Thursday, October 9, 2014
We will have quite the interesting mix of weather over the next week as we will be influenced first from the south by former hurricane Simon today and tonight and then by a cold storm from the northwest for Sunday through Sunday night.
Periods of light to moderate rain should occur this afternoon and evening as former hurricane Simon travels over southern Colorado today, with snow confined to the highest elevations. Most of the precipitation should fall south of us as the easterly flow north of the closed circulation dries and stabilizes as it moves down the slopes of the Continental Divide.
Conditions will rapidly improve tomorrow, though some afternoon showers are possible as the flow turns to the northwest behind the departing storm. Saturday will also be pleasant, though there may be some clouds and a small chance of afternoon showers as a very weak wave traverses the area late in the day.
However, a seasonably cold storm from the northwest will move over the area early in the day Sunday, bringing snow to the mountain and first rain and then possibly some snow to the valley. The storm is forecast to be quick moving, and precipitation should end by midnight, leaving a dry but brisk Monday.
Some more spectacular fall weather is forecast to continue through at least midweek as a transient ridge moves over the area and brings warming temperatures through Wednesday. A weak wave from the Pacific is forecast to clip our area Thursday or Friday and bring slightly cooler temperatures, though precipitation looks to stay well to our north.
Temperatures rebound behind this glancing wave for at least part of the weekend before some models forecast another storm sometime around mid-weekend.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
The storm that brought the season’s first snowfall to the Steamboat ski area and snowflakes to town has moved east of the area leaving cool temperatures and some clouds in its wake. A trailing wave will graze our area late tonight into early tomorrow morning, reinforcing our cool temperatures and keeping some clouds around early in the morning.
Temperatures should rebound into and through the weekend, especially at higher elevations. The warmup will be tempered, however, as the storm that just passed deepens and becomes a strong closed low just north of the upper Midwest border with Canada. This will bring unseasonably cold temperatures to the Great Plains and will leave us susceptible to cool air surges on Sunday and Monday as waves of energy rotate around this feature.
Dry and pleasant weather should persist through the rest of the workweek as a flat ridge builds in the Gulf of Alaska. However, waves of energy from the Pacific rounding this ridge are forecast to eventually break the ridge down, allowing cool air and precipitation to move over our area from the north. Timing is uncertain this far in advance, but current model forecasts bring a change to more stormy weather sometime next weekend.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
The storm advertised last week will begin affecting our weather by Saturday afternoon as it moves from its current location in the Gulf of Alaska southeastward towards the Great Basin over the weekend. Moisture drawn from the southwest ahead of the storm will move over our area during the day Saturday and will create the threat of some wetting rains, especially in the afternoon and evening.
The low is forecast to become cutoff from the main westerlies by mid-weekend, and waves rotating around this cutoff will eventually bring moderate to heavy rain to our area during the day Sunday. There may be breaks in the precipitation, but rain will continue for most of Monday as the upper cutoff low approaches and eventually moves over us by Monday night. As that happens, the cool flow will turn to the Steamboat’s favored northwest location and keep the chance of rain showers for the valleys and possible snow showers for the higher elevations going through Tuesday until early Wednesday morning.
There is considerable inter-model and intra-model uncertainty with the eastward speed of the cutoff low that may slow its eastward progression by a half day or so. Additionally, there are another two waves upstream, with the first bringing a reinforcing surge of cool air by Wednesday.
The second storm looks to be quite strong as it travels southeastward from the Pacific northwest by Friday. The southwest flow ahead of that storm looks to bring some brief warming and drying ahead of the storm by late in the workweek, but some models have it finally moving over our area sometime next weekend. This storm is currently advertised to bring a stronger push of cold air over our region and may threaten snow near the valley bottom.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Currently, a beautiful and warm fall day is gracing our area with the remnants of former hurricane Odile staying to our south and a Pacific storm approaching the west coast. This storm will split, with the progressive northern branch bringing showers and some cooling to our area by tomorrow afternoon and lasting for some of the evening.
Saturday and some of Sunday will be precipitation-free before the cutoff part of the Friday storm left behind in central California moves westward. Interestingly, some of Odile’s moisture will be drawn into the system even though the former hurricane will be east of our area, leading to the possibility of moderate to heavy rains by later in the day Sunday and Sunday night. The start of precipitation is uncertain at this time as models disagree on how quickly the difficult-to-forecast cutoff low moves west, but it should be raining by sometime in the afternoon and the rains will continue through midnight.
Rain will turn to showers on Monday and will continue through the day as that cutoff low moves over our area. Some showers may be moderate to heavy later in the day as moist and cool northwest flow is predicted behind the storm. Models disagree on whether the storm lingers for Tuesday, but conditions should rapidly improve and skies clear as a strong ridge builds behind the departing storm.
Beautiful warm and dry fall weather will hang around for most of the workweek before a strong storm approaches the west coast by Friday. Current model forecasts have this storm threatening our weather for the following weekend.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
An unseasonably strong cold front is lurking just to our north and will likely blast through the area around sunset. This front has already surged down the Front Range, and uncharacteristically looks to bring the first low elevation snowflakes to that area before Steamboat Springs. Most if not all of the moisture associated with the front will also slide to our east, leaving us dry and seasonably cold for tomorrow, especially in the morning where we may see some below-freezing temperatures for the first time this season.
The dry air behind the front will keep our area sunny through Saturday before a trailing wave passes to our north late that night. Temperatures will cool a bit again on Sunday, but not be as cold as Friday morning, and there may be some showers in the afternoon as moisture from the south moves northward behind the departing wave. In fact, a ridge is forecast to build behind the departing wave and the clockwise circulation around the west side of this ridge will continue drawing moisture north through the workweek, leading to warming temperatures and the continued slight chance of afternoon storms.
Another strong wave approaches the west coast late in the workweek, but again there is disagreement about the interaction with another tropical storm forecast to be off the coast of Baja. The European ECMWF keeps these storms separate and the American GFS phases them. Remember this was similar to the prediction last week, and the end result was that tropical moisture was shared by the storms leading to the heavy rains on Tuesday, even though the storms themselves remained separate. So again, the outlook for next weekend is uncertain.