Quintessential Colorado fall weekend ahead

Thursday, September 21, 2023

The cloudy morning skies have cleared this Thursday mid afternoon in Steamboat Springs with temperatures right around seventy degrees along with breezy winds from the southwest. The breezes will continue on Friday ahead of a mostly dry cold front later in the day that will bring sub freezing low temperatures to the Yampa Valley floor this weekend. But sunny skies will prevail and after a noticeably cool Saturday, which is entirely appropriate for the first day of fall, high temperatures will warm for Sunday and the following work week.

An eddy of low pressure currently located over the Oregon and Nevada borders is forecast to travel though Idaho tomorrow and Wyoming on Saturday. An older eddy of low pressure that was off the California coast earlier in the week has slingshot around the Oregon eddy and moved overhead this morning, bringing the cloudy skies and gusty winds.

The skies have cleared behind that piece of energy, and as the Oregon eddy moves eastward, a dry cold front will be dragged through our area late Friday afternoon or evening. The temperatures are cold enough for snow around and above mid mountain, but the best yet still meager moisture is located to our north, which is where the best chance for snowflakes will occur above elevations of 8000′.

Clouds associated with and behind the front are forecast to clear by Saturday morning, starting the first day of fall with likely sub freezing temperatures as the autumnal equinox occurs at 12:50 am Saturday. The equinox occurs when the sun moves southward across the equator and marks the astronomical beginning of the fall season. It is also when our amount of daylight is decreasing most rapidly, and we are currently losing two minutes and thirty nine seconds of that a day, though that pace will gradually decrease through the winter solstice in December.

Despite sunny skies, high temperatures should only rise to the low sixties on Saturday, almost ten degrees below our average of 71 F. Another similarly cold Sunday morning follows with low temperatures around five degrees below our average of 33 F, and perhaps more than that in the favored low lying areas around the river drainages.

But a building ridge of high pressure brings continued sunny skies and warming temperatures back toward average on Sunday and even the mid seventies for the start of the work week. So enjoy what will be a quintessential Colorado fall weekend as the colors have started to appear, and check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I’ll look at how long this beautiful weather will last.

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31 May 2021

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