The Spring Break ends Tuesday

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Temperatures in the Steamboat Springs area range from the low forties near the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort and high forties in town under mostly sunny skies this Sunday noon. We may see temperatures in town breaching the sixty degree mark today as our spring weather break continues, and almost that on Monday before temperatures plummet as a complex storm brings wintry weather back to our area for the rest of the work week.

A large storm that passed through the Gulf of Alaska last night has split, with the majority of the storm diving south and forming an eddy just now off the coast of California. The storm is forecast to move across California on Monday and begin affecting our area by Monday night with rain showers at the lower elevations and snow showers at the higher elevations. It looks like we will sneak in another springtime day on Monday ahead of the storm, but after seeing high temperatures fifteen to twenty degrees above our average of 46 F, high temperature five to ten degrees below average starting on Tuesday and lasting through the work week will be a shock.

We may see an inch or two of accumulations at mid-mountain by the Tuesday morning ski report, but snows should pick up during the day and overnight as some of the northern part of the storm re-integrates with the southern portion of the storm and brings cool, moist and unstable flow from our favorable northwest direction. And while all snow is expected at mid-mountain, town may see liquid precipitation during the day Tuesday before snowflakes appear overnight. We could see another 3-6” at mid-mountain by the Wednesday morning report.

Wednesday should be another cool and showery day with peeks of sun, with an additional 1-4” of snowfall at mid-mountain that would be reported on Thursday morning. We may see some partial clearing on Thursday before the next storm that is forecast to cross the Vancouver coast on Wednesday brings another round of snowfall from Thursday afternoon through the night and into some of Friday.

Enjoy the last couple of warm and springlike days ahead of the return of wintry weather on Tuesday, and I’ll be back with my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon to discuss how much snow we may see out of the Thursday night storm and the possibility of an additional storm sometime during the following weekend or soon after.

Spring Fever over Steamboat Springs through the weekend

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Temperatures are in the mid-thirties in the town of Steamboat Springs this Thursday noon under sunny skies, on their way to the mid-forties. Continued mostly sunny skies and steadily increasing temperatures are forecast through the weekend, likely reaching and perhaps exceeding the vaunted sixty degree mark by Sunday. Enjoy the beautiful weather as unsettled conditions are forecast to return to our area around Tuesday.

Thanks to a ridge of high pressure ahead of a storm currently developing in the Gulf of Alaska, the weather will be easy to forecast through the weekend, for a change. Lots of sun and steadily warming temperatures are in our immediate future, rising five to ten degrees on Saturday and that again on Sunday from our average high temperature of 45 F that we will see today. That means a six will likely be in front of our high temperatures on Sunday!

The Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to approach the West Coast this weekend and undergo some sort of split, though weather forecast models are struggling with the evolution of the storm as it crosses the West Coast late in the weekend. It looks like we will sneak in another springlike day on Monday, though we may see some increasing clouds and breezy winds from the southwest ahead of the approaching storm.

Unsettled weather is advertised starting around Tuesday and should last for a couple of days, and perhaps be followed by a trailing storm later in the week. Get out and enjoy the gorgeous spring weather this weekend, and I’ll be back discussing our next storm system in my regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Modest storm to start spring

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid-forties are over the town of Steamboat Springs on this Sunday, the first day of spring. The clouds are in advance of a modest storm tonight, with cool and unsettled weather persisting through Tuesday. Temperatures will begin warming on Wednesday under mostly sunny skies and approach fifty degrees on Thursday. The warming trend will continue into next weekend except for possibly Friday when a grazing cool front may be close enough to bring some light showers.

Currently, a trough of low pressure extending from British Columbia to the Baja peninsula is moving through the Great Basin after splitting as it crossed the West Coast last night. While the southern end is forecast to further intensify and form an eddy in New Mexico as it ingest moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, we will see a cold front associated with the northern end of the storm pass through our area overnight. Some light showers will break out this evening ahead of the cold front, with precipitation of the liquid variety at the lower elevations. Snowfall should be heaviest along and behind the front around or after midnight, with 3-6” expected at mid-mountain by the Monday morning Steamboat ski resort.

Light snow showers will hold on through the rest of a cool Monday, with another inch or two of accumulations possible. There may be a small break in the unsettled weather early Tuesday before a reinforcing wave of cold air and moisture restart snow showers from about noon on Tuesday into the evening, with several more inches of snowfall possible.

Meanwhile, the southerly flow ahead of strong storm currently developing near the Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska will bring much warmer and sunny weather to our area on Wednesday and Thursday. Some energy moving through the upstream storm may briefly graze our area on Friday for some cooler temperatures, clouds and possibly showers before the ridge of high pressure rebuilds overhead for what is looking like a beautiful start to the weekend.

So stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss the end-of-week weather and the possibility of that Gulf of Alaska storm moving through our area around the beginning of the following work week.

Spring weekend followed by early week winter storm

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Temperatures are in the mid-thirties in the town of Steamboat Springs and mid-teens near the top of Mt. Werner this Thursday mid-afternoon with peeks of sun between passing snow showers. Mostly sunny skies and warming temperatures are forecast for a nice spring weekend before clouds encroach later Sunday ahead of our next winter storm that is forecast to start around Sunday night.

The Steamboat Ski Resort reported 6” at mid-mountain and 7” up top early this Thursday morning, with snowfall starting early Wednesday. Interestingly, the Steamboat Powdercam showed that 5” of snow fell during the day and 5” overnight, though that 10” total settled to 7” by the 5 am report. While the Steamboat Ski Area is not usually favored with the upper-level flow from southwest that occurred yesterday, the atmosphere was more unstable than I anticipated in my last Sunday weather narrative and produced good snowfall rates through the day and night Wednesday.

Snow showers will continue through this evening, with snowfall amounts of around a half inch or inch per shower, so I still think that 1-4” is likely by the Friday morning report. But the weather will turn sunnier and warmer for Friday and the weekend as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West behind the departing storm and the next storm, which is currently located over the Aleutian Islands.

A minor wave of moisture is forecast to pass through the building ridge of high pressure later Friday afternoon and overnight, but expect only increasing cloudiness as this feature moves through the area. Otherwise, expect mostly sunny skies with high temperatures about five degrees below our average of 43 F on Friday, increasing around five degrees for Saturday and another five degrees for Sunday, which incidentally marks the vernal equinox, or the first day of astronomical spring, when the sun crosses the equator into the Northern Hemisphere at 9:33 am local time.

Meanwhile, the Aleutian Island storm is forecast to cross the West Coat on Saturday and then elongate to the south as it crosses the Great Basin on Sunday. So while Sunday is expected to start sunny, clouds will increase later in the day ahead of the storm which should begin snows over our area by Sunday night.

The storm is predicted to evolve in a complex manner, with the southern part of the storm intensifying to our south and forming an eddy as it ingest moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, it looks like our best snows will be from the initial part of the storm from Sunday night into Monday morning, with unsettled weather hanging on through Tuesday. Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I’ll have more details on the storm as well as some snowfall guesses.

Roller coaster weather week ahead

Sunday, March 13, 2022

After a beautiful Sunday morning in Steamboat Springs with nary a cloud in sight, skies have clouded over and snows have just started late this afternoon. Even though snowfall is likely to become moderate to heavy at times by this evening, the storm is quick-moving and only modest amounts of snowfall are expected by Monday morning. Tuesday should be a beautiful springlike day ahead of a couple of days of unsettled weather for Wednesday and Thursday, with nice weather returning as we head into next weekend.

A storm currently on our doorstep and another in the Gulf of Alaska are lined up to affect our weather this week. The current storm is moving through Utah and has already left 6” of snow at the Alta ski area. Light snows started in Steamboat Springs just before 5 pm, and we should see moderate to sometime heavy snow showers peaking this evening.

While we will see a period of favorable cold, moist and unstable northwest flow on the backside of the storm after midnight, the storm is splitting as it moves over Colorado which will limit additional snowfall. We could see 4-8” of snowfall at mid-mountain by the Monday morning ski report, with accumulating snowfall quickly ending by sunrise. And while snow showers may hold on for some of the morning at the higher elevations, the sun should return for the afternoon, and perhaps during the morning in the valley.

Meanwhile, a ridge of high pressure is forecast to build ahead of the eastward-moving Gulf of Alaska storm, returning warm and sunny weather to our area on Tuesday. That storm is forecast to weaken as it crosses the Pacific Northwest coast on Tuesday and brings the possibility of snows back to our area on Wednesday and Thursday as it moves overhead.

There is uncertainty in exactly how the storm weakens and how much cool air from the northern latitudes is drawn into the storm, but right now it looks like the the first part of the storm will be Wednesday and Wednesday night under relatively warm temperatures, with a lull early Thursday followed by the cooler part of the storm Thursday afternoon and night. My snowfall guess at this time is 1-4” from each part of the storm before we see clearing skies on a cool Friday morning and the likely return of sunshine.

As I did last week, if the midweek storm looks like it is evolving into something bigger than forecast here, I’ll post an update Tuesday afternoon. Otherwise, I’ll be back Thursday afternoon with my regularly scheduled weather narrative to discuss the next possibly significant storm soon after what looks like a mostly nice weekend.

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21 May 2021

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