Thursday, September 9, 2021
Temperatures near eighty degrees and sunny but smokey skies are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday noon. We will see continued hot temperatures and smoke through Friday before several grazing cool fronts bring cooler temperatures and modest shower chances to our neck of the woods in north central Colorado starting Saturday.
An expansive ridge of high pressure extending northward to almost the Arctic Circle is currently centered over the Four Corners, and has brought hot and dry weather to the western two thirds of the country this week. Meanwhile, a storm elongated to the south is currently in the Gulf of Alaska as another storm brews off the Aleutian Islands.
These storms are forecast to move eastward through the weekend and substantially weaken the dominant ridge of high pressure over the West, allowing several cool fronts to graze our area starting Saturday. There is some moisture associated with the storms, but not a lot, as well as some additional sparse moisture forecast to be carried northward along the western side of the flattened ridge of high pressure.
So expect another hot day on Friday with temperatures reaching the mid-eighties, like today, but with modestly improving air quality as the NOAA smoke plume model shows the main plume of smoke shifting to the east. However the smoke will be slow to clear as what is already here is recirculated under the heat dome tomorrow, with further improvement likely by Saturday ahead of the first in a series of grazing cool fronts.
The first cool front on Saturday will bring some breezy afternoon winds from the west, along with a chance of showers that may bring more wind than rain as the lower atmosphere starts very dry. High temperatures will also drop closer to our average of 74 F, with the shower chances persisting through the night.
Another grazing cool front for Sunday will keep the modest chances for showers around with continued high temperatures in the seventies. There is at least one more grazing cool front after the weekend, so stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I’ll discuss the shower chances to start the new work week.
Sunday, September 5, 2021
Current temperatures in the Steamboat Springs area are right at the seventy degree mark under cloudless skies this Sunday noon. This spectacular and quintessential Colorado early September weather will continue through the work week.
A ridge of high pressure over the West is currently associated with very dry air, leading to our sunny warm days and cool nights. We’ve been right at our average high temperature of 76 F these past two days with further warming through the work week leading to temperatures reaching the low eighties by Thursday, which is forecast to be the warmest day of the week.
The low temperature this morning reached 34 F at the Bob Adams airport, and I had the first freezing temperature of the season at my weather station near the base of the Steamboat Ski Resort. There is really not much change in the weather for the next several days, other than some increased breezes on Monday afternoon as a weak wave currently crossing the southern British Columbia coast passes to the north of our area.
The NOAA smoke plume model has some smokiness coming and going over the next two days, with a batch of higher density smoke forecast to be over our area later Tuesday behind the departing wave, though it is not clear what will happen to that smoke on Wednesday as that is beyond the 48 hour forecast range of the model. It is run four times a day, so feel free to review the latest output to make your own predictions!
There currently is a storm brewing in the Bering Sea which is forecast to enter the Gulf of Alaska by midweek, and we may see some moisture ahead of the storm by the weekend, though weather forecast model disagreement makes that forecast uncertain. So enjoy the brilliant work week weather, and tune into my Thursday afternoon weather narrative for the weekend forecast.
Thursday, September 2, 2021
After the beneficial rains from former hurricane Nora yesterday, a small chance of afternoon and evening storms today will be followed by a better chance on Friday. But get out your barbecues as dry and sunny weather is forecast for the Steamboat Springs area for the coming long Labor Day weekend.
An elongated area of low pressure currently extending from central Saskatchewan southwestward through the Pacific Northwest and northern California helped steer the remnants of hurricane Nora over our area yesterday, with rains starting in the mid-afternoon. Rainfall around the region was relatively evenly distributed, with areas around town and to the north reporting just under a half inch of beneficial rainfall by mid-evening with a bit less to the south.
Some cooler air behind the storm will keep our temperatures around or just under our average of 77 F today, along with a small chance of showers. The southern end of that area of low pressure to our north and west is forecast to move eastward and drag a weak cool front through our area tomorrow afternoon, so we’ll see a better chance of afternoon and evening storms, possibly with brief periods of moderate to heavy rainfall, with similar temperatures to today. Also of note is that the NOAA smoke plume model is forecasting a modest increase in the smoke over our area from the raging California wildfires for the rest of today and tomorrow, which is the limit of its forecasting range.
As discussed in the last weather narrative on Sunday, there was some uncertainty for the weekend as it was not clear what would happen to the southernmost piece of energy that was left behind off the coast of California. Weather forecast models now agree it will be quite weak and easily deflected further off the coast by a building ridge of high pressure over the West. This will lead to gorgeous warm and sunny weather for the long Labor Day weekend, with high temperatures in the seventies reaching the low eighties by Labor Day, and refreshingly cool nights in the thirties, several degrees below our average of 40 F.
While this weather is currently forecast to extend through the following work week, stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon to see if that forecasts sticks.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Temperatures are close to eighty degrees under sunny but smokey skies in the Steamboat Springs area early this Sunday afternoon. While Category 4 hurricane Ida impacts Louisiana today and will not affect our weather, moisture from Category 1 hurricane Nora currently off the Pacific coast of Mexico is expected over our area by midweek leading to the possibility of moderate to heavy rain.
Winds from the west have transported smoke from the California wildfires over our area starting yesterday, with the NOAA smoke plume model keeping the smoke around through the entirety of its forecasting range, which ended early Tuesday.
A storm currently developing in the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast Tuesday morning, with the winds turning ahead of the storm to be from the southwest over our area by Wednesday. My guess is there won’t be enough southwesterly flow on Tuesday to move the smoke from our area, so expect another smokey day with continued warm temperatures in the eighties, which is above our average high temperature of 78 F.
The weather gets far more interesting by Wednesday as the southwesterly flow ahead of the Pacific Northwest storm steers moisture from what will then be the remnants of Nora over our area. Coincidentally, a piece of the Pacific Northwest storm is left behind off the coast of California which may be a player in our weather for late in the work week and next weekend.
In any event, Wednesday will likely start warm similar to the last few days, with hopefully far less smoke which should be gone by the afternoon as the chances for showers increase. High temperatures will also be held in check by the increasing cloud cover, so highs several degrees below average are expected.
By Wednesday night, weather forecast models have the possibility of moderate to heavy rain increasing as the remnants of Nora move overhead or nearby. The track is still uncertain as the hurricane is now forecast to move northward closer to the mainland than Baja, and this will influence the track of the heaviest moisture.
But weather forecast models agree that we will see a much cooler and showery Thursday, with high temperatures struggling to break out of the sixties. There is a fair bit of uncertainty for the weekend as that leftover piece of energy off the coast of California may move inland and contribute to another push of monsoonal moisture from the south, so stay tuned as I’ll certainly know more about that by my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon.
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Temperatures in the upper seventies and a mix of clouds, sun and showers are over the Steamboat Springs late this Thursday afternoon. The chances for additional showers will persist through this evening before skies clear yielding warm and sunny weather for the weekend, along with the possibility that smoke from the California wildfires returns to our area
A quick moving storm currently over Utah has turned our winds to be from the south, allowing monsoonal moisture to overspread Colorado and bring showers to our area. The showers will end by around midnight as the storm passes through our area and will be followed by much drier air ahead of another storm currently crossing the Pacific Northwest coast.
That storm is forecast to be deflected to our north on Friday and Saturday by a strengthening ridge of high pressure centered over the Southeast, bringing breezy winds from mostly the west, sunny skies and warm temperatures five or more degrees above our average high of 78 F.
While the NOAA smoke plume model forecasts some smoke mostly to the north of our area on Friday, it currently has much higher smoke concentrations predicted for Saturday. While the model only forecasts out to two days, continued breezes from the generally west direction on Sunday may keep the smoke around under continued sunny skies and warm temperatures.
Meanwhile, there are two tropical storms that may develop into hurricanes this weekend, with Ida forecast to impact the western Gulf Coast and Nora forecast to impact the Baja peninsula. While Ida will not affect our weather, there may be a chance we will see either some moisture from Nora or even the remnants of the storm itself in about a week.
Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where I’ll discuss the continued warm and dry conditions to start the work week and the possibility for increasing moisture to welcome the month of September.