Citizens for a Better Plan

Some precipitation chances to start the weekend

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Near record high temperatures of 89 F are already over Steamboat Springs under mostly sunny skies this Thursday mid afternoon. Moisture rotating around a ridge of high pressure centered over the Texas Panhandle should make it over our area by tonight with modest chances of precipitation on Friday and Saturday, along with cooler temperatures. But the hot and dry weather returns for Sunday and the beginning of following work week.

Troughs of low pressure are currently located over the Great Lakes, off the northern British Columbia coast and off the central California coast while a ridge of high pressure is centered over the Texas Panhandle. Additionally, hurricane Hilary is moving northward toward Baja and is expected to begin merging with the low pressure area off the California coast by the end of the weekend, bringing excessive rainfall first to southern California and then points north.

Hilary is forecast to rapidly weaken as it encounters the cold upwelling currents off the West Coast, though it may still retain tropical storm status as it makes landfall over southern California. That would be a rare feat as that last happened in 1939, and it would be the first tropical storm to hit Nevada if it maintains its strength and current projected track.

But our weather will be far more benign as all that excitement stays to our west. Monsoonal moisture caught up in the clockwise circulation around the Texas Panhandle ridge should be drawn over our area starting tonight, with afternoon and evening showers possible on Friday and Saturday.

The record high temperature of 90 F will be threatened today, though we will have to wait for the official temperature records of the weather station by the high school to be published. High temperatures will fall to around our average of 82 F on Friday and Saturday as afternoon clouds gather and bring modest chances of precipitation that will last into the night.

The high pressure ridge over the Texas Panhandle is forecast to move toward eastern Oklahoma by the end of the weekend and amplify over the Central Plains, cutting off our moisture supply and returning our high temperatures back to the upper eighties on a dry Sunday and mid eighties to start the work week.

There is hope for more moisture around or just after midweek as the merged former hurricane and California trough travel northward early in the work week and merge with another wave of low pressure forecast to cross the Gulf of Alaska. All of this should eventually nudge the Central Plains ridge of high pressure eastward, opening our door for another surge of monsoonal moisture from the south.

So enjoy another summer weekend and be sure to check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I’ll be discussing what right now appears to be good chances for precipitation starting around midweek.

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4 February 2024

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