Sunday, June 12, 2022
Abnormally hot temperatures in the mid-eighties, mostly sunny skies and breezy winds from the southwest are over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday afternoon. Though temperatures will decrease a bit on Monday, the winds will increase ahead of a strong but mostly dry cold front that will bring much cooler temperatures into our area for Tuesday and Wednesday. Warmer temperatures return for the end of the work week along with increasing rain chances as we head into the weekend.
The weather over the West is being squeezed between a strong storm in the Gulf of Alaska and a building ridge of high pressure over the Southeast. While the Pacific Northwest is currently seeing cold and rainy weather, we will be grazed by a couple of waves rotating around the southern end of the storm on Monday and Tuesday nights. The first wave will bring a strong cold front through our area very early Tuesday morning, though moisture will be sparse as most of the storm is deflected to our north by the building ridge of high pressure over the Southeast.
For the rest of today, look for high temperatures similar to the high temperature of 87 F yesterday at the Bob Adams airport, which is fifteen degrees above our average of 72 F. Though high temperatures will decrease on Monday by about ten degrees as the cold front approaches, winds will increase with gusts around 40 mph likely.
There may be some very early morning showers Tuesday when the front moves through, but precipitation will be hard to come by as the cold and relatively dry air moves into our area. High temperatures on Tuesday look to be in the low sixties, which represents a twenty-five degree cooldown from today.
A reinforcing cold front is timed for Tuesday night with no precipitation expected. However, the low temperatures for Wednesday morning will be flirting with the freezing mark, so those gardeners who have not followed the plant-after-Father’s-Day rule of thumb for the Yampa Valley may consider covering their newly planted gardens or bringing easily moved plants indoors.
Another Pacific storm currently near the Aleutian Islands is forecast to replace the departed Gulf of Alaska storm by midweek before elongating along the West Coast through next weekend. The southerly flow ahead of the storm will encourage the ridge of high pressure over the Southeast to move westward, allowing above-average temperatures to return starting Thursday.
By the end of the work week, weather forecast models agree that moisture from the south will be funneled northward thanks to the southerly flow ahead of the West Coast storm and the clockwise rotation of air around the westward moving Southeast ridge of high pressure. This has the hallmarks of a North American Monsoon moisture surge, though it is too early to say whether this pattern is a hint of what’s to come later in the summer.
So enjoy the cooldown for a couple of very pleasant days on Tuesday and Wednesday, and check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss the possibility of wetter weather returning for the weekend.
Thursday, June 9, 2022
Some sun and clouds with temperatures in the upper-seventies are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday mid-afternoon. If we don’t reach eighty degrees later today when the clouds clear, we will tomorrow, with even warmer temperatures in the low eighties for the weekend.
We have a relatively simple weather forecast for a change as a ridge of high pressure forecast to be centered over the Four Corners this weekend builds ahead of a storm developing in the Gulf of Alaska. The clouds this morning were the result of a cool front that stayed to our north, so expect clearing skies for the rest of the day and temperatures threatening the eighty degree mark.
Friday and the weekend will be several degrees warmer than today, which would be over ten degrees above our average of 71 F, with plenty of sunshine. Other than a pleasant summertime weekend, there is not much weather to speak of until a quick moving storm currently near the Dateline mixes with some of that Gulf of Alaska storm on Saturday and crosses the West Coast on Sunday.
It looks like we will have more dry air and windy conditions from the southwest by Monday ahead of the storm crossing the Great Basin. Weather forecast models agree on a strong cold front moving through our area around Monday night, though disagree on how much cold air and moisture makes it into north-central Colorado and how long the cool air sticks around after Tuesday. Enjoy the summertime weekend, and check back on Sunday afternoon for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative where I’ll discuss the coming early work week cold front.
Sunday, June 5, 2022
Temperatures are near seventy degrees under mostly sunny skies along with some breezes this Sunday noon. Several weather disturbances will graze our area from this afternoon through tomorrow evening which will increase shower chances, including tonight, though we will likely see more wind than rain from the thunderstorms. Skies dry by Tuesday and temperatures warm into the upper seventies through most of the work week, possibly reaching around eighty degrees on Thursday.
A storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to eject several pieces of energy and moisture eastward, and though the seasonal progression of the jet stream moving north is well underway, the ejecting waves will be close enough to increase thunderstorm chances starting later today and tomorrow. Expect a breezy couple of days due to the proximity of the jet stream and rain-cooled outflow boundaries associated with thunderstorms.
The strongest of these waves moves through tonight, and there is a possibility of nocturnal, or overnight thunderstorms in addition to the usual afternoon and evening variety. Another wave during the day tomorrow will keep the threat of thunderstorms going through Monday as well.
A ridge of high pressure is then forecast to move through the West through the work week ahead of another storm that develops in the Gulf of Alaska. We should see a decrease in precipitation chances and increase in temperatures through most of the work week, with the high temperatures near seventy degrees through Tuesday, which is right at our daily average high temperature, increasing into the upper seventies on Wednesday before we make a run at our first eighty degree day on Thursday.
It appears the summery weather is here to stay as I don’t see any cold storms lurking in the longer-range weather forecast models. We may have another grazing wave for next weekend, though that currently looks benign, but I’ll know more about that in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon.
Thursday, June 2, 2022
Temperatures are around seventy degrees under mostly sunny skies in the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday mid-afternoon. The weekend looks to remain dry and pleasant for only the second time in the last two months, though there will be some clouds around along with increasing afternoon breezes.
Back to last weekend, that foot of snow we received at the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort and the cold temperatures have finally allowed the equivalent liquid water in the current snowpack to exceed the past thirty year median for the first time since the beginning of February, as we now stand at 110% of median as indicated in the first chart on the left (the green line is the 1991-2020 median while the black line is the current measurement). Of course, there is not much snow left so that number is not particularly significant, but the following graph of total precipitation during the current water year which started on October 1 indicates a healthy 97% of median.
It looks like the current measurements will not be augmented through the weekend as a ridge of high pressure moves through the West this weekend ahead of a complex storm evolving in the Gulf of Alaska. Several waves of energy and moisture ejecting out of the storm will ride through the ridge of high pressure and bring some increased cloudiness on Friday, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Afternoon breezes do look to increase for the weekend, though, with gusts as high as 40 mph possible at the higher elevations.
One of these waves looks to give us the best chance of precipitation to start the work week, currently forecast for Monday, though that should not interfere with the dry weekend forecast. So enjoy the pleasant weather, and check back on Sunday afternoon where I’ll discuss what the weather for the coming work week will be in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative.
Sunday, May 29, 2022
Cold and rainy weather is over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday mid-afternoon, with even six inches of snow observed near the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort! More moderate to sometimes heavy precipitation is in store through the rest of today and the overnight hours before we see a still cold but less showery Memorial Day with temperatures struggling to reach fifty degrees. Temperatures will warm a bit on Tuesday even as afternoon showers remain before pleasant weather returns midweek and lasts into the weekend.
The compex storm currently over the West and discussed in my last weather narrative Thursday afternoon has largely evolved as forecast, with a weak cool front yesterday followed by overnight showers that brought around four tenths of an inch of rain to the valley and 4.5” of snow near the top of Mt. Werner. While we did see some sun early in the day, a strong cold front that passed through at 10 am this morning has dropped temperatures into the mid-forties, around twenty five degrees below our average of 68 F, along with additional rounds of precipitation.
More of the same is expected for the rest of today and evening as a large part of the storm continues to move overhead. Precipitation decreases and becomes more showery after midnight as snow levels continue to fall, so we may see some snowflakes in town on Memorial Day morning.
Temperatures will struggle again to reach fifty degrees on Monday, and while the precipitation will moderate, it will not end as showers persist through the day, especially in the afternoon. More accumulating snow at the higher elevations will fortunately continue to add to our snowpack even at this late date.
The last part of the storm lingering in the Great Basin will move overhead by Tuesday night, with weather forecast models trending further north and weaker. It now looks like we will see a relatively nice day as compared to the preceding two, with periods of sun during the first half of the day, temperatures reaching the mid-fifties and the chance of afternoon and overnight showers as the last of the storm moves past.
The precipitation from this storm cycle looks to end by Wednesday morning as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West behind the departing storm, with temperatures warming toward sixty degrees as the sun returns. The warming trend continues for the rest of the work week, with dry weather and temperatures reaching the upper-sixties on Thursday and returning to the low-seventies on Friday.
While the current forecast has the nice weather persisting into next weekend, that may change in succeeding weather forecasts as several Pacific weather disturbances move just to our north. So stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where we’ll see if we can eke out a second dry weekend in the last two months to start the month of June. And for those tired of the wet weekends, remember the high country adage that May showers bring June wildflowers!