Sunday, April 16, 2023
Temperatures are near thirty degrees in the town of Steamboat Springs and upper teens near the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort under bluebird skies this Sunday mid-morning. After the last two days of wintry weather, pleasant spring weather returns today for Closing Day and lasts until midweek when cool and unsettled weather returns.
While we spent the first part of the month in record territory for equivalent liquid water in the snowpack of the Yampa-White-Little Snake drainage basin as measured since 1986, the warm weather last week and above freezing temperatures at night at even the highest elevations caused 2.5” of liquid water to runoff, dropping us 3” below the record for this date, but still 141% of the median.
Currently, a transient ridge of high pressure is moving through the West ahead of a large storm churning in the Gulf of Alaska and behind our just-departed wintry storm. That storm boosted the reported-this-morning season totals to 448” at mid-mountain and 563” up top, despite the several inches of snow that fell yesterday morning and subsequently melted during the sunny afternoon.
The ridge of high pressure is forecast to be briefly centered over our region on Monday, making that the warmest day of the work week and raising our high temperatures from the low-fifties today to the upper-fifties under continued mostly sunny skies, several degrees above our average of 54 F.
Tuesday will be another warm day, however clouds will increase in the afternoon along with strong winds from the southwest ahead of the inland-moving Gulf of Alaska storm. The forecast evolution of the storm is still in flux as pieces of energy eject out ahead of the storm even as more cold air from Alaska pours into the backside of the storm.
Right now, it looks like a cold front will move through our area Tuesday night, bringing a period of unsettled weather lasting through the work week, along with much colder high temperatures around fifteen degrees below average, give or take five degrees. It will be cold enough for at least a rain-snow mix in town in the afternoon and snow overnight, though only several inches are expected through the work week. Of course, all snow is forecast for the hill, with initial amounts looking in the 3-6” range, though that could easily halve or double depending on how much storm energy and moisture eventually moves through our area.
A ridge of high pressure may briefly move overhead for part of the weekend for nicer weather, though there is weather forecast model disagreement both among themselves and each other as to exactly when that may happen. So enjoy the spring weather to start the work week and I’ll be back Thursday afternoon with my next regularly scheduled weather narrative with a look at the weekend weather.