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Good precipitation chances to persist into Tuesday

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Sunday, June 30, 2024

Temperatures are around eighty degrees in Steamboat Springs under mostly sunny skies this Sunday mid-afternoon. But clouds are building ahead of good precipitation chances from this afternoon through Monday and into Tuesday morning thanks to an approaching cool front interacting with increasing moisture. Cooler temperatures in the seventies and dry weather behind the cool front will bring very pleasant summertime weather through the Independence Day holiday.

A trough of low pressure is currently crossing the West Coast while a subtropical ridge of high pressure centered over the lower Mississippi Valley extends westward across Texas. The atmosphere is having a tough time letting go of the wintertime pattern of storms approaching our area from the northwest even as the summertime pattern of a subtropical ridge of high pressure over the south takes hold. In addition to the stormy pattern over the Midwest, we have done quite well in the moisture department from this weather pattern this June, with 2.51” of precipitation measured downtown through last Thursday, compared to the monthly average of 1.51”. While the rest of the official precipitation data for June won’t be published for a few days, adding in an estimated third of an inch we received on Friday with whatever falls through today means we should be around double the monthly average. Look for a vibrant wildflower display in July and a great summer berry crop for the wildlife.

A wave of moisture rotating clockwise around the west side of the subtropical high pressure will bring good precipitation chances from later today and tonight through Monday with possibly strong storms. The high temperature will cool from the low eighties today, several degrees above our average of eighty degrees, to the upper seventies on Monday thanks to cloud cover.

And similar to last Friday, the approaching storm from the West Coast will interact with the existing moisture to bring likely storms from Monday afternoon through the night and into Tuesday morning. We should see a final push of precipitation early Tuesday morning as the cool front passes through our area, with dry air and mostly sunny skies by the afternoon and high temperatures almost ten degrees below our average.

Temperatures will rebound back to average on Wednesday, but cool and dry air from western Canada dropping southward behind a building ridge of high pressure over the West Coast should keep very pleasant weather overhead with plenty of sun and high temperatures in the upper seventies for Independence Day.

Another wave of cool air may approach our area before the weekend, and another after, but there is weather forecast model uncertainty as to the timing and strength. So enjoy the last couple of days of our wet June pattern and the very pleasant weather that follows for midweek and Independence Day, and be sure to check back Thursday afternoon for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative.

Showers to decrease and temperatures to warm this weekend

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Thursday, June 27, 2024

After reaching the upper-seventies within the last hour in Steamboat Springs, temperatures have fallen into the mid-seventies under cloudy and threatening skies this Thursday mid-afternoon. Showers are likely from now through Friday, including tonight, before being relegated to the usual afternoons and evenings for the weekend under sunny morning skies and low to mid-eighty-degree afternoon temperatures.

The showers from yesterday afternoon through the night were due to moisture from the south being carried over our area by winds rotating clockwise around a ridge of high pressure over the Southeast in a monsoonal pattern. The unusually high humidity for our area created efficient rain showers yesterday leaving about a third of an inch of rain at my house near the base of the Steamboat Ski Resort.

Storms may be stronger today thanks to the southern end of a storm currently moving through Montana grazing our area through Friday and providing an additional source of atmospheric lift. This extra lift means that the sun is not necessary to trigger the storms, so look for the possibility of showers tonight and even tomorrow morning. Of course, daytime heating adds to the atmospheric instability, so storms may be stronger later on Friday.

By Saturday, a mid-latitude ridge of high pressure briefly builds overhead as the Montana storm moves through the upper Midwest. The drying atmosphere should lead to a sunny Saturday morning with high temperatures moving back toward the mid-eighties with a chance of afternoon and evening storms thanks to lingering moisture.

Meanwhile, a wave of energy ejecting out of a persistent area of low pressure over the Aleutian Islands is forecast to cross the Gulf of Alaska on Saturday and the Pacific Northwest coast early on Sunday. At the same time, the ridge of high pressure over the Southeast is forecast to squirt back westward underneath the Midwest storm during the weekend, reintroducing moisture from the south back to our area on Sunday and Monday.

So look for another sunny morning Sunday with a degree or two of warming from Saturday and more chances for afternoon and evening storms. The Pacific Northwest storm is then forecast to cross the Great Basin on Monday, and energy ejecting out of the storm will conspire with the already-present moisture for an active day of weather on Monday.

Right now, moisture is forecast to be scoured from our area by the passing Great Basin storm on Tuesday, but I’ll have more details about that in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Workweek to start hot ahead of good shower chances on Thursday

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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Temperatures are in the low eighties, on their way toward the mid-eighties, under mostly sunny skies early this Sunday afternoon in Steamboat Springs. There may be a passing shower today, with a better chance on Monday, as hot temperatures persist through midweek. After a dry Tuesday, shower chances start to ramp up later in the day on a still-hot Wednesday and are maximized on a cooler Thursday.

A stout ridge of high pressure over the southern two-thirds of the country is centered over the central and southern Rockies while a trough of low pressure over Vancouver is moving east. We should see high temperatures in the mid-eighties today, over five degrees above our average of 78 F, with a chance of a passing shower bringing localized brief heavy rain, small hail and gusty winds.

A degree or two of warming is expected on Monday with a better chance of afternoon and evening showers as a disturbance rotates around the high pressure cell over our area and possibly combines with the southern end of the Vancouver storm then moving through the southern Canadian Plains.

Meanshile, a storm currently over the Aleutian Islands is forecast to strengthen in the Gulf of Alaska through Tuesday and strengthen the ridge of high pressure over the Rockies. So look for another degree or two of warming on Tuesday with near-nil shower chances.

The Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast on Wednesday and nudge the Rocky Mountain ridge eastward. Winds from the south on the backside of the high pressure cell will carry moisture pooled over the Mexican Plateau, partly left behind by Tropical Storm Alberto last week, over our area by Wednesday afternoon.

While this pattern contains elements of the North American Monsoon, mainly moisture moving northward around a ridge of high pressure to our east, it is only expected to last through Thursday before the Pacific Northwest storm sweeps through the northern Rockies and brings drier and cooler air for Friday.

So look for increasing shower chances starting in the still-hot Wednesday afternoon, with some showers possibly persisting through the night. Better shower chances are forecast on Thursday as moisture from the south is maximized, dropping our high temperature to an average of 80 F, or even a few degrees cooler depending upon cloud cover.

So, enjoy the hot summertime weather to start the workweek while looking forward to the cooler and wetter weather to end the workweek, and check back for the weekend update in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon.

Rains likely through Friday ahead of a pleasant summertime weekend

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Thursday, June 20, 2024

After reaching the high temperature of 82 F early this Thursday afternoon in Steamboat Springs, thunderstorms have dropped temperatures into the sixties by 3 pm. Showers will continue through this evening before re-emerging possibly stronger on Friday as a weak cool front moves through our area. Pleasant weather returns for the weekend with the usual summertime afternoon showers and high temperatures in the mid-eighties by Sunday.

An eastward-moving trough of low pressure is currently over the West Coast while a westward-moving ridge of high pressure is over the Southeast. Additionally, the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto are moving west across central Mexico.

The current rains are due to the clockwise circulation around the westward-moving high pressure cell over the Southeast carrying moisture from the Gulf of Mexico northward over our area, with a possible moisture contribution from Alberto, the first named tropical storm of the season.

This continues on Friday with showers possible through the day before the eastward-moving West Coast trough carries a cool front through north-central Colorado by early Friday evening. The interaction between the trough of low pressure, the associated cool front and existing moisture means strong rotating thunderstorms are possible Friday afternoon and evening, replete with heavy rainfall and hail, and maybe even a funnel cloud, especially if there are periods of sun in the afternoon, making the storms stronger.

Much quieter weather is in store for the weekend, with high temperatures on Saturday around our average of 78 F as the trough of eastward-moving low pressure exits our area and the eastward-moving high pressure cell approaches our area. There will be a chance of the usual passing summertime afternoon and evening storms on both days thanks to moisture left behind from the current weather pattern, along with temperatures climbing toward the mid-eighties on Sunday.

Even warmer temperatures are forecast for next week, so enjoy our first official summertime weekend of the year, as the solstice occurred today at 2:50 pm, and check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Warm and breezy ahead of dry cold front to arrive Monday night

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Sunday, June 16, 2024

A very pleasant late Sunday morning is over Steamboat Springs this Father’s Day with temperatures approaching seventy degrees and nary a cloud in the sky. A couple of warm and breezy afternoons will precede a cold front Monday night bringing cooler weather for Tuesday and Wednesday. But the heat returns by Thursday along with a surge of moisture accompanied by rain chances for the end of the workweek.

A ridge of high pressure currently sits over the East while a trough of low pressure is centered over Vancouver. A wave of energy rotating around the Vancouver storm will carry a dry cold front through the Great Basin Monday and our area Monday night. Warm temperatures approaching the mid-eighties, between five and ten degrees above our 77 F average, will be accompanied by increasing winds from the southwest this afternoon and even more so on Monday as the cold front approaches.

High temperatures will only be around seventy degrees on a dry Tuesday which would be the first below-average reading in the last ten days. Average temperatures on Wednesday with a slight chance of afternoon showers will precede a trip back to the low-eighties on Thursday as a surge of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico overspreads Colorado.

Interestingly, the moisture surge will be due to the the eastern dome of high pressure flattening and squirting westward thanks to energy and cold air ejecting from the Vancouver low pressure area and moving across the U.S. and Canadian border. Winds rotating clockwise around the westward-moving high pressure cell will carry a deep layer of moisture northwards from the Gulf of Mexico and increase rain chances for our area by as early as Thursday afternoon. Coincidentally, the summer solstice occurs at 2:50 PM and marks the longest day of the year with fifteen hours and four minutes of daylight over our area.

Better rain chances are forecast for Friday as a wave of energy moving across the Pacific crosses the central California coast on Wednesday and interacts with the Gulf of Mexico moisture over our area by the end of the workweek. Enjoy the cooldown on Tuesday and be sure to check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon for more details on those late workweek rain chances.

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7 July 2020

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