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. 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.
Thursday, September 29, 2022
Temperatures have dropped from the upper sixties earlier this Thursday afternoon to around sixty degrees late this afternoon as several rounds of showers passed through the Steamboat Springs area. This is in advance of a cold front expected Friday morning that will be accompanied by widespread showers and periods of steady rain that will last through the day and into Saturday morning, with some snow above treeline. While Friday will see the bulk of the accumulating moisture, showers may continue through Saturday and possibly on Sunday depending upon the path of the approaching storm.
While Hurricane Ian is affecting the Southeast, an area of low pressure currently crossing the Pacific Northwest is forecast to form an eddy over Idaho tomorrow that will wobble around for a couple of days before eventually moving into Montana and rejoining the jet stream. Our weather will be very dependent upon the wobbles of the eddy and how quickly dry air on the backside of the storm makes it into our neck of the woods.
Unfortunately this makes for an uncertain forecast for even just two days ahead, though most of the accumulating precipitation looks to occur from Friday night into Saturday morning. High temperatures will certainly fall from what we enjoyed the last several days into the mid-sixties which is right at our average of 66 F. Low temperatures on the other hand will be elevated due to the insulating effects of cloud cover and will stay above our average of 30 F.
The movement of the eddy may be dependent upon the eventual track of the remains of Ian which is expected to turn inland toward the Ohio River Valley by mid-weekend, but the track of hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable. So I would say be prepared for unsettled weather this weekend that likely extends into Monday, but keep an eye outside and on the local satellite and radar movies from SnowAlarm to make your outdoor plans.
It does look like the weather warms and dries for most of the following work week, but be sure to check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss that forecast in more detail.
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Another gorgeous fall day is over the Steamboat Springs area with cloudless skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties early this Sunday afternoon, on their way to the seventies. More of the same is expected through midweek before moisture increases and shower chances return on Thursday ahead of a Pacific weather disturbance currently forecast for the end of the work week.
An expansive ridge of high pressure currently over the West is sandwiched between two impressively deep and cold low pressure areas with one extending southward through the Aleutian Islands and another southward through Hudson Bay. And not that it will affect our weather, but Tropical Storm Ian currently south of western Cuba is forecast to become a hurricane by Monday and make landfall as a strong storm somewhere around the eastern Gulf Coast or Florida after midweek.
The Aleutian storm is forecast to move eastward early in the work week and split as the southern end moves through the Pacific Northwest around midweek. We will eventually see the influence of the southern piece of the storm, but not before several more spectacular fall days grace our area on Monday and Tuesday, and likely Wednesday, with high temperatures in the mid-seventies, over five degrees above our average of 69 F and low temperatures around or above freezing, a bit above our average low of 31 F.
There is weather forecast model disagreement on how much energy is partitioned into the Pacific Northwest storm and how much moves eastward across Canada, but they agree that the southerly flow ahead of the storm will combine with the clockwise circulation around the high pressure to increase moisture over our area by later Wednesday and Thursday in a monsoon-like pattern. So there should be some chance of showers on Thursday ahead of a better chance on Friday when the cold front is expected to pass through.
The weekend forecast is very uncertain as the European ECMWF forecasts the storm to shear and keeps unsettled weather around, while the American GFS quickly moves the storm through the area for a nice weekend. So check back on Thursday afternoon for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative when these differences should be resolved in time for a more certain weekend weather forecast.
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Temperatures in the low sixties and periods of sun and clouds are over the Steamboat Springs area early this Thursday afternoon. After occasional showers this afternoon and evening behind the departing weather disturbance that is skirting our area, Friday will certainly feel like the first day of fall as sunny skies return and temperatures stay in the upper sixties. Continued sunny days with temperatures warming into the low seventies are forecast for the rest of the weekend and into next week.
The storm responsible for the recent wet weather is currently moving through Montana after bringing about three tenths of an inch of rainfall around town as of 7 am this morning and an additional tenth of an inch after that. Winds have picked up today with gusts up to 20 mph out of the west as the storm moves eastward and drier air begins to move overhead, though additional showers are expected this afternoon and evening ahead of and along a cool front this evening.
Skies will continue to dry after the autumnal equinox arrives at 7:03 pm this evening, which is when the sun moves southward across the equator and marks the astronomical beginning of the fall season. Winds will remain breezy for one more day tomorrow out of the northwest, and although we will see plenty of sunshine, temperatures will be similar to today with highs right around our average of 69 F.
Winds will relax after Friday as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West, with very dry air leading to brilliant sunny skies and high temperatures in the seventies, along with cool nights with low temperatures around freezing, which is right at our average.
This quintessential Colorado fall weather is forecast to continue into the next work week before we may see some moisture return around midweek ahead of a possible Pacific weather disturbance. So enjoy the beautiful first weekend of fall, and check back for updates in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, September 18, 2022
A stunning day is over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday morning with cloudless skies and temperatures around fifty degrees, after low temperatures this morning reached the upper thirties. Temperatures will warm into the upper seventies through Tuesday before wet weather returns by midweek.
Before the beautiful and dry weather started today, impressive rainfall fell over the Steamboat Springs area for four days starting last Wednesday, thanks to the moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Kay and several waves of energy from the Pacific. It appears that the mountain area received more rain than areas downtown, with observations indicating around 1.2” of rain near the mountain and 0.7” downtown. Additionally, 3 frames from the Steamboat Powdercam from Friday morning at 8:20 am, 8:40 am and 9:00 am show what appears to be a dusting of snow near the top of Storm Peak in the upper left of the snapshots quickly melting.
But now, a large eddy that has recently cut off from the main jet stream is spinning just off the West Coast while a ridge of high pressure is building over Texas. Warm and dry winds from the southwest will bring plenty of sunshine and allow high temperatures to reach the upper seventies today and tickle eighty degrees on Monday, which is almost ten degrees above our rapidly declining average high of 71 F.
Part of a large storm currently in the Bering Sea is forecast to move eastward early in the work week and nudge the West Coast eddy inland, bringing a surge of monsoonal-like moisture over our area by midweek. Clouds should be increasing Tuesday during another warm day in the upper seventies ahead of showers later in the day caused by a grazing storm to our north.
By Wednesday, the eddy is forecast to move into the Pacific Northwest and join the jet stream before moving into Montana on Thursday. Over our area, energy ejecting out of the eddy will conspire with both the subtropical monsoon moisture and the grazing cool front to create periods of moderate to heavy rainfall during the day Wednesday and overnight.
Showers might hang on into Thursday, but be less widespread and intense compared to Wednesday. And right now, a ridge of high pressure is forecast to build over the West behind what is left of the departing eddy for the weekend. But stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather forecast on Thursday afternoon to see if that forecasts holds steady.