Good moisture arrives after hot and dry weekend

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Temperatures are right at our average of 84 F in Steamboat Springs under partly sunny skies this Thursday mid afternoon. What little moisture that is around today may produce some passing showers with more wind than rain, but will be replaced by dry air on Friday and temperatures approaching ninety degrees through the weekend. But a subtle pattern change starting at the end of the weekend promises good precipitation chances next week.

A flat ridge of high pressure currently sits over most of the U.S. while a storm in the Gulf of Alaska approaches the Vancouver area. Some afternoon thunderstorms have developed over the higher terrain of Colorado to our southwest, and along with the increased cloud cover we may see some passing showers with more wind than rain later today and this evening.

The storm near Vancouver is forecast to loiter near the coast through most of the weekend before being forced eastward early next week by incoming Pacific energy. What little moisture that has been around our area these last few days will replaced with dry air currently extending westward from Nevada as winds ahead of the Vancouver storm carry hot air northward and amplify the ridge of high pressure over the length of the Rocky Mountains.

So look for mostly sunny skies starting on Friday and lasting through much of the weekend. High temperatures will rise again to around ninety degrees, though the drier air will allow nighttime temperatures to fall back to around our pleasantly cool average of 47 F.

But a favorable pattern change is promised starting at the end of the weekend as that now eastward moving Vancouver storm disrupts the ridge of high pressure over the Rockies. While most of the ridge stays put, a high pressure cell from the southern end of the ridge is dislodged eastward towards Oklahoma. As winds spin clockwise around the high pressure cell, winds from the south on the backside of the ridge will carry moisture northward and over our area in a classic North American Monsoon pattern.

Clouds will be on the increase later Sunday with a small chance of showers late in the day and overnight, with significant moisture and great precipitation chances currently advertised from Monday through midweek.

So enjoy the hot and dry summer days ahead with its cool nights, and I’ll be back with more details on what is looking like a healthy monsoonal pattern in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

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30 April 2022

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