Sunny mornings and hot days with afternoon storm chances by midweek

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Temperatures are already in the low eighties under sunny skies this Sunday noon in Steamboat Springs, on their way toward the ninety degree mark for the second day in a row. Though there is a bit more moisture in the air today as evidenced by the smattering of clouds, there is only a slight chance of a late-day storm that would produce mostly gusty winds. A grazing dry cool front tonight will only drop temperatures several degrees on Monday and Tuesday before they increase again by midweek, along with chances of afternoon storms lasting into next weekend.

A weather disturbance currently moving through the Pacific Northwest will temporarily squash the ridge of high pressure over our area and drag a weak cool front through tonight. While we have seen a small increase in moisture today as compared to yesterday, the chances for storms are small with gusty winds the main effect as any precipitation that falls will evaporate in the dry lower levels of the atmosphere when afternoon relative humidities fall to near ten percent.

Winds will shift to be from the west and northwest behind the front for Monday, eliminating the chance of storms as the moisture flow from the south is temporarily severed. And we will see a drop in high temperatures of several degrees, though they will still be several degrees above our average of 83 F.

By Tuesday, the squashed ridge of high pressure oozes back west as it begins to rebound behind the grazing weather disturbance, with similar temperatures to Monday along with some afternoon clouds. Another storm forecast to cross the Vancouver coast by midweek will switch our winds back to the south as the ridge of high pressure rebuilds over the West, carrying better monsoonal moisture back over our area starting on Wednesday and continuing into the weekend.

While we will have better chances of wetting afternoon rains, amounts at this time look meager, with total rainfall only forecast to be around a tenth of an inch through the weekend. But with the typical summertime sunny mornings, the moisture will at least produce clouds which will moderate the hot afternoon temperatures expected to reach into the upper eighties.

Enjoy the very typical summertime weather for the Colorado high country this week, and check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon for an update on the coming weekend weather.

This weekend to be hottest of the summer so far

Thursday, July 7, 2022

After a sunny morning in Steamboat Springs, skies have become partly cloudy this Thursday mid-afternoon with temperatures around eighty degrees. There are chances for some spotty precipitation today thanks to the nearby afternoon storm clouds, though those chances all but disappear for the weekend as high temperatures rise to threaten the ninety degree mark.

A ridge of high pressure is currently over the length of the Rocky Mountains while a storm is spinning off the Vancouver coast. That storm is forecast to be pushed eastward by cold air from the North Pole that moved through the Bering Sea yesterday, which will allow very dry air from the Desert Southwest to overspread our area for tomorrow and the weekend as winds shift to be from the current southerly direction to be from the southwest.

Even clouds will be hard to come by on Friday and Saturday, though afternoon clouds should be around on Sunday and Monday as winds briefly turn to be more from the south thanks to the southern end of that Vancouver storm, which is forecast to move through Montana late in the weekend. There may even be a shower, though any precipitation would likely be confined to the highest elevations.

High temperatures will be in the mid-eighties tomorrow, and upper eighties by both days of the weekend, which is around five degrees above our average of 83 F. And even though we may tickle the ninety degree mark, the record high of 94 F on both those days looks safe.

A generally hot and dry week looks to follow the weekend, though I’ll update that forecast in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Shower chances linger through midweek ahead of increasingly hot weather

Sunday, July 3, 2022

After a brief rain shower around noon in Steamboat Springs, skies have turned mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-seventies and relative humidities still above forty percent this Sunday mid-afternoon. Shower chances will decrease for Independence Day before increasing again on Tuesday and Wednesday before drier air invades and temperatures rise as we head into next weekend.

A storm is currently spinning over the Pacific Northwest coast while an expansive ridge of high pressure sits over the southeast and extends through the Midwest. Winds from the southwest ahead of the storm to our northwest and on the backside of the ridge of high pressure to our east has brought good moisture from the south over our area in a classic monsoon pattern. But just because the moisture is around does not mean it will rain, though if it does rain it can come in brief and locally heavy cloudbursts. For example, areas around town quickly received between a third and half inch of rain on Thursday and between one and two tenths of an inch on Friday, while yesterday was almost completely dry.

Today has been relatively active as some upper level energy caught in the overhead southwest flow encourages storm development, with shower chances continuing into the evening.

Some energy ejecting out of the Pacific Northwest storm will pass well to our northwest tomorrow, but will nudge the high pressure to the east and bend the plume of monsoonal moisture away from our area on Independence Day, for another downturn in shower chances.

The ridge of high pressure and associated monsoonal moisture plume rebounds back to the west behind the ejecting energy to our northwest, with an increase in storm activity likely for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Meanwhile additional cold air from the North Pole moving through the Bering Sea is forecast to eventually boot the Pacific Northwest storm bodily eastward along the Canadian border by the end of the work week. And this time, very dry air from off the coast of California behind the storm looks to overspread our area and at least temporarily shut off the monsoonal moisture tap. So look for much drier days after midweek with temperatures increasing from the low-eighties on Thursday, mid-eighties on Friday and perhaps ninety by Saturday, which would be above our average high temperature of 83 F.

Enjoy the rest of the long holiday weekend, and be sure to check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll see if Saturday is still looking like it will be the hottest day of the summer so far.

Afternoon showers possible through the Independence Day weekend

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Cloudy skies, temperatures around seventy degrees and relative humidities above fifty percent are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday mid-afternoon. There will be good chances for rain later today and overnight, with those chances being relegated to the afternoon and evening and diminishing, but certainly not disappearing, for the duration of the long Independence Day weekend.

A ridge of high pressure is forecast to rebuild over the Intermountain West this weekend while an area of low pressure currently near the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to strengthen as it elongates southward along the West Coast. Some energy from the west being dragged eastward by the southern edge of a storm rotating through the Great Lakes will combine with the high humidities over our region for good rain chances this evening and overnight.

Winds from the south ahead of the West Coast storm will encourage the ridge of high pressure to rebuild over the Rocky Mountains this weekend, and the combination of those two features means the monsoonal moisture tap from the south will continue through the holiday weekend. Because the ridge of high pressure will help steer upper level energy around our area, we will be dependent upon the heat of the day to create an unstable enough atmosphere for the usual afternoon and evening showers.

Weather forecast models agree the West Coast storm will stay to our west as any eastward progress will be met by stout resistance from the ridge of high pressure over our area, though at some point next week it appears the West Coast storm will move to the east far enough to bring drier air overhead. So while it appears the atmosphere will dry and warm after the weekend, there is uncertainty with respect to the timing. Stay tuned as I’ll know more about that by my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Shower chances increase by midweek

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Temperatures in the lower seventies and mostly sunny skies are over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday noon. While there may be some passing showers this afternoon, precipitation chances decrease for Monday and Tuesday before increasing by midweek for at least a couple of days.

A ridge of high pressure currently centered over the West Coast is sandwiched between deep areas of low pressure just north of the Great Lakes and south of the Gulf of Alaska. Winds from the northwest traveling around the ridge of high pressure brought drier air into our area yesterday, and those winds will keep the bulk of the moisture to our south today, though there will be still be chances for some showers this afternoon.

Shower chances decrease on Monday and Tuesday as the ridge of high pressure is pushed overhead by that storm south of the Gulf of Alaska, which is forecast to make landfall over Vancouver during Tuesday.

As the ridge of high pressure is squashed and temporarily relocated to the central U.S. by Wednesday by the eastward moving Vancouver storm, clockwise circulation around the high pressure will draw another round of monsoonal moisture over our area on Wednesday and Thursday, leading to increasing shower chances for those days.

Shower chances look to decrease, but not end, as we head into the long Independence Day weekend as that ridge of high pressure bounces back over our area behind that Vancouver storm, which is forecast to eventually be over the Great Lakes on Friday.

The weather for the holiday weekend will be determined by the interaction between the ridge of high pressure and another storm that is forecast to eventually form south of the Gulf of Alaska again. Whether the monsoonal moisture plume will be reinforced by winds from the south or severed by winds from the west ahead of that storm is yet to be determined, so check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon when more details about the Independence Day weekend weather should emerge.

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