Best chances for precipitation on Tuesday and next weekend

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Temperatures in the low eighties and mostly sunny skies are over the Steamboat Springs area early this Sunday afternoon. Average summertime weather for the Colorado High Country can be expected this week with thunderstorm chances best on Tuesday before decreasing for a couple of days starting midweek and then increasing again heading into next weekend.

A ridge of high pressure is currently sandwiched between vortexes of cold air over the Bering Sea and Hudson Bay and extends from the Gulf Coast through the Pacific Northwest. A couple of waves of energy and cool air moving eastward from the Bering Sea are forecast to move across the Canadian border through the upcoming week, grazing our area on Tuesday and again around mid-weekend.

Generally, monsoonal moisture is located in the southerly flow on the backside of the ridge of high pressure as winds follow a clockwise rotation around the high pressure center., helped along by any storms off the West Coast that reinforce the southerly flow. Storms forming in the persistent area of low pressure in the Bering Sea this summer have been traveling eastward along the Canadian border and deforming or displacing the ridge of high pressure over the U.S and concurrently shifting the monsoonal moisture plume eastward or westward.

The first wave of energy now moving eastward from the Bering Sea is forecast to cross north of the Vancouver coast on Monday and cross Montana on Tuesday. A pocket of dry air ahead of the storm will graze our area on Monday for a similar day to today, with high temperatures right around our 84 F average and a small chance of an afternoon or evening thunderstorm.

The weather gets more interesting on Tuesday as the Vancouver storm passes to our north and combines with a separate lobe of energy rotating around the ridge of high pressure. There should be more clouds around and a grazing cool front later in the day leading to several degrees of cooling and increasing storm chances in the afternoon and evening.

Storm chances significantly decrease for Wednesday and Thursday, with the cooler temperatures experienced on Tuesday hanging around on Wednesday as winds briefly turn to be from the west or northwest behind the front. But temperatures will rebound to above average on Thursday as the next storm from the Bering Sea is forecast to cross the Vancouver coast on Thursday and turn our winds to be from the southwest. This also opens the door to another surge of monsoonal moisture to start the weekend.

This storm is forecast to drag another cool front through our area around mid-weekend, with some drier air moving near our area, likely after the weekend. But that forecast can change, so stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss the next surge of monsoonal moisture and the likelihood of increasing precipitation chances for the upcoming weekend.

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18 May 2018

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