Cold fronts to end the heatwave this weekend
Thursday, September 8, 2022
Another hot day is over the Steamboat Springs area with temperatures in the upper eighties under mostly sunny skies. Today will mark the last day of such warm temperatures as a couple of cold fronts move through the area tonight and tomorrow night. We may see a small chance of showers tonight with the first front, but cooler temperatures will be the most noticeable effect as they drop to around eighty degrees tomorrow and the mid to low-seventies by Saturday before rebounding several degrees for Sunday.
An area of low pressure is currently deepening over the northern Intermountain West while northwestward moving Hurricane Kay is located over the Baja Peninsula. We will see one more day in this heatwave today before the persistent ridge of high pressure that brought the record breaking heat over parts of the West is temporarily squashed. While the official data for Steamboat Springs have not yet been published for this week, our neighbors in Hayden broke records on Sunday and Wednesday with temperatures reaching 94 F and tied records on Saturday and Tuesday with 92 F.
We have also seen smoke from wildfires burning to our west and northwest, and I have re-posted the air quality widget on the SnowAlarm homepage as well as providing access to the NOAA smoke plume model that I catalog four times a day. Unfortunately, that guidance keeps some of the smoke and haze around for the length of its 48 hour forecast.
The area of low pressure is forecast to have two main waves of energy and cool air rotating around it, with the first bringing a cold front through our area tonight and the second on Friday night. There may be a small chance of some showers ahead of the front later this evening through midnight or so, but Friday should be dry with high temperatures cooling to around 80 F, which is still around five degrees above our average high temperature of 76 F.
The second cold front moves through around Friday night and should finally bring high temperatures to several degrees below average on Saturday. Look for the coldest night of the season Saturday night with low temperatures approaching freezing, with some favored locations possibly reaching freezing.
After a cool start Sunday morning, temperatures should warm into the upper seventies as the ridge of high pressure tries to rebound overhead behind the departing low pressure area to our north.
I mentioned current Hurricane Kay earlier in this narrative since we may see some activity from the remnants as early as Monday night or Tuesday as it fragments around some incoming Pacific energy. There is a lot of uncertainty with respect to how much energy and moisture make it to northern Colorado, so stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon to see what weather we may see for next week.