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Temperatures to cool toward eighty degrees by Sunday

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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Temperatures reached the mid and upper eighties early this Thursday afternoon in Steamboat Springs, but have cooled a bit thanks to a passing shower near the Steamboat Ski Resort that left no measurable rain. Today will likely be the warmest day through the weekend while Sunday will likely be the coolest with high temperatures only reaching around eighty degrees. Shower chances are highest on Friday and decrease considerably for the weekend.

A stout ridge of high pressure extending from the Mexican Plateau through the Intermountain West toward the Arctic Circle is sandwiched between areas of low pressure over the Gulf of Alaska and Hudson Bay. None of these features will move much through the weekend, leaving our area under the influence of subtle features moving southward through the jet stream.

One such feature is a wave of energy currently moving through Montana that is forecast to graze our area on Friday. High temperatures will drop a few degrees toward the mid-eighties along with the best chance for showers through the weekend. However, moisture is limited, so generally only meager precipitation amounts are expected, but a localized thunderstorm could produce brief moderate to heavy rain along with gusty winds.

Slightly drier air behind the eave will bring a degree or two of cooling for Saturday even as slim afternoon and evening shower chances persist.

The Gulf of Alaska low pressure area is forecast to move across the Gulf of Alaska through the weekend, squeezing and amplifying the ridge of high pressure over the Intermountain West. Fortunately, our area will be on the eastern side of this ridge, allowing cool air from the north spinning around the Hudson Bay vortex to drop our high temperature on Sunday toward eighty degrees, almost five degrees below our average of 84 F and our first below-average day in almost two weeks.

There is dry air lurking underneath the ridge of high pressure centered to our west, and it is not clear yet if that will be close enough on Sunday for another day with only slim shower chances.

Not much change in the jet stream is forecast until later in the work week as the Gulf of Alaska storm makes landfall around Vancouver and pushes the ridge of high pressure eastward, perhaps opening the door to some monsoonal moisture from the southwest on the backside of the ridge. So enjoy the pleasant weekend, and check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon for more details about that possible pattern change.

Temperatures to moderate this week along with a chance of showers

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Sunday, July 14, 2024

A third straight ninety-degree day is only hours away as temperatures are already in the mid-eighties under mostly sunny skies early this Sunday afternoon in Steamboat Springs. Unlike the previous two days, building clouds to our south herald the arrival of some modest moisture that will bring a chance of showers today through Tuesday along with cooling temperatures. Those chances are reduced on Wednesday and Thursday before reappearing on Friday.

A storm on the Canadian Plains has squashed the ridge of high pressure over the West, but not enough to temper another ninety-degree day today. The flattened ridge has allowed light winds from the west to carry monsoonal moisture from Utah over our area, increasing the chance of afternoon and evening showers starting this afternoon and lasting through Tuesday.

While the rain from any showers today will likely evaporate in the dry lower atmosphere before reaching the ground, causing gusty winds, there is a better chance of raindrops hitting the ground on Monday and especially Tuesday as the lower atmosphere moistens. However, amounts will likely be fairly meager as the monsoonal moisture is recycled under the ridge of high pressure over the West.

Additionally, cool air rotating around the storm in Canada will graze our area through Tuesday, first dropping our high temperatures into the upper-eighties on Monday and then near our average of 84 F on Tuesday as the grazing cool front encourages stronger storms. Incidentally, that 84 F average represents our highest average summer temperature, and will be with us for the last two weeks of July and the first week of August.

By midweek, the Canadian storm is forecast to move over the Great Lakes and nudge the rebounding western ridge back to the west. This places our area in a drier northwest flow for Wednesday and Thursday, though afternoon and evening storms will still be possible. Better storm chances reappear for Friday as some energy ejecting out of a Gulf of Alaska storm passes through the ridge, with weather forecast models disagreeing on whether that moisture sticks around through the weekend.

So let’s hope for some rains this week, and I’ll have more details on the weekend forecast in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon.

Hot, hot, hot this weekend

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Thursday, July 11, 2024

Though some afternoon clouds are trying to temper the heat, temperatures are already in the upper-eighties under mostly sunny skies this Thursday mid-afternoon. And we can expect even warmer temperatures with a nine handle through the weekend for the hottest days of the summer so far.

A ridge of high pressure currently over the West is sandwiched between areas of low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska and the Great Lakes. A storm moving through the northern Canadian Plains will keep the ridge from amplifying further while nudging it eastward and toward our area this weekend.

The associated heat dome under the ridge means the hottest temperatures of the season so far will be with us this weekend, with high temperatures of ninety degrees or a bit more, almost ten degrees above our average of 83 F. But our daily records in the mid-nineties do not look to be challenged by this heat wave.

Mostly sunny mornings will accompany the heat, and after a mostly sunny Friday, there may be afternoon clouds around on Saturday with the slightest chance of an isolated shower as the intense heating of the ground lifts some meager moisture trapped under the ridge.

Thankfully, mostly clear skies will allow the overnight temperatures to drop to around fifty degrees, around five degrees above our average of 46 F.

More Pacific energy forecast to cross the British Columbia coast late in the weekend should nudge the West Coast ridge eastward on Sunday. Light winds from the south on the backside of the ridge are forecast to carry moisture pooling over the Mexican Plateau over our area by Sunday afternoon in a classic North American Monsoonal pattern, which usually gets going this time of year.

So we should see some more clouds and a slightly better chance for an isolated shower on Sunday, with those chances and coverage increasing to start the work week. Right now, the weather forecast models show only modest moisture through midweek before the West Coast ridge rebounds ahead of another Gulf of Alaska storm and cuts off the limited monsoonal moisture supply.

But subtle changes in the position of the ridge of high pressure over the West can change this forecast, and I’ll have the latest details in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Summer heat to overtake Steamboat Springs this workweek

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Sunday, July 7, 2024

Temperatures are approaching seventy degrees under cloudless late this Sunday morning in Steamboat Springs, on their way to the mid-seventies. Mostly sunny skies with occasional afternoon clouds will accompany rising temperatures through the workweek with upper-eighties expected by Thursday.

A ridge of high pressure is currently centered over the West Coast while dangerous storm Beryl intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico as it approaches the mid-Texas coast. A wave of energy traveling over the ridge will brush our area today with a cool front that will keep high temperatures in the delightful mid-seventies with some afternoon clouds and only the slightest chance of a shower, most likely to our north and east. Like yesterday, any precipitation will likely produce more wind than rain as the rain evaporates in the dry lower atmosphere and cools, forming virga and creating the associated gusty winds when the falling cool air hits the ground.

A large storm developing in the southern Gulf of Alaska is forecast to move eastward through the workweek, pushing the West Coast ridge eastward and toward our area. So look for mostly sunny skies and increasing temperatures, with highs reaching toward eighty degrees on Monday, low-eighties on Tuesday, right at our average of 83 F, mid-eighties on Wednesday and upper-eighties on Thursday.

And our cool crisp overnight low temperatures this past weekend five degrees or so below our average of 45 F will also rise, reaching toward fifty degrees by the end of the workweek as the hot air mass encroaches.

Weather forecast models are insistent we may see a bit of moisture peaking around midweek, possibly drawn from the south and east as small disturbances rotate through the east side of the ridge, with only some possible later-day clouds likely starting by Tuesday afternoon.

Even hotter weather is forecast for next weekend as the ridge of high pressure moves overhead, with the return of moisture from the south now not expected until late in the weekend or soon after. So enjoy the classic summertime weather and check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon for more details on when we may see a break from the heat and the return of significant moisture.

Gorgeous weather to continue through the weekend

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Thursday, July 4, 2024

Sunny skies and comfortable temperatures in the mid-sixties, on their way to the mid-seventies, are over Steamboat Springs this Independence Day. The gorgeous weather today will continue through the weekend along with breezy afternoons, especially on Saturday, and some clouds later Sunday.

This tranquil and very comfortable weather pattern is courtesy of dry and cool northwest flow over our area ahead of a building ridge of high pressure over the West Coast. After last month ended up as our fifteenth wettest June since 1893, with 2.86” of precipitation compared to our average of 1.58”, precipitation will be hard to come for at least a week as moisture from the south is cut off by the ridge of high pressure to our west.

So look for sunny days with comfortable high temperatures in the mid to upper-seventies, several degrees below our average of 82 F, and cool crisp nights with low temperatures several degrees below our average of 44 F.

A couple of weak waves traveling over the top of the West Coast ridge will brush our area over the weekend, with the first bringing increased afternoon breezes Saturday afternoon and the second bringing clouds by Sunday afternoon with only the slightest chance of precipitation.

The West Coast ridge is forecast to move slowly inland next week with temperatures slowly increasing toward average by Tuesday and the upper-eighties after midweek, with little hope of precipitation until the ridge of high pressure moves to our east around next weekend.

So enjoy this gorgeous summertime weather lasting through the weekend, and check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon for the latest on how hot next week will be and when we may see moisture return.

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10 July 2020

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