Hot and dry days ahead

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Temperatures are currently in the mid seventies in Steamboat Springs under mostly sunny skies early this Sunday afternoon. Mid summer like heat is returning to the Yampa Valley for most of the work week, and though some moisture may trickle overhead starting midweek, any meaningful chances for precipitation will hold off until the start of the weekend.

Ridges of high pressure are currently centered over the Pacific Northwest coast and Texas with a trough of low pressure stubbornly located off the southern coast of California. Some moisture has been present the last few days as southerly winds between the low pressure off Califonia and the high pressure over Texas brought monsoonal moisture northward, but our area was too far north to see any more than clouds, sparse raindrops and gusty winds.

A separate area of low pressure is currently located over the Dakotas, and northerly winds behind the trailing cool front has shunted most of the moisture over our area south, leading to a dry day today with gusty afternoon winds from the north and northwest and pleasant high temperatures around eighty degrees.

This low pressure is forecast to travel into the Ohio River Valley through the early part of the work week, forcing the Texas ridge of high pressure back westward to the Four Corners by midweek. So look for mid summer like heat to envelope Colorado through most of the work week, bringing high temperatures to the low eighties on Monday and mid to upper eighties on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, almost five degrees above our average of 82 F.

Some moisture may lurk underneath the ridge of high pressure near and mostly south of our area on Wednesday and Thursday, though any meaningful chances for precipitation will have to wait for the end of the work week. Longer range weather forecast models agree that a low pressure area currently over the Aleutian Islands will weaken as it approaches the Vancouver coast around Friday, and push the ridge of high pressure over the Four Corners back east toward Texas.

Combined with the low pressure area still loitering off the coast of southern California, winds from the south or southwest should carry another healthy monsoonal surge of moisture toward our area by the start of the weekend.

There is also a tropical weather system forecast to move toward Baja by the end of the work week, and some moisture from that may be routed towards our area, though there is considerable weather forecast model disagreement on the track of that disturbance, especially later in the weekend.

So soak up the mid summer heat, and I’ll be back with my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss the possible return of moisture to the Yampa Valley for the weekend.

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1 April 2018

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