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Best storm chances of the weekend today and tonight

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Temperatures in Steamboat Springs are in the upper seventies under partly cloudy skies this Thursday mid-afternoon. Though our best storm chances occur later today and tonight, chances will decrease but remain on Friday before they decrease further for the rest of the weekend as some drier air likely overspreads the area.

A ridge of high pressure currently sitting over the West is sandwiched between two vortexes of cold air over the Bering Sea and Hudson Bay. The cold air moving across the Bering Sea is forecast to generate a series of storms that will move across the Gulf of Alaska and deform the western ridge of high pressure while nudging it eastward.

Our best chance for wetting rains occurs through about midnight as a wave of energy passes to our north and mixes with cold air around the Hudson Bay vortex. Combined with monsoonal moisture already carried northward underneath the ridge of high pressure, there will be good thunderstorm chances for the rest of the day and lasting until midnight. Locally moderate to heavy rain, small hail, frequent lightning and gusty winds may be associated with any relatively slow-moving storm cells.

Though there has been weather forecast model disagreement on how much dry air makes it into our area after today, storm chances look to decrease but still remain later Friday after a sunny morning. More of the same can be expected through the weekend, but with more sun expected as storm chances decrease further, high temperatures are forecast to rise toward our average of 84 F by Sunday.

There is weather forecast model agreement that Monday will be the warmest and driest day of the period with high temperatures approaching five degrees above average. More disagreement then emerges on how wet the next week will be as it will depend on how a storm moving across the Gulf of Alaska evolves and whether it stays off the coast for a wetter week, similar to the European ECMWF or moves across the Canadian border for a drier week, similar to the American GFS. Be sure to stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I will discuss the evolution of the storm and the weather for the next work week.

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29 June 2020

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