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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.

Showers possible through the weekend

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Cloudy skies with temperatures around seventy degrees and relative humidities north of forty percent are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday mid-afternoon. I mention the relative humidity since the day feels humid compared to our normal summer days which often clock in with values below twenty percent. The moist atmosphere will support the possibility of showers today with better chances on Friday as a cool front passes through within several hours of noon. Drier air behind the front will reduce the shower chances on Saturday before they increase again for Sunday.

Currently, a leftover piece of the early week Great Basin storm is over Nevada and is being dragged eastward by another storm passing through the southern Canadian Rockies. Additionally, the clockwise rotation around a ridge of high pressure centered over Texas and extending into the Dakotas is bringing moisture from the south over our area and creating the humid conditions.

Look for a chance of showers this afternoon and tonight as a weak wave of energy rotates around the backside of the high pressure early tonight. We will see a better chance of showers on Friday as that leftover Nevada storm drags a cool front through our area tomorrow within several hours of noon.

Winds will turn to be from the current southwest to the west when the cool front passes and eventually the northwest, which will dry the atmosphere for a substantial decrease in afternoon shower chances on Saturday.

Concurrently, that Canadian Rockies storm is forecast to move into the Dakotas on Saturday, though its southward progress will be limited by the ridge of high pressure to its south. The ridge will end up being deformed; think of a bowl of jello where depressing the center of the bowl temporarily forces the jello to the sides. So by Sunday, as the Dakota storm moves into the Great Lakes, the ridge of high pressure squirts westward, allowing moist flow from the south to re-establish itself overhead. This should lead to good chances for showers on Sunday afternoon and night.

Shower chances remain going into the work week, though at much reduced levels as the stream of moisture from the south is temporarily reduced as the ridge of high pressure relocates. Check back Sunday afternoon for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative where I’ll discuss the work week weather and take a peek at the weather for the long Independence Day weekend.

Nice workweek coming up

Sunday, June 19, 2022

A mix of sun and clouds with temperatures around seventy degrees are over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday afternoon. We may see some showers from these clouds today, though wetting rains will be hard to come by for most locations except southwest Colorado. A grazing storm then brings a weak cool front through our area tonight along with dry air that will stick around for most of the work week.

A deep and cold storm currently in the Great Basin is battling an expansive ridge of high pressure extending from central U.S. into the Canadian Plains. This is a battle the Great Basin storm will lose as we head into the first day of summer on Tuesday, which is marked by the summer solstice and the longest day of the year.  This occurs when the sun has reached its northernmost extent in the northern hemisphere, which for 2022 occurs at 3:13 am MDT Tuesday.

The currently breezy winds from the south will turn to be from the southwest and decrease as the Great Basin storm is deflected to our northwest tonight and eventually into Montana on Monday. Along with the much drier air from the Desert Southwest, a cool front tonight will drop our high temperatures into the sixties, around ten degrees below our average of 75 F, for a delightful last day of spring on Monday.

The dry air will stick around through midweek as temperatures rise to the mid to upper seventies before we may see the return of some moisture from the south by Thursday. This will result from the southerly winds ahead of a piece of the Great Basin storm left behind over California and reinforced by some incoming Pacific energy conspiring with the clockwise rotation around the ridge of high pressure to our east.

We will likely see only some increasing clouds on Thursday before the the atmosphere moistens enough for the possibility of wetting showers on Friday. Additionally, weather forecast models agree that the California storm will eventually move eastward and near our area around Friday, and we will likely see some good rain chances if and when that occurs.

So check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss the rain potential for Friday and whether rain chances persist for the weekend.

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23 June 2017

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