 degrees in the half hour after 3:30 pm.

Showers should form along and behind the front before ending later this evening. Similar to today, we should see a nice Memorial Day morning before showers may return for tomorrow afternoon and evening, though with less of a chance than today.

A warming and drying trend starts on Tuesday as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West, though there will still be decreasing chances for afternoon storms. After a couple of days with high temperatures in the sixties today and tomorrow, expect low seventies for Tuesday, upper seventies for Wednesday and perhaps our first eighty degree day by Thursday or Friday.

And even though weather forecast models agree on the warm late-week weather, they disagree on the shower potential. A storm currently rounding the developing ridge of high pressure over the West Coast may or may not partially mix with that Baja storm, and the American GFS wants to draw some moisture over our area for increased storm chances late in the work week while the European ECMWF wants to keep the storms more separate and our area drier.

Regardless, there is agreement again that most of the Baja storm won’t be moving much, or even moving to the southwest for a day or two. Eventually, the storm is forecast to be ejected to the east by a powerful incoming Pacific storm and bring another couple of days of good shower chances, though it is not clear if it is during next weekend or soon after.

And it appears we will see some affects from that incoming Pacific storm, the least of which will be wind. So stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon when I’ll have more details on the weather for next weekend.

Increasing chances for rain showers this Memorial Day weekend

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Temperatures in the low sixties under cloudless skies are over the Steamboat Springs area early this Thursday afternoon. More of the same with warmer temperatures will start the long weekend on Friday before cooler temperatures and an increasing chance of showers start Saturday and persist through Memorial Day. A quick moving storm then follows for midweek.

A modest ridge of high pressure will be over our area today and Friday behind the grazing storm last night and ahead of another similar one forecast for later Saturday. While temperatures today will struggle to reach our average high of 67 F, they should be in the seventies on Friday.

Enjoy the spectacular start to the long weekend as temperatures cool back to near average on Saturday with a slight chance of afternoon and evening showers as a second grazing storm passes by. Following quickly is a weak and diffuse storm system that will bring a good chance of rain showers in the afternoons and evening of Sunday and Memorial Day, with Sunday looking to be the cloudiest day with the highest chance of showers.

We should sneak in a dry day on Tuesday with seasonable temperatures before another grazing storm from the Pacific Northwest drags a cool front through the region later Tuesday. This one looks to have better moisture than the previous grazing storms, so some showers may follow the cool front Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Another dry day is currently advertised for Thursday before yet another grazing storm from the northwest passes by around Friday.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather heading into the unofficial-start-of-summer weekend, and I’ll post my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon when I should have a better idea of the shower potential for Memorial Day.

Mostly sunny with seasonable temperatures this week

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Cloudy skies, brisk southerly winds and cool temperatures in the mid-fifties are over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday afternoon. The cool temperatures and windy conditions will continue today, along with periods of sun this afternoon, but a very pleasant and mostly sunny work week starts on Monday that may persist into and possibly through the coming Memorial Day weekend.

As was the case in the last weather narrative on Thursday, the weather over the continental U.S. is still dominated by a strong winter-like storm in the West, now over Idaho, and a ridge of high pressure that is now over the eastern half of the country. We did receive some precipitation from the storm, with around a tenth of an inch reported in the 24 hours ending at 7 am this morning around town, though my unofficial weather station near the base of the mountain recorded almost twice that.

The cool temperatures around ten degrees below our average high of 66 F will continue today and overnight as we are grazed by the southern edge of the Idaho storm that is forecast to rotate into northern Montana by later Monday. We’ll likely see below-freezing temperatures tonight about five or ten degrees below our average low of 35 F as skies clear and winds calm.

Winds will decrease behind the departing storm on Monday, but still remain breezy from the west as the jet stream maintains its position across the northern Rockies through the work week. And temperatures will slowly warm though midweek under mostly sunny skies with high temperatures in the seventies by Wednesday afternoon.

A couple of storms are forecast to quickly move through the jet stream on Thursday and again around mid-weekend, but right now they are forecast to only graze our area and bring some increased winds, cooler air and cloudiness, with some showers possible at the higher elevations north of town closer to the Wyoming border.

There is some uncertainty for the weather forecast near the end of the long Memorial Day weekend as that mid-weekend storm may undergo some sort of split that may leave energy off the California coast. Some of this energy may move inland and towards our area, leading to the possibility of showers if it eventually moves nearby, but the track, timing and even existence of this feature is questionable at this time. Enjoy the beautiful spring week coming up, and stay tuned for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon for more details on the weather for Memorial Day weekend.

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28 September 2022

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