Near record cold to start the work week

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Temperatures have reached ten degrees in the town of Steamboat Springs and seven degrees near the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort under mostly sunny skies this Sunday mid-morning. The cold will stick around for today and Monday with high temperatures in town approaching record low values only in the twenties along with a chance of light snow from Sunday night through Monday. A mostly sunny day Tuesday will begin a warming trend that will extend into Thursday ahead of our next spring snowstorm for the end of the work week.

A broad area of low pressure with Siberian origins is currently extending from coast to coast with another cold storm moving southward along the British Columbia coast. A circulation center currently located over Idaho is forecast to move over our area on Monday, bringing another push of unseasonably cold air and the chance for light snow showers from Sunday night through the day Monday that could leave 1-4” of snowfall at mid-mountain by Monday afternoon.

Incidentally, It appears we have the best chance of breaking the record on Monday for the coldest high temperature of 27 F set in 1931 behind the last cold front in this series, and if it makes you feel any warmer the record for the highest temperature on that day was a scorching 70 F set in 1897!

The British Columbia storm is forecast to form an eddy and travel southward along the West Coast through the work work, forcing a ridge of high pressure to form over the Intermountain West thanks to winds from the southwest bringing warm and dry air northward. But before we see that warming, clearing skies, fresh snow cover and light winds will allow low temperatures on Tuesday to likely fall below zero for the coldest morning of the week, around 25 degrees below our average of 22 F. And again, if it makes you feel any warmer, the record low temperature on Tuesday was -20 F set in 1975, and shockingly, the high temperature was only 12 F, also set in 1975!

Thanks to the high late-March sun angle, temperatures will recover into the thirties on a sunny Tuesday and forties on Wednesday, which will still be below our average of 49 F. Meanwhile, that West Coast storm is forecast to reach southern California on Wednesday before turning east as the eddy rejoins the jet stream by Thursday.

There may be some passing clouds on Wednesday and to start Thursday before the snow flies again to end the work week as that West Coast storm moves overhead. There is some uncertainty in the timing, with the more consistent European ECMWF bringing the bulk of the significant accumulations between Thursday and Friday nights.

Be sure to check back Thursday afternoon where I’ll have some snowfall guesses for our next spring snowstorm and discuss what is currently looking like a nice weekend in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative.

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30 April 2022

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