Brilliant fall days ahead

Thursday, October 6, 2022

A spectacular fall day with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties is over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday afternoon. More warm sunny days and crisp clear nights are forecast through the long Columbus Day weekend which will provide excellent viewing of the late-arriving but still vibrant fall colors around north central Colorado.

A ridge of high pressure over the West Coast is currently sandwiched between two large areas of low pressure extending southward from the Gulf of Alaska and Hudson Bay. Additionally, an eddy has cut off from our past weekend storm and taken up residence over Baja with no effect on our weather.

The dry air associated with the ridge of high pressure is bringing lots of sunshine which is allowing high temperatures to reach into the mid and upper sixties today, about five degrees above our average of 63 F. The clear skies will also allow for cool morning low temperatures right around our average of 28 F.

A wave traveling down the east side of the ridge looks to bring a cool front to the Front Range on Friday, though current forecasts have most of the cold air staying east of the Divide, so similar weather is forecast for our area tomorrow, with temperatures cooling by several degrees.

A dry wave ejected from the Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to move through the ridge of high pressure and drop south along the West Coast on Sunday. The wave is forecast to eject that Baja eddy northeastward across New Mexico early in the work week while taking its place, though both of those features will be too far away to affect our weather through early next week.

So continued warm days and cool nights are forecast through Sunday and Columbus Day before there may be a pattern change for our area around midweek, thanks to some Pacific energy traveling through the Aleutian Islands and the northern Gulf of Alaska. However, there is a lot of uncertainty on how much of that energy and cool air we eventually see, with hopes for a significant storm for our area fading the last several cycles of the weather forecast models. So enjoy a spectacular weekend of quintessential Colorado fall weather and color, and I’ll have be back with my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

Shower chances persist today and Monday before a dry work week

Sunday, October 2, 2022

After some light rain around sunrise, a mix of sun and clouds is over the Steamboat Springs area with temperatures around fifty degrees this Sunday mid-morning, on their way to the mid-sixties. But the sun will heat the unstable atmosphere so showers will persist today and this evening. Temperatures will be a bit cooler on Monday with less of a chance of showers before dry weather and seasonable temperatures dominate most of the rest of the work week.

The recent wet weather which brought about a half inch of rain to the area on Friday and another fifteen hundredths yesterday is being caused by waves of energy pinwheeling around a slow-moving eddy currently over Montana. Steamboat Powdercam at the top of Sunshine Peak at 10,384′This also produced a brief period of quickly-melting snowfall at the top of Sunshine Peak as shown by a snapshot from the Steamboat Powdercam taken at 11 am Saturday morning. Most of the eddy is forecast to rejoin the jet stream later Monday, but not before bringing several more rounds of showers to our area later today and this evening.

Cooler air behind the departing storm will overspread the area on Monday with high temperatures in the low sixties, a couple degrees below our average of 64 F. While we will still see the chance of showers on Monday, they should be less widespread than the last several days.

A ridge of high pressure is forecast to build over the West behind the bulk of the departing storm as southerly winds ahead of a deep area of low pressure extending southward from the Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska bring warm air northward. A small piece of the departing storm is forecast to be left behind and migrate to the Desert Southwest during the work week, and that may be a player in our weather for next weekend.

Otherwise, look for mostly sunny skies starting Tuesday and lasting through most of the work week with high temperatures in the mid-sixties and low temperatures around our average of 29 F. Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss a grazing cold front on Friday and the possible return of subtropical moisture for around next weekend.

Soggy start to the weekend

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Temperatures have dropped from the upper sixties earlier this Thursday afternoon to around sixty degrees late this afternoon as several rounds of showers passed through the Steamboat Springs area. This is in advance of a cold front expected Friday morning that will be accompanied by widespread showers and periods of steady rain that will last through the day and into Saturday morning, with some snow above treeline. While Friday will see the bulk of the accumulating moisture, showers may continue through Saturday and possibly on Sunday depending upon the path of the approaching storm.

While Hurricane Ian is affecting the Southeast, an area of low pressure currently crossing the Pacific Northwest is forecast to form an eddy over Idaho tomorrow that will wobble around for a couple of days before eventually moving into Montana and rejoining the jet stream. Our weather will be very dependent upon the wobbles of the eddy and how quickly dry air on the backside of the storm makes it into our neck of the woods.

Unfortunately this makes for an uncertain forecast for even just two days ahead, though most of the accumulating precipitation looks to occur from Friday night into Saturday morning. High temperatures will certainly fall from what we enjoyed the last several days into the mid-sixties which is right at our average of 66 F. Low temperatures on the other hand will be elevated due to the insulating effects of cloud cover and will stay above our average of 30 F.

The movement of the eddy may be dependent upon the eventual track of the remains of Ian which is expected to turn inland toward the Ohio River Valley by mid-weekend, but the track of hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable. So I would say be prepared for unsettled weather this weekend that likely extends into Monday, but keep an eye outside and on the local satellite and radar movies from SnowAlarm to make your outdoor plans.

It does look like the weather warms and dries for most of the following work week, but be sure to check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss that forecast in more detail.

Spectacular fall weather continues through midweek

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Another gorgeous fall day is over the Steamboat Springs area with cloudless skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties early this Sunday afternoon, on their way to the seventies. More of the same is expected through midweek before moisture increases and shower chances return on Thursday ahead of a Pacific weather disturbance currently forecast for the end of the work week.

An expansive ridge of high pressure currently over the West is sandwiched between two impressively deep and cold low pressure areas with one extending southward through the Aleutian Islands and another southward through Hudson Bay. And not that it will affect our weather, but Tropical Storm Ian currently south of western Cuba is forecast to become a hurricane by Monday and make landfall as a strong storm somewhere around the eastern Gulf Coast or Florida after midweek.

The Aleutian storm is forecast to move eastward early in the work week and split as the southern end moves through the Pacific Northwest around midweek. We will eventually see the influence of the southern piece of the storm, but not before several more spectacular fall days grace our area on Monday and Tuesday, and likely Wednesday, with high temperatures in the mid-seventies, over five degrees above our average of 69 F and low temperatures around or above freezing, a bit above our average low of 31 F.

There is weather forecast model disagreement on how much energy is partitioned into the Pacific Northwest storm and how much moves eastward across Canada, but they agree that the southerly flow ahead of the storm will combine with the clockwise circulation around the high pressure to increase moisture over our area by later Wednesday and Thursday in a monsoon-like pattern. So there should be some chance of showers on Thursday ahead of a better chance on Friday when the cold front is expected to pass through.

The weekend forecast is very uncertain as the European ECMWF forecasts the storm to shear and keeps unsettled weather around, while the American GFS quickly moves the storm through the area for a nice weekend. So check back on Thursday afternoon for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative when these differences should be resolved in time for a more certain weekend weather forecast.

Beautiful weekend ahead

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Temperatures in the low sixties and periods of sun and clouds are over the Steamboat Springs area early this Thursday afternoon. After occasional showers this afternoon and evening behind the departing weather disturbance that is skirting our area, Friday will certainly feel like the first day of fall as sunny skies return and temperatures stay in the upper sixties. Continued sunny days with temperatures warming into the low seventies are forecast for the rest of the weekend and into next week.

The storm responsible for the recent wet weather is currently moving through Montana after bringing about three tenths of an inch of rainfall around town as of 7 am this morning and an additional tenth of an inch after that. Winds have picked up today with gusts up to 20 mph out of the west as the storm moves eastward and drier air begins to move overhead, though additional showers are expected this afternoon and evening ahead of and along a cool front this evening.

Skies will continue to dry after the autumnal equinox arrives at 7:03 pm this evening, which is when the sun moves southward across the equator and marks the astronomical beginning of the fall season. Winds will remain breezy for one more day tomorrow out of the northwest, and although we will see plenty of sunshine, temperatures will be similar to today with highs right around our average of 69 F.

Winds will relax after Friday as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West, with very dry air leading to brilliant sunny skies and high temperatures in the seventies, along with cool nights with low temperatures around freezing, which is right at our average.

This quintessential Colorado fall weather is forecast to continue into the next work week before we may see some moisture return around midweek ahead of a possible Pacific weather disturbance. So enjoy the beautiful first weekend of fall, and check back for updates in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.

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29 June 2020

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