Cool temperatures to persist this weekend under sunnier skies

Thursday, November 10, 2022

A cold and cloudy day is over the Steamboat Springs area late this Thursday afternoon after almost two inches of snow fell on my deck near the base of the Steamboat Ski Resort last night Some light and non-accumulating snow showers will end tonight with Veterans Day tomorrow starting and staying cold, though the sun should be returning in the afternoon as skies clear. And clearing skies mean an even colder Saturday morning, though plenty of sunshine will allow temperatures to warm around ten degrees. Sunday will be similar with the morning not quite as cold, and we may see some increasing clouds later in the day thanks to a grazing weather disturbance.

A deep trough of low pressure currently over the West has brought some impressive snowfall totals to the western ski resorts, with three day totals as high as four to six feet at Mammoth and two day totals around half that at neighboring resorts in Utah. Snow reports in Colorado were disappointingly modest, and I only saw 3” on Steamboat’s mid-mountain powdercam. Snowfall in the warm sector of the storm when winds are out of the southwest is always iffy for our area, regardless of what the short-term weather forecast models say, and the drying atmosphere behind the cold front yesterday afternoon limited what is usually a productive period of snowfall on the backside of the storm.

One thing the weather forecast models got right is the cold air, with high temperatures today only reaching 27 F, almost twenty degrees below our average of 45 F. And the cold air is going to stick around for a while, with low temperatures tonight dipping five to ten degrees below our average of 19 F.

While Veterans Day will dawn cold and cloudy, we should see decreasing clouds through the day, and the appearance of sun will make it feel warmer than it is, as high temperatures are expected to be similar to today.

But the clearing skies will allow for even colder Saturday morning as the combination of new snow, dry skies and light winds allow the surface to efficiently radiate heat to space, dropping temperatures toward the zero degree mark, especially in the coldest low-lying areas.

A transient ridge of high pressure is then forecast to build overhead behind the departing storm and ahead of a dry and weak storm forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast on Friday night. So we should see mostly sunny skies on Saturday, with high temperatures jumping up into the high thirties. Low temperatures should warm by a little more than five degrees on Sunday, though high temperatures will be similar to Saturday as we see increasing clouds ahead of the weak Pacific Northwest storm.

That storm is forecast to move through the Great Basin on Sunday after incorporating some cool air from the Canadian Plains and move across the Desert Southwest early in the work week as it is pushed along by another upstream Pacific storm of uncertain strength. So we should see a drop in high temperatures on Monday back toward freezing with more cloudiness as the storm grazes our area.

Though there is some weather forecast disagreement on the strength and track of the next storm for Tuesday, there is agreement that the cold temperatures will stick around along with the possibility of some snow. Amounts look light at this time, but stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I’ll discuss that storm as well as the possibility of another cold storm around the end of the work week.

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18 May 2018

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