Sunday, February 27, 2022
Bluebird skies are over the Steamboat Springs area late this Sunday morning with temperatures in the mid-teens in town and almost twenty degrees near the top of Mt. Werner. Expect some gorgeous springlike weather for most of the work week, which coincides nicely with the beginning of meteorological spring on Tuesday, March 1. But the winter break will be brief as much of the West will be back to cool and unsettled weather by the weekend.
A ridge of high pressure moving eastward over the West has allowed sunny skies to appear over our area starting yesterday even as temperatures remained quite cold. And after another frigid start to the morning with a low of -7 F at the Bob Adams airport and -14 F at the SnowAlarm weather station near the base of the mountain, temperatures in town will warm into the upper twenties today, which is still almost ten degrees below our average of 36 F. Mountain-top temperatures are currently ahead of the valley, though, rising from the low of 3 F observed at midnight to the current 19 F.
The arctic air mass that brought the bitterly cold weather that has been over our area most of the last week is being modified by increased surface heating thanks to the sun’s position higher in the sky as it moves towards the Equator from the southern hemisphere. So we should see warming temperatures each day, with high temperatures near average on Monday, near forty degrees on Tuesday, and the mid-forties on Wednesday and Thursday. There may be some passing clouds as some Pacific moisture is carried through the ridge of high pressure, though those will have little effect on high temperatures.
Meanwhile, a storm currently located in the Eastern Pacific between Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands is forecast to move eastward and cross the West Coast around Thursday, with another one behind it forecast to take a more northerly track and mix with some cold air over western Canada. The end result will be a period of unsettled weather moving toward our area for the weekend, with at least the first storm warmer and wetter than what we have experienced this past week.
And for what it’s worth, the longer-range weather forecasting models may have this unsettled pattern persisting into mid-March, with storms possible every several days. So enjoy the springlike start to the month, and stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday where I’ll have a better idea of whether the storm is on track and precipitation starts during the day Friday or Friday night, and how much snow may accumulate through next weekend. And note that due to a prior commitment, the narrative will be published by Thursday evening rather than the afternoon.