Thursday, February 11, 2016
A shallow wave to our north and east will bring cloudier conditions for parts of today and tomorrow before sunny skies return for Saturday. Our next chance for snow is currently forecast to be from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning when a quick-moving wave in northwest flow brings some moisture and cool air over the Steamboat Springs area. Amounts are uncertain as models are wavering on the strength of this wave and its southern extent, but right now it looks like 4-8” may be reported on the Monday morning ski report.
There may be lingering clouds and possible snow showers on Tuesday behind the wave, but the Great Basin ridge builds over us after that, bringing warm dry air and sunny skies back over the area by midweek.
A moderate storm over the Pacific is forecast to cross the California coast midweek and spread clouds over our area by Wednesday night and possibly bringing snow showers to the area as soon as early Thursday. There is disagreement among the models as to the strength of this storm, with current forecasts bringing a possibly significant event across the area by the end of the work week.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Another round of snows for the Steamboat Ski Area has begun with cloudy skies and light snow on the upper mountain as a wave in northwest flow moves over the area. Snows should increase through overnight before tapering off in the morning Friday, after leaving 3-6” for the morning report and possibly an additional inch or two during the morning after the report.
Brief ridging will be over the area Saturday before another wave in northwest flow crosses mostly north and east of us, bringing another surge of seasonably cold air and light snow showers with minimal accumulations for late Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Cloudy but cool and dry conditions are forecast for Monday before the West Coast ridge builds and moves eastward over the Rocky Mountain spine by Tuesday, bringing plenty of sun and warming mountain temperatures for the rest of the work week. However, temperature inversions will likely reform in the valleys continuing the cold overnight lows there.
Pacific energy from the west and cold Canadian air from the north are forecast to weaken the ridge sometime around next weekend or early the following week, and this may allow storms to once again affect our area.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
The current sunny conditions will end by tomorrow as a quick moving wave skirts our northern border Friday, creating some light snow at the Steamboat ski area with perhaps several inches of accumulating snow during Friday.
Following closely is a wet and relatively warm Pacific jet stream that will begin precipitation Friday night. Because temperatures are forecast to warm through noon or afternoon Saturday, there may be rain in the valleys before the cool air associated with this storm sags south over northern Colorado by later Saturday. There is disagreement in the models about how much warming occurs during the day Saturday, and this will affect how much snow we see during the day, with 2-5” of relatively dense snow likely.
Cooler air Saturday night will lead to moderate and sometimes heavy snow overnight, leaving 6-12” of snow for the Sunday morning ski report.
Snow looks to taper off during the day Sunday as brief and shallow ridging moves over the area ahead of a large, complex and potentially dangerous storm crossing the West Coast on Sunday. This storm will intensify as it crosses the Great Basin as very cold air from the Canadian Plains mixes with the relatively warm and wet overrunning Pacific jet stream.
The dynamic nature of this storm makes forecasting difficult, but current models bring light snow over our area by early Monday morning before turning moderate to heavy by later Monday. As the storm moves somewhere along the southern Colorado border on Monday, moderate to heavy snows may continue for our area as a TROWAL is indicated to form and persist overnight. Additionally, very cold air will move southward along the west side of the storm as it moves east of our area, possibly creating a huge powder day for Tuesday.
Additional waves of energy and cold air move over the area in northwest flow later Tuesday and Wednesday, keeping snows going through possibly Thursday morning.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
We currently have heavy snow in Steamboat Springs as the last storm of this storm cycle passes over the area today and tonight. Intermittent moderate to heavy snows are expected today and tonight with breaks between the showers. Though the amount of water in the snow is forecast to diminish overnight, temperatures will drop and decrease the density of the snowfall, leaving 5-10” on the hill by tomorrow morning, with less in the valleys.
Snow will hold on longest tomorrow on Mount Werner before the sun makes an appearance. Temperatures will be quite cold overnight Thursday and into Friday morning under clear skies as temperature inversions reform in the wake of all the new snow and colder airmass.
A transient ridge moves over the area by Friday, noticeably warming temperatures at the higher elevations while the valleys stay cool after a cold morning start. Temperatures should stay warm on the hill for Saturday as the valleys warm further.
Another complex Pacific storm is forecast to cross the West Coast early in the weekend and will affect our weather by Saturday night or Sunday morning, creating moderate to sometimes heavy snows for Sunday. This storm is forecast to drag down some more cold air from the Canadian Plains, keeping lighter intensity but lower density snow around for Monday.
Tuesday is currently looking to be precipitation-free before a weak grazing wave in northwest flow may produce some snow for Wednesday. Models indicate a break before a major storm may impact the last weekend of January.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
The dry weather the past few days that led to the very cold valley temperatures will end tomorrow as a quick-moving storm from the Pacific Northwest moves over the Steamboat Springs area. Ironically, the approach of the cold front will warm the surface and eliminate the current temperature inversion by increasing surface winds tonight and mixing the stagnant airmass. Periods of light to sometimes moderate snow start during the day tomorrow and continue overnight, leaving 2-5” for the Friday morning report.
Snows will diminish and perhaps even end very early Friday morning before a similar but stronger storm moves over our area later in the morning. Snowfall rates will be moderate to sometimes heavy during the afternoon Friday as this storm drags some cold air from the Canadian Plains southwards. A substantial part of the 5-10” I expect to be reported Saturday morning will occur Friday afternoon.
Snowfall will decrease during the day Saturday before increasing again early Sunday as a trailing wave drags a reinforcing surge of cold air over the area. Snowfall should diminish again during the afternoon and likely end by sunset, so the bulk of the snow I expect for the Monday report should occur Sunday morning.
Temperatures should warm on Monday as a transient ridge tries to build to our west, but the warming will be short-lived as another Pacific storm moves through the ridge and begins a round of light to sometimes moderate snows Monday night.
Snowfall is currently forecast to end around Tuesday before possibly the strongest storm in this series threatens significant snows starting around Wednesday. The forecast for then is uncertain with so much weather occurring over the next week, however.