Pleasant and seasonable week of weather ahead

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid-sixties are over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday mid-afternoon. A pleasant week of normal spring weather, for a change, is forecast to be over our area with high temperatures warming from the upper sixties to start the work week to just above seventy degrees heading into next weekend. A chance of afternoon and evening showers will be possible on most days, with those chances reduced on Tuesday and Wednesday.

An expansive ridge of high pressure that currently extends from the Gulf of Alaska to the Great Lakes has trapped an eddy that has circuitously traveled first eastward across the Desert Southwest, then northward along the eastern Colorado border and then back westward across the Great Basin. The eddy has only traveled half of what will eventually be a giant ‘S’, starting from the bottom left, with the upper half of the ‘S’ forecast to be traced out this week as the eddy moves from its current position near Oregon back east as it rides through the ridge of high pressure.

The southerly to southeasterly winds on the east side of the eddy has kept moisture from the south over our area, with afternoon shower chances for Mother’s Day today and Monday. High temperatures should be within several degrees of our average of 65 F with a degree or two of warming for Monday.

By then, the eddy is forecast to shear apart as it rejoins the jet stream on the west side of the ridge of high pressure, with the eastern part of the eddy moving back toward our area after midweek. Light winds will shift to be from the west on Tuesday and Wednesday as the eddy regains its normal eastward movement and brings drier air overhead, decreasing shower chances and raising high temperatures close to seventy degrees.

As the eddy moves near our area on Thursday, it may mix with a wave of energy moving southward along the eastern side of the ridge of high pressure centered in Canada. Additionally, a storm in the eastern Pacific that brought the warm air from the subtropics northward and directly caused the ridge of high pressure over western Canada to build is forecast to eject some energy eastward that will eventually form an eddy that settles over the Desert Southwest by midweek.

The counterclockwise circulation around the eddy will once again carry moisture from the south over Colorado, and this will combine with the disturbances just to our north to increase afternoon and evening shower chances for the end of the work week.

Right now, those storms to our north are forecast to clear the area for the weekend, with temperatures warming into the low seventies along with decreasing afternoon and evening shower chances. But there will still be the loitering Desert Southwest eddy that may eventually carry more moisture over our area for increasing storm chances at some point. So be sure to check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where the weather for next weekend will be in sharper focus.

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26 April 2023

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