Cool and wet weekend ahead

Thursday, April 25, 2024

After a beautiful sunny Thursday morning in Steamboat Springs with the high temperature of the day reaching 61 F at noon, skies have clouded over, showers have started and temperatures have fallen to fifty degrees as of mid-afternoon. The current unsettled weather is only a precursor to cooler and wetter weather that will persist through the weekend, with significant snow possible at the higher elevations.

An eddy of low pressure that was earlier off the southern California coast has rejoined the jet stream over Arizona and is moving east thanks to another colder storm currently moving through the Pacific Northwest. The leading storm is forecast to be over northeastern Colorado by Friday morning, with showers continuing through this afternoon and overnight, with an inch or two possible at the now-closed Steamboat Resort by Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the upstream storm is forecast to move through the Great Basin on Friday and be over or just south of our area later on Saturday. Showers should diminish, or even end for a time on Friday between the storm systems before picking up again Friday afternoon and overnight. High temperatures for the day will fall into the mid-fifties, several degrees below our average of 58 F.

The cold front associated with the second storm should move through Friday night accompanied by moderate to heavy showers. Snow accumulations will be limited to elevations above around 9000′, with 2-5” possible by Saturday morning, along with possibly difficult driving conditions on Rabbit Ears Pass at times. High temperatures on both Saturday and Sunday will only approach fifty degrees in town and low thirties near the top of Mt. Werner.

Depending upon the exact storm track, winds may turn to be from the east on Saturday if the storm center is south of us, with gusts as high as 50 mph possible at mountain-top. While an easterly wind usually dooms precipitation for our area, we may see moisture from the Front Range pulled over the Continental Divide and continue showers through the day and overnight. In that case, we could see another 2-5” of snow between Saturday and Sunday mornings at the higher elevations.

The storm is forecast to be over the northeast corner of Colorado by Sunday morning with showers continuing in the favorable, moist and unstable northwest flow behind the storm, with those showers heaviest in the afternoon.

Temperatures are forecast to warm to near average on Monday, though a grazing storm to our north may bring another round of afternoon and evening showers to our area. And for those willing to travel, note that I have added the snowstake cams for Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland to the SnowAlarm home page, as those areas could see one to two feet of snowfall from the second storm between Friday night and Sunday morning.

Enjoy the weekend, and I’ll be back with my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon with more details on what is currently looking like typical spring weather for the last days of April and the first days of May.

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21 June 2019

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