Tuesday, March 25, 2014
A beautiful day today before 2 distinct waves influence our weather from Wednesday through Friday. An area of low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to eject a wave that will first bring high cloudiness and then precipitation into our area on Wednesday. Temperatures will be warm with this first wave, and we may have rain in the valley and snow higher up on the hill later Wednesday before the valley rain turns to snow in the evening. Additionally, the atmosphere may be unstable enough to support thunder with these passing waves, especially Wednesday afternoon.
I would expect up to several inches of heavy snow on the hill by sunset, though the storm will intensify around then, keeping snows going through the night. The relatively warm storm will limit accumulations to 4-8” for the Thursday report before a break between the two storms appears Thursday morning.
This break will be short-lived as the second colder wave affects our area by Thursday afternoon. Moderate to heavy snows are expected by sunset and will continue past midnight. Though model forecasts diminish snows during the Friday morning hours, we may have some Steamboat Magic occur then, boosting snows after the 5-10” Friday morning report. A weak trailing wave passes over the area later Friday keeping lighter snows going through the day for an additional 2-4” before a transient ridge builds bringing warmer and drier weather moves over the area Saturday .
The nice weather Saturday gives way to another quick-moving wave for Sunday. Precipitation should be heaviest in the morning before decreasing in intensity during the afternoon and may last until midnight, with rain or a rain / snow mix in the valleys.
Another transient ridge brings nice weather for Monday of next week before another major storm begins affecting our area around Tuesday afternoon.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Interactions between waves traveling around the west side of the ever-present Hudson Bay vortex and Pacific disturbances undercutting the remnants of the west coast ridge will bring unsettled weather to our area starting tomorrow afternoon.
The first mostly dry wave brings some cooling tonight and tomorrow, but precipitation will hold off until late Friday when some more cool air in western Canada is drawn into a Pacific wave traveling over our area on Saturday. Current model trends forecast a stationary front over our area during the day, and precipitation will be focused in the vicinity of this oscillating boundary.
There is a fair bit of uncertainty to the exact location of this front, but current model guidance shows light snow starting late Friday evening and intensifying Saturday morning before tapering off late in the day. We may have an inch or so of snow Saturday morning with an additional 2-5” falling during the day, which will be reported Sunday morning.
Some dry air works into the area Sunday for a nice day, but precipitation begins again very early Monday morning as another Pacific wave drags some more cool air over our area during the day Monday. This one is currently forecast to be a bit cooler and drier, but again there is some uncertainty due to the amount of cool air injected into the system. Currently, I expect 1-4” of snow during the day.
A trailing wave passes north of our area later Monday keeping temperatures on the cool side early Tuesday before a transient ridge brings sunny weather and warming for later Tuesday and Wednesday. However, this break will be short-lived as the west coast ridge disappears allowing significant Pacific energy to move inland. This looks to be a long-lived pattern change as I see a very active spring pattern through at least the first week of April. The first storm of this pattern is currently timed for around Thursday.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Clouds have overspread our area ahead of a strong cold front expected to pass through the area later this afternoon towards sunset. This system will bring sharply colder temperatures tonight and tomorrow, and snows lasting through Wednesday morning. Additionally, northwest winds will increase later today and likely last through much of the night, though the Steamboat ski area is fairly well protected from northwest flow. I would expect 2-4” by tomorrow morning and an additional 3-6” by Wednesday morning as a trailing wave passes over our area late Tuesday to keep snows going through the night. This storm may be similar to the one last Tuesday which produced outstanding skiing during the day.
Skies should clear later Wednesday and temperatures warm as a small ridge builds over our area. This pleasant weather should last into the weekend before a grazing wave to our north brings slightly cooler temperatures and some upward forcing to the region that might sustain showers later Saturday and possibly into Sunday.
Another ridge builds into our area after the weekend for a nice few days, but it appears March will go out like a lion as additional energy from the Pacific interacts with the still present and very cold Hudson Bay vortex.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
A weak wave passes to our north today while the meandering piece of the previous storm to our south and west passes south of us tomorrow. Neither of these will significantly impact our weather, with slightly cooler temperatures today and perhaps some clouds later tonight or tomorrow.
I expect cooler temperatures and light snow most of the day Saturday as a relatively dry Pacific wave slides down the eastern side of the west coast ridge. Models have been trending further east with this wave which minimizes our snowfall; currently I expect maybe an inch for the Saturday morning report and 2-5” during the day which will be reported Sunday morning.
A cool start Sunday should give way to sunny and warm weather later in the day and lasting through noon Monday as the west coast ridge moves over our area. The American model has trended closer to the European model for a possibly significant storm starting Monday night and lasting through Tuesday.
A quick moving ridge will bring nice weather for midweek until another Pacific wave may affect us by the end of the workweek or weekend. Long term models have an unsettled period of weather commencing then and likely lasting for at least the rest of March.
Monday, March 10, 2014
After another spring-like day today, a splitting storm very similar to the one on Friday, but cooler, affects our area beginning around midnight tonight. Moderate snows are likely as the front barrels across the region very early Tuesday morning, with 2-4” expected by report time.
But the system splits around us as a wave traveling around the ever-present-for-this-winter Hudson Bay vortex drags a piece of the storm across the Continental Divide while leaving the remaining piece to meander westward to Utah and eventually Nevada. It does appear another piece of energy will keep lighter snows going until noon after which they become more showery before ending around sunset. I would expect another 2-4” during the very cool day which will be reported on the Wednesday morning report.
After a cool start Wednesday morning, a quick warm up lasting into Thursday is forecast as the west coast ridge tries to rebuild over our area. However, a Pacific wave traveling over this ridge will phase with the storm left to our south and west later Thursday forcing the complex east of the Continental Divide by Friday. Models initially had some precipitation from that Pacific wave for Friday, but current trends are pointing towards a dryer solution.
The ridge rebuilds for possibly another stellar weekend, but lots of uncertainty with the forecast for next week as more Pacific energy interacts with the west coast ridge.