Seasonable fall weather ahead

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Partly sunny skies and moderately breezy winds with temperatures right at sixty degrees are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday mid-afternoon. The weather forecast for this weekend does not change much save for a weak cool front on Saturday that may bring some increased breezes and clouds, but do little to affect our temperatures.

The persistent ridge of high pressure over the West is still being anchored between areas of low pressure over eastern North America and the eastern Pacific. Additionally, an eddy cut off from the jet stream is spinning just off the coast of southern California.

Our breezy weather is due to the proximity of the jet stream which represents the boundary between warm and cold air; in our case the warm air over the West and the cold air over eastern North America. Since we have different air masses on either side of our area, neither will dominate so expect seasonable temperatures within five degrees of our average high of 60 F and average low of 27 F through the weekend.

A small Pacific disturbance currently traveling over the top of the ridge is forecast to mix with some cold air associated with vortex of low pressure currently centered just north of the Great Lakes and bring a cool front through our area on Saturday. Initially it looked like a grazing cool front, but in an odd atmospheric dance, the energy associated with the southern end of that cool front now looks to move westward and encourage the California eddy to move across the Desert Southwest through the weekend and early next week.

So while we will see increased clouds on Saturday that may last into Sunday morning, not much change is forecast for the temperatures or breezes. There is a chance that clouds could hang around through noon on Sunday depending upon the interaction between the eddy and cool front, though any precipitation is currently forecast to be confined to our east and more so south.

The ridge of high pressure is forecast to move eastward through the following work week for more mostly sunny skies and temperatures a bit above average. The fate of the ridge of high pressure by the end of the work week is uncertain at this time, with the nice fall weather continuing if the ridge stays intact and a possibly stormy pattern change if the ridge breaks down. I hope to know more about that in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Winds pick up ahead of mostly dry cold front Tuesday night

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Another spectacular fall day is over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday afternoon with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties. Similar weather is expected for Columbus Day, but with afternoon breezes from the west, before a mostly dry cold front is forecast Tuesday night. Look for winds to increase during the day with a small chance of rain showers at the lower elevations and snow showers at the higher elevations in the afternoon and evening before the atmosphere quickly dries after midnight behind the cold front. More sunny weather with seasonable temperatures is forecast for the rest of the work week.

As has been the case recently, two deep and cold areas of low pressure over the eastern Pacific and Hudson Bay sandwich a ridge of high pressure over the West Coast. A wave of energy currently moving through the Aleutian Islands is forecast to cross the British Columbia coast Monday afternoon before moving through Idaho on Tuesday and bringing a cold front through our area Tuesday evening.

While tomorrow will be similar to today, but with some breezes from the west, the winds will pick up on Tuesday with gusts over 30 mph by the afternoon as we see meager chances for rain shower below 10,000′ and snow showers above in the afternoon and evening. The snow level will drop during the evening and reach as low as 8000′ by Wednesday morning, though the atmosphere quickly dries behind the front so no precipitation is expected after midnight. There may be snowflakes in the evening as low as mid-mountain, which you can monitor at the Steamboat mid-mountain powdercam, though accumulations at all elevations currently look unlikely.

The ridge of high pressure over the West Coast quickly rebuilds behind the departing storm, so look for lots of sun and seasonable temperatures within five degrees of our average high of 61 F and average low of 28 F through the rest of the work week.

The weather forecast models agree that dry weather will persist into next weekend, though we may be susceptible to a grazing cool front as waves of energy travel down the east side of the ridge of high pressure. So enjoy the mostly sunny days and cool nights, except for the brief interruption in our stellar weather on Tuesday, and I’ll be back with my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon.

Brilliant fall days ahead

Thursday, October 6, 2022

A spectacular fall day with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties is over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday afternoon. More warm sunny days and crisp clear nights are forecast through the long Columbus Day weekend which will provide excellent viewing of the late-arriving but still vibrant fall colors around north central Colorado.

A ridge of high pressure over the West Coast is currently sandwiched between two large areas of low pressure extending southward from the Gulf of Alaska and Hudson Bay. Additionally, an eddy has cut off from our past weekend storm and taken up residence over Baja with no effect on our weather.

The dry air associated with the ridge of high pressure is bringing lots of sunshine which is allowing high temperatures to reach into the mid and upper sixties today, about five degrees above our average of 63 F. The clear skies will also allow for cool morning low temperatures right around our average of 28 F.

A wave traveling down the east side of the ridge looks to bring a cool front to the Front Range on Friday, though current forecasts have most of the cold air staying east of the Divide, so similar weather is forecast for our area tomorrow, with temperatures cooling by several degrees.

A dry wave ejected from the Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to move through the ridge of high pressure and drop south along the West Coast on Sunday. The wave is forecast to eject that Baja eddy northeastward across New Mexico early in the work week while taking its place, though both of those features will be too far away to affect our weather through early next week.

So continued warm days and cool nights are forecast through Sunday and Columbus Day before there may be a pattern change for our area around midweek, thanks to some Pacific energy traveling through the Aleutian Islands and the northern Gulf of Alaska. However, there is a lot of uncertainty on how much of that energy and cool air we eventually see, with hopes for a significant storm for our area fading the last several cycles of the weather forecast models. So enjoy a spectacular weekend of quintessential Colorado fall weather and color, and I’ll have be back with my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Shower chances persist today and Monday before a dry work week

Sunday, October 2, 2022

After some light rain around sunrise, a mix of sun and clouds is over the Steamboat Springs area with temperatures around fifty degrees this Sunday mid-morning, on their way to the mid-sixties. But the sun will heat the unstable atmosphere so showers will persist today and this evening. Temperatures will be a bit cooler on Monday with less of a chance of showers before dry weather and seasonable temperatures dominate most of the rest of the work week.

The recent wet weather which brought about a half inch of rain to the area on Friday and another fifteen hundredths yesterday is being caused by waves of energy pinwheeling around a slow-moving eddy currently over Montana. Steamboat Powdercam at the top of Sunshine Peak at 10,384′This also produced a brief period of quickly-melting snowfall at the top of Sunshine Peak as shown by a snapshot from the Steamboat Powdercam taken at 11 am Saturday morning. Most of the eddy is forecast to rejoin the jet stream later Monday, but not before bringing several more rounds of showers to our area later today and this evening.

Cooler air behind the departing storm will overspread the area on Monday with high temperatures in the low sixties, a couple degrees below our average of 64 F. While we will still see the chance of showers on Monday, they should be less widespread than the last several days.

A ridge of high pressure is forecast to build over the West behind the bulk of the departing storm as southerly winds ahead of a deep area of low pressure extending southward from the Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska bring warm air northward. A small piece of the departing storm is forecast to be left behind and migrate to the Desert Southwest during the work week, and that may be a player in our weather for next weekend.

Otherwise, look for mostly sunny skies starting Tuesday and lasting through most of the work week with high temperatures in the mid-sixties and low temperatures around our average of 29 F. Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss a grazing cold front on Friday and the possible return of subtropical moisture for around next weekend.

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23 February 2021

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