Cool and unsettled weather to last through midweek

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Temperatures are in the mid-thirties in the town of Steamboat Springs and low twenties near the top of the Steamboat Resort late this Sunday morning under mostly cloudy skies. A large and complex storm system will bring cool temperatures and snow showers to our area through midweek before pleasant weather returns by Thursday.

A large trough of low pressure is currently sitting over the West while a ridge of high pressure over the Yukon directs cold air from Hudson Bay southward over the Midwest and toward our area. The leading edge of the storm brought one inch of snow to the Steamboat Resort which fell by the Sunday morning ski report and an additional two inches which quickly fell by the time the lifts were turning.

A mix of sun and clouds is currently overhead, but the storm is forecast to strengthen as it interacts with a cold front currently moving through Wyoming. The front is forecast to move through our area late this afternoon and cause the leading edge of the storm to form an eddy that is forecast to slowly move across eastern Colorado tonight.

This dynamic storm has been poorly handled by the weather prediction models so far leading to a fair bit of uncertainty regarding snowfall amounts for our area. We should see winds shift from the south to the northwest and north as the front moves through later today with the best snowfall between sunset and early morning. If the storm evolves as currently forecast, we could see an additional 5-10” of snow at mid-mountain and an inch or two in town, with snowfall rates exceeding an inch per hour at times this evening at the higher elevations, which could make travel over Rabbit Ears difficult.

The trough of low pressure over the West is forecast to only slowly move eastward as additional cold air from Canada reinforces the back end of the storm. Expect cool and unsettled weather through Wednesday afternoon with snow showers of varying intensities leaving 1-4” of snow at mid-mountain by Tuesday morning and 2-5” by Wednesday morning. High temperatures in town will be relegated to the thirties, well below our average of 48 F and low temperatures near the top of the Steamboat Resort could visit the single digits.

Snow showers should taper off during the day Wednesday as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West ahead of another storm forecast to develop in the Gulf of Alaska by Wednesday. It is not yet clear how this storm will evolve, with unsettled weather possibly returning to our area for the weekend.

So enjoy what will be a wintry start to the week, considering we have a limited number of these events left in the season, and be sure to check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll have more clarity on our next approaching storm.

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31 May 2021

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