Spring weekend followed by early week winter storm

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Temperatures are in the mid-thirties in the town of Steamboat Springs and mid-teens near the top of Mt. Werner this Thursday mid-afternoon with peeks of sun between passing snow showers. Mostly sunny skies and warming temperatures are forecast for a nice spring weekend before clouds encroach later Sunday ahead of our next winter storm that is forecast to start around Sunday night.

The Steamboat Ski Resort reported 6” at mid-mountain and 7” up top early this Thursday morning, with snowfall starting early Wednesday. Interestingly, the Steamboat Powdercam showed that 5” of snow fell during the day and 5” overnight, though that 10” total settled to 7” by the 5 am report. While the Steamboat Ski Area is not usually favored with the upper-level flow from southwest that occurred yesterday, the atmosphere was more unstable than I anticipated in my last Sunday weather narrative and produced good snowfall rates through the day and night Wednesday.

Snow showers will continue through this evening, with snowfall amounts of around a half inch or inch per shower, so I still think that 1-4” is likely by the Friday morning report. But the weather will turn sunnier and warmer for Friday and the weekend as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West behind the departing storm and the next storm, which is currently located over the Aleutian Islands.

A minor wave of moisture is forecast to pass through the building ridge of high pressure later Friday afternoon and overnight, but expect only increasing cloudiness as this feature moves through the area. Otherwise, expect mostly sunny skies with high temperatures about five degrees below our average of 43 F on Friday, increasing around five degrees for Saturday and another five degrees for Sunday, which incidentally marks the vernal equinox, or the first day of astronomical spring, when the sun crosses the equator into the Northern Hemisphere at 9:33 am local time.

Meanwhile, the Aleutian Island storm is forecast to cross the West Coat on Saturday and then elongate to the south as it crosses the Great Basin on Sunday. So while Sunday is expected to start sunny, clouds will increase later in the day ahead of the storm which should begin snows over our area by Sunday night.

The storm is predicted to evolve in a complex manner, with the southern part of the storm intensifying to our south and forming an eddy as it ingest moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, it looks like our best snows will be from the initial part of the storm from Sunday night into Monday morning, with unsettled weather hanging on through Tuesday. Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I’ll have more details on the storm as well as some snowfall guesses.

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6 November 2022

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