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Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Friday night

Friday, April 15, 2016

The very complex and still intensifying storm, now centered over northern Arizona, will continue winter impacts over our area through Monday with snow showers tapering off on Tuesday before we see a few days of warming and drying starting around Wednesday.

The cold air last night along with the strong convective nature of the storm allowed snow levels to drop to the valley bottoms soon after the front passed yesterday evening, and what I expected as rain was pretty much all snow, leading to 8” on my deck this morning.

Looking ahead, low level counterclockwise winds around the storm will draw substantial Gulf of Mexico moisture northward and westward, creating conditions that produce a TROWAL somewhere over the Colorado mountains from Saturday through Monday and strong upslope flow over the Front Range. While all of Colorado will receive substantial precipitation, the foothills look particularly favored with several feet of snow by Sunday morning. There have already been road closures on I-70 and difficult to impossible travel will persist through Saturday night.

Closer to home, snow showers may continue overnight with another inch or so of dense snow in the valleys by Saturday morning and an additional 2-5” on the mountain as the winds turn easterly and strengthen. While we are often sheltered from precipitation when easterly winds downslope off the Park Range, we can receive moderate to heavy precipitation under a TROWAL.

Models indicate the position of the TROWAL moving around through the weekend, so the periods of moderate to heavy precipitation will likely move around as well with breaks in the inclement weather. Current model solutions have snow intensifying again later Saturday afternoon into the overnight hours as the storm finally begins to weaken and lifts northward across Colorado. We’ll probably see another 3-6” of snow in the valleys by Sunday morning with 6-12” on the hill.

The heaviest precipitation will have likely ended for the Front Range by Sunday morning, and we will also see a decrease in precipitation over our area during the day Sunday. However the proximity of the slow-moving storm, eventually forecast to be in southern Wyoming by Tuesday, will continue snow showers, some perhaps moderate to heavy at times, intermittently through Tuesday night. Drier weather forecast by Wednesday afternoon before another major storm threatens next weekend’s weather.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Thursday night

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Energy ejecting from the intensifying storm to our west will bring a cool front and several waves of moderate to heavy rain to the valleys from mid-evening until midnight with snow above 9000′. The precipitation will moderate after midnight with rain showers possibly turning to snow showers in Steamboat.

Precipitation will become heavier Friday afternoon as the cool air aloft destabilizes the atmosphere and brings the possibility of thunder. Rain will change to snow in the valleys during the evening as the storm strengthens significantly. By Friday night, the low level counterclockwise winds will draw substantial Gulf of Mexico moisture into the storm creating conditions that produce a TROWAL somewhere over the Colorado mountains from Saturday through Monday and strong upslope flow over the Front Range. While all of Colorado will receive substantial precipitation, the foothills look particularly favored with 12-18” of snow expected by Saturday afternoon that will make travel on I-70 west of Morrison difficult to impossible. There may be road closures.

Closer to our area, I would expect 1-3” of dense snow in the valleys by Saturday morning with 5-10” on the mountain as the winds turn easterly. While we are often sheltered from precipitation when easterly winds downslope off the Park Range, we can receive moderate to heavy precipitation under a TROWAL.

Models indicate the position of the TROWAL moving around through the weekend, so the periods of moderate to heavy precipitation will likely move around as well with breaks in the inclement weather. The easterly upslope flow for the Front Range, however, will be persistent, and another 12-18” of snow may fall from Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon, continuing the travel problems on the I-70 corridor.

There may be a decrease in precipitation over our area during Sunday, and current model trends have slowed the storm enough so that the storm does not move east of our area until late Tuesday. Snow showers will continue intermittently through Tuesday afternoon with drier weather still forecast by Wednesday.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Wednesday night

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A major spring storm currently gathering strength off the Pacific Northwest coast will bring significant weather to our area by Friday and extending through Monday

Thursday will be warm and windy with southwesterly winds and the possibility of afternoon rain showers. During the day, the major storm strongly splits over the Pacific Northwest with most of the energy driving the storm south across the Great Basin before it settles around the Four Corners region by the weekend.

Energy ejecting out of the still intensifying storm will bring rain showers first to Craig Thursday night and then to Steamboat later in the night or early in the morning, with snow showers on the mountain. Precipitation will become heavier in the afternoon as the cool air aloft destabilizes the atmosphere and brings the possibility of thunder.

The cool air will eventually turn rain to snow during the evening as the storm strengthens significantly. By Friday night, the low level counterclockwise winds will draw substantial Gulf of Mexico moisture into the storm creating conditions that produce a TROWAL somewhere over the Colorado mountains from Saturday through Monday and strong upslope flow over the Front Range. While all of Colorado will receive substantial precipitation, the foothills look particularly favored with 12-18” of snow expected by Saturday afternoon that will make travel on I-70 west of Morrison difficult to impossible. There may be road closures.

Closer to our area, I would expect 1-3” of dense snow in the valleys by Saturday morning with 5-10” on the mountain as the winds turn easterly. While we are often sheltered from precipitation when easterly winds downslope off the Park Range, we can receive moderate to heavy precipitation under a TROWAL.

Models indicate the position of the TROWAL moving around through the weekend, so the periods of moderate to heavy precipitation will likely move around as well. The easterly upslope flow for the Front Range, however, will be persistent, and another 12-18” of snow may fall from Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon, continuing the travel problems on the I-70 corridor.

There may be a decrease in precipitation over our area during Sunday before the storm moves east enough to bring northwest flow and more snowfall to the area for Sunday night through Monday. Snows should taper off Tuesday with warmer and drier weather currently forecast by Wednesday.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Tuesday night

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The chance of afternoon showers remain for Wednesday, though they will be less numerous than the past few days.

Thursday will be warm and windy with southerly winds, again with the possibility of afternoon showers, ahead of a likely major spring storm that makes landfall in southern Oregon that morning. This cold storm will deepen rapidly as it moves across the Great Basin on Friday and major impacts are likely by the weekend as Gulf of Mexico moisture mixes with the storm and produces possibly heavy precipitation over our area by around Friday afternoon.

Lots of uncertainty with respect to snow levels and precipitation amounts for the event, though the mountain will almost certainly see heavy snows for at least the first part of the weekend.

The storm looks to hang around through the weekend and into at least Monday and will also affect the Front Range to our east, especially the foothills, and the Utah desert to our southwest.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Monday night

Monday, April 11, 2016

One last storm to our south that will move across the U.S - Mexican border on Tuesday will keep the chance of afternoon showers for Tuesday and Wednesday with mild temperatures and a fair bit of sun each day.

Thursday looks to be breezy to windy and warm, again with the possibility of afternoon showers, ahead of a possibly major spring storm that makes landfall in southern Oregon that morning. This cold storm will deepen rapidly as it moves across the Great Basin on Friday and the possibility for major impacts exists by the weekend as Gulf of Mexico moisture mixes with the storm and produces possibly heavy precipitation over our area.

The storm looks to hang around through the weekend and into Monday and will also affect the Front Range.

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