Pleasant weather for the coming work week

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Temperatures are currently in the low seventies under mostly sunny skies in the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday noon. While clouds will come and go and temperatures warm toward the eighties in the coming days, rain chances will be minimal until later Thursday when a fast moving wave to the north grazes our area.

After the excitement of significant rainfall and the first snow of the 2021-2022 ski season at the Steamboat Ski Resort to end the last work week, the weather for the upcoming work week will be far more benign and quite pleasant. Some cool air associated with a wave currently entering the Dakatos will keep our temperatures in the seventies today, a few degrees below our seasonally declining average of 79 F, along with some breezy winds generally from the west.

The NOAA smoke plume model has the southern edge of a ribbon of smoke mildly degrading air quality later this afternoon, but winds turn to be more from the southwest by tonight and push the smoke from our area. Incidentally, the GEOCOLOR satellite movie clearly shows the ribbon of smoke just to our north that is expected to briefly bulge southward over our area this afternoon.

Winds from the southwest ahead of an area of low pressure that is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday are forecast to raise our temperatures several degrees to around average and keep breezy conditions around through midweek.

That area of low pressure will not move much through the work week as waves of departing energy are replaced by additional waves of incoming energy. By Thursday, forecasts are for one of these waves to be strong enough to turn our winds to be a bit more from the south, which may carry some monsoonal moisture northward over our area and modestly increase the chance for some showers later Thursday and possibly overnight.

Next weekend is currently looking nice, though some sort of tropical storm looks to travel through the Caribbean Sea this week and then possibly the southern Gulf of Mexico which may eventually increase moisture over our area after next weekend. Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon to see if the forecast for a nice weekend holds.

First snow of the season!

Friday, August 20, 2021

First snow at Four Points on on 20 August 2021 First snow from Rendezvous on 20 August 2021 Just a quick update to yesterday’s weather narrative to mention that as of this morning, 20 August, the Steamboat Ski Resort has received its first snowfall of the 2021-2022 ski season!

The final push of cold air associated with the storm came through around midnight last night, and dropped temperatures at the Storm Peak Lab near the top of Mt. Werner to 29 F.

Shown in the two pictures from early this morning is snow on the deck of Four Points and the top of Twister and a patch of snow near the top of High Noon taken from the Rendezvous cam.

Also, in addition to the rainfall totals from yesterday morning, areas around town received another three to four tenths of an inch of rain, with 0.44” reported near the top of Steamboat Boulevard.

Taste of Autumn

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Temperatures are in the mid-sixties this Thursday afternoon with a mix of some sun and clouds over the Steamboat Springs area after a rainy morning. A cold fall-like storm currently in Utah will swing through our region overnight bringing more rainfall and even a dusting of snow at the higher elevations. While similarly cool temperatures will persist for Friday, they’ll warm through the weekend and the following work week under mostly sunny skies.

The center of a quite cold storm by mid-August standards is on our doorstep, with significant rainfall ahead of the storm being reported around town this morning. Between two and four tenths of rainfall was reported across the region as of 7 am this morning, with that much or more expected by tomorrow morning as waves of energy and moisture associated with the storm move overhead through tonight.

The coldest air will not be overhead till early Friday morning when most of the moisture will have passed, but snow levels will be low enough for a dusting of snow at the higher elevations. There may even be snowflakes on top of Mt. Werner, though unfortunately the Steamboat Powdercam is not currently active to verify that. Feel free to comment in this blog if you happen to be camping at the higher elevations and see this ski season’s first snowfall!

While precipitation will be over early Friday, the air mass will be slow to recover and again we will see high temperatures in the sixties on Friday, around ten to fifteen degrees below our average of 80 F, though with lots of sun.

The weekend is looking quite pleasant, with temperatures recovering into the seventies even as another storm is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast Friday night. However, a ridge of high pressure centered over the southeast will deflect the storm to our northwest, but not before some increasing winds later Saturday along with the slight chance of some afternoon and overnight showers.

The ridge of high pressure elongates to the northwest and over our area by the beginning of the work week, leading to mostly sunny skies and temperatures warming to around average which persist through midweek, along with some breezes. There is very dry air lurking to our west, though that is forecast to battle the monsoonal moisture traveling northward along the west side of the high pressure, so there may be a small chance of a late-day shower, or not, depending upon the daily outcome of that battle.

Another storm is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest midweek, but again the forecasts are for the storm to deflect around our area, and right now it looks like we will see dry weather with some more breezes to close out the work week. Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon for any updates to the pleasant weather forecast.

First fall-like cool front of the season to arrive midweek

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Temperatures are once again around eighty degrees in the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday noon under mostly sunny skies. Better cloud cover than yesterday and a chance of late-day showers should shave at least a few degrees from the last two days of hot temperatures, where 89 F and 91 F were recorded at the Bob Adams airport. A couple more hot days are forecast to start the work week before our first fall-like cool front is advertised for later Wednesday, accompanied by good chances for beneficial rainfall through Thursday.

A ridge of high pressure currently over much of the West has brought the hot temperatures around ten degrees above our 81 F average this past work week to our high valley in north-central Colorado. There looks to be better moisture overhead today than in the past week as indistinct circulations underneath the ridge of high pressure bring some moisture to our south northward, so there is some chance of afternoon and evening showers.

Meanwhile, a couple of storms off the Aleutian Islands are forecast to mix with some southward moving cold air near the seasonally cooling North Pole over the next couple of days before moving across the Gulf of Alaska. The first storm is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast Monday night and move across the Great Basin on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Expect another couple of hot days on Monday and Tuesday with shower chances near nil as some dry air ahead of the Pacific Northwest storm moves overhead. But increasing winds from the southwest ahead of the storm will combine with the clockwise flow around the high pressure area forecast to be to our east to substantially increase moisture over our area during Wednesday, leading to a good chance of late-day showers.

Weather forecast models are struggling with the speed of the storm, with the latest runs trending slower, but right now it looks the season’s first fall-like cool front should pass through our area overnight Wednesday. We will likely see showers ahead of the front, and if the front slows down, we could see another hot and mostly dry Wednesday afternoon, or not if showers begin in the afternoon.

Moisture with the storm will then combine with the moisture brought northward ahead of the storm leading to high precipitation chances from Wednesday night through Thursday night, with chances perhaps lingering into Friday morning as additional surges of cool air follow the first front. We could go from high temperatures near ninety degrees on Tuesday to high temperatures struggling to reach seventy degrees on a showery Thursday.

And the coldest air of the storm does not reach us until Friday morning when most of the showers will have ended, but snow levels are forecast to go as low as 11,500′. So look to the higher surrounding peaks Friday morning to see the first dusting of snowfall of the season!

It looks like at least another couple of likely dry cool fronts will pass through northern Colorado as we head into and through next weekend, so stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon to see what’s in store for the end of next week.

Shower chances return starting Friday

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Temperatures are around eighty degrees in the Steamboat Springs area under cloudless and less smokey skies this Thursday noon, on their way to the mid and upper eighties. The chance for afternoon and evening showers returns on Friday and at least Saturday as some moisture returns to the area, with our first fall-like cool front forecast to approach our area around midweek

A broad ridge of high pressure currently sitting over the Gulf of Alaska and extending into the Intermountain West is flanked by deep and cold areas of low pressure over the Bering Sea and Hudson Bay. The Bering Sea storm is forecast to move east and force the ridge of high pressure to also move east and weaken over the weekend.

Indistinct circulations under the ridge of high pressure will allow some moisture from the south to move overhead starting on Friday, fueling possible afternoon and evening storms for Friday and Saturday with continued warm afternoon temperatures around five degrees or so above our average of 81 F. The refreshingly cool overnight lows will continue to run around or a few degrees below our average of 45 F.

The Thursday morning NOAA smoke plume forecast has some smoke hanging around today and tomorrow, though far less than we saw earlier in the week when winds from the west transported smoke from California wildfires directly into our area. This model has the smoke increasing modestly on Saturday as winds circulating underneath the ridge of high pressure carry smoke originally from the British Columbia wildfires over the region.

By mid-weekend, the Bering Sea storm is forecast to move into the Gulf of Alaska and by late Sunday cross the Pacific Northwest coast. We may see some dry air ahead of the storm on Sunday for a reduced chance of afternoon storms, or not, under continued above average temperatures.

By Monday we will see another warm day with increased winds from the southwest as the Pacific Northwest storm moves inland, with the storm currently indicated to bring a couple of the season’s first fall-like cool fronts through the region around late Tuesday or Wednesday and Friday. And it looks like there will be significant moisture drawn northward in the southwest flow associated with the Pacific Northwest storm as it moves eastward, so beneficial rainfall of over a quarter inch is likely.

Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon for details on what may be our first cool fronts of the season and the increased chances for wet weather next week.

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