Some snow on Friday with frigid temperatures gone by Sunday

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Another frigid day is over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday noon with 11 F at the Bob Adams Airport and -3 F near the top of Mt. Werner with peeks of sun in the Yampa Valley. The arctic air mass that brought the bitterly cold temperatures will maintain its grip over our area through Saturday as the final surge of cold air moves through on Friday, accompanied by another round of light snow. Temperatures will warm a bit on Saturday as the sun reappears, though stronger warming will hold off until Sunday under sunny skies.

Currently, a ridge of high pressure just off the West Coast has directed waves of Pacific energy around its periphery this week, allowing them to mix with bitterly cold air over western Canada before they descended into the Great Basin. A final wave in this series is forecast to move though tomorrow afternoon, and we’ll see another round of light snowfall from tonight through Friday which should leave 2-5” at the mid-mountain measuring stake by Friday night.

But the big story are the very cold temperatures, and after a -12 F low temperature on the upper mountain last night, high temperatures there will struggle to reach above zero today. They will only warm by around five degrees on Friday, and even with the sun appearing on Saturday, high temperatures may still be mired in the upper single digits.

Likewise in the Yampa Valley, high temperatures in the teens on Friday will remain around twenty degrees below our average high of 35 F, with temperatures warming into the twenties on Saturday and around average on Sunday under mostly sunny skies.

But with the return of clear skies, morning temperature inversions will plague the valley, and if skies clear by Saturday morning, we could see low temperatures around -10 F, which is also around twenty degrees below our average of 9 F, or even colder in the favored low-lying areas. But that looks to be the coldest morning of the weekend as clouds will help insulate the surface on Friday morning, and by Sunday morning the air mass will have warmed sufficiently to keep low temperatures in the positive single digits.

Lots of sun and warming temperatures are on tap for most of the rest of the work week before another storm approaches our area around next weekend. There is weather forecast model disagreement on whether the storm arrives as soon as Friday, or the weekend, or possibly just after, so stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon to see if the sunny and warm work week weather forecast persists into the following weekend.

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30 April 2022

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