Hot weather with some moisture for Thursday and Friday before weekend cooling

Monday, June 20, 2016

The couple of weak waves yesterday and today did little more than keep morning temperatures cool as the strong summer sun quickly modified the airmass. Tuesday should be even warmer than today as the western ridge expands directly over the Rocky Mountains.

Another storm passing well to our north along the Canadian border late Tuesday may shave a few degrees off of Wednesday’s high temperatures as the western ridge flattens, and allows some moisture from the south to move northward across Colorado and produce some afternoon clouds. There may possibly be some high-based and relatively dry mountain storms.

Another stronger storm forecast to be off the Pacific Northwest coast by Thursday will nudge the ridge eastward, allowing a stronger surge of moisture from the south to be drawn northward along the western periphery of the ridge. We should have more extensive cloud cover and our best chance for afternoon storms by Thursday afternoon.

By Friday, the Pacific Northwest storm will have has crossed the coast, and the increased westerly winds will cut off the southern moisture feed into our area, though there will still be a chance of afternoon storms. Models move a relatively strong but dry cool front through the area Saturday morning, bringing dry breezy conditions and cooler temperatures for the weekend.

Slight cooling for Sunday, Monday followed by hot temperatures and monsoonal flow

Friday, June 17, 2016

After another couple of hot and dry days for Friday and Saturday, a wave passing to our north on Sunday will moderate temperatures a bit as a couple of weak cool fronts pass through the area on Sunday and Monday. There may also be a slight chance of afternoon storms each day as the cool fronts destabilize the atmosphere for the first time in a week.

The storm to our north will amplify into a deep eastern trough through the week as still cold air from Canada is drawn southward into the eastern third of the country. Additionally, another Pacific storm will approach the West Coast early in the week, and a strong western ridge will rebuild over the Great Basin early in the week before being nudged eastward by the slowly advancing Pacific storm.

Hot temperatures will return by Tuesday afternoon, and as the ridge slowly moves eastward the southerly flow around the west side of the ridge will allow the southwest US monsoon to make its first appearance of this summer season.

Monsoonal flow refers to the seasonal reversal of the winds, and in our case this refers to the influx of moisture as southerly winds pick up moisture originally from the Gulf of Mexico that has moved westward across Mexico and moves it over our area.

Only a slight chance of afternoon storms are expected for Tuesday and Wednesday as temperatures soar to their warmest reading of the season under the building ridge. The monsoon becomes established enough by Thursday to bring a greater chance of clouds and afternoon storms that may last through the weekend.

Hot and dry follows an unsettled Monday and cool Tuesday

Sunday, June 12, 2016

After another round of afternoon of showers in the Steamboat Springs area today, the southern part of the Pacific storm that split off the West Coast yesterday will cross the southern California coast tonight and move northeastward across the Great Basin during the day Monday, eventually crossing Colorado soon after midnight on Monday.

Moisture and lift in the southwest flow ahead of the storm will bring a better chance of storms for Monday, possibly starting by as soon as noon and continuing into the overnight hours.

The storm is now forecast to move faster than on my Friday forecast, so any overnight precipitation should end by Tuesday morning, followed by drying and slight cooling in the west to northwest flow behind the departing storm.

The flow backs to the southwest by late Tuesday, bringing in very dry air from the desert southwest and starting a warming trend on Wednesday that will see dry conditions and increasingly hot temperatures continue into at least the beginning of the weekend.

Though another strong Pacific storm approaches the northwest coast around Tuesday of this work week, the strong June sun will amplify the central US ridge and shunt the storm to our north when it eventually moves inland early in the weekend. However, we may see some relief from the unseasonably hot temperatures by Sunday as models drag some cool air from this passing storm over our area.

Unsettled weather returns from Sunday through Tuesday

Friday, June 10, 2016

A strong Pacific storm has split off the West Coast, and the southern part of the split as well as a separate storm currently near northern Baja will bring increased chances of unsettled weather for the Steamboat Springs area as soon as Saturday afternoon.

Southerly flow ahead of the southern part of the split picks up the Baja storm and moves it over the Great Basin tomorrow. Though the storm will travel west of us, the increased moisture and upward motion will increase the chance of afternoon storms for Saturday.

By Sunday, additional energy from the north reinforces the southern part of the split and forces it eastward across the southern Great Basin, eventually moving over our area early on Tuesday.

There will still be a chance of afternoon storms on Sunday as the southern storm approaches the area, though they should be less numerous than on Saturday.

By Monday, the proximity of the storm will once again increase the chance of late-day storms. As the storm moves over us overnight or early Tuesday, rain may continue into the overnight hours and extend into the morning. Showers should wane during the afternoon as cool, dry air overspreads our area on the backside of the departing storm.

By Wednesday, our flow backs from the northwest to the southwest ahead of yet another large Pacific storm approaching the northern West Coast. This will bring much drier air for the rest of the work week and extending into next weekend, along with increasing temperatures.

Spring weather turns unsettled for Closing Weekend and beyond

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A possibly prolonged period of relatively warm and unsettled weather starts Closing Weekend and extends through the following week after a string of fine spring days to close out the current work week.

A piece of the just-passed Tuesday storm, left behind and loitering west of Baja, is forecast to be pushed just south of our area Friday night by another Pacific storm upstream. The storm will be warm due its vacation west of Baja, bringing a chance of rain showers to the valley and snow showers to the higher elevations Friday night with little or no accumulations.

Meanwhile, the cold Pacific storm upstream is forecast to split around a rapidly building Gulf of Alaska ridge, and models are struggling with how much energy is partitioned in the northern and southern streams of the split, leading to forecast uncertainty.

Regardless, more low elevations rain showers and higher elevations snow showers are expected during the day Saturday as the southern stream crosses the southern California coast. Current forecasts have the bulk of the southern stream energy staying just south of our area on Sunday, continuing the warm and showery weather for Closing Day. There will likely be a weak cool front associated with the northern stream moving across our area later in the day and into the evening Sunday, but by then most of the moisture and energy associated with the southern stream has past, minimizing it’s impact over Steamboat Springs, but possibly bringing significant weather to the Front Range by Monday.

There is a lot of energy in the Pacific, and an active period is forecast for the following week, with models disagreeing on another possibly major storm around Wednesday. It’s a shame that Steamboat is planning to close Sunday as the mountain bases will likely continue to build through April.

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21 May 2021

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