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Modest thunderstorm chances from Monday through midweek

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Temperatures are already in the mid-eighties under mostly sunny skies early this Sunday afternoon in Steamboat Springs. The rest of today will be dry and hot, with high temperatures around ninety degrees, before Monday sees a chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms along with similarly hot temperatures, moderated by any cloud cover of course. Temperatures will cool several degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday as storm chances increase before they decrease again for the end of the work week as high temperatures again threaten the ninety degree mark.

A ridge of high pressure is currently over the Rocky Mountains while a storm is crossing the Vancouver coast. Cold air from the northern latitudes has been continuously moving across the Bering Sea and into the Gulf of Alaska this summer and creating a persistent low pressure area, and the Vancouver storm is the latest to form there. Even as another chunk of cold air enters the Gulf of Alaska and dislodges the bulk of the Vancouver storm through Montana Monday night, the southern end is left behind as an eddy over the eastern Pacific that may be a player in our weather for next weekend.

The ridge of high pressure will be flattened and nudged to the east on Monday and Tuesday as the Vancouver storm moves across Montana before rebounding and oozing back westward behind the storm through the end of the work week. Monsoonal moisture from the south will flow back over our area on the backside of the re-positioned ridge of high pressure, increasing the chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms on Monday, with a better chance on Tuesday and Wednesday along with cooling temperatures of several degrees, especially for those areas benefiting from the increased cloud cover.

Winds will shift to be from the south on Monday to be from the west and northwest by Thursday as the ridge of high pressure oozes back westward, and this will eventually sever the monsoonal moisture plume with storm chances decreasing starting Thursday and heading into the weekend, along with a rebound in temperatures back toward the ninety degree mark.

Weather forecast models agree that the eddy in the eastern Pacific will be forced eastward across the West Coast early in the weekend, possibly leading to another monsoonal surge of moisture over our area by late in the weekend or soon after as the ridge of high pressure also gets pushed to the east. I’ll know more about that possibility and whether the weekend ends dry or stormy in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon.

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29 June 2020

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