Thursday, July 16, 2020
Partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low eighties are observed in Steamboat Springs early this Thursday afternoon. Shower chances will come and go during the upcoming week as monsoonal moisture from the south is intermittently interrupted by passing storms to our north.
Some moisture is now over our area as a result of southerly flow on the west side of a flat ridge of high pressure over the southern half of the U.S. Though areas to our south will be favored for rains, there may be enough moisture for some afternoon and evening showers both today and Friday. Since the lower levels of the atmosphere are quite dry, these showers will likely produce more wind than rain.
This moist flow from the south will be interrupted several times this upcoming week as storms to our north shift our winds to be more from the drier west. Right now, it looks like the atmosphere will dry out on Saturday as a storm moves to our north before shower chances return for Sunday.
Another storm to our north might dry things out for Monday and Tuesday before flow from the south briefly resumes around midweek for another day or two of increased shower chances.
Meanwhile, a storm is forecast to move across the Pacific Northwest late in the work week, and there may be enough southerly flow ahead of the storm to force a healthy plume of monsoonal moisture northward across Arizona. We should see some drying for the end of the work week before that monsoonal moisture plume is forecast to be bent eastward as the storm moves eastward, increasing the chance of showers again over our area around the following weekend.
So generally normal summer weather for the upcoming week, with the specifics dependent upon the outcome of the battle between the southern ridge of high pressure and the northern storms. Hopefully we can get some rain before my next weather narrative scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, July 12, 2020
A batch of mid-level atmospheric moisture has brought clouds and comfortable temperatures in the mid-seventies to Steamboat Springs this Sunday noon. Several more batches of moisture follow later today and Monday, with modest chances that we will see wetting rains today and Monday ahead of a cool front timed for Monday night or early Tuesday. Other than slightly cooler temperatures on a dry Tuesday, we’ll see breezy westerly winds around the front on both Monday and Tuesday before winds relax and temperatures rise by midweek. There may another couple of batches of moisture for modest shower chances around Thursday and Saturday afternoons as well.
Currently, a ridge of high pressure sits over the southwestern quarter of the U.S. while a storm is moving across British Columbia. Some monsoonal moisture has made it into our area from the southwest, leading to the possibility of some showers this afternoon and evening.
The storm in British Columbia is forecast to move east across southern Canada and drag a cool front through our area later Monday night or early Tuesday. Winds will increase ahead of and behind the cool front Monday and Tuesday, along with more showers possible on Monday and a slightly cooler but dry Tuesday.
Temperatures increase to above our average of 82 F starting midweek as a ridge of high pressure rebuilds behind the grazing cool front. Weather forecast models predict another couple of batches of moisture for some shower chances around Thursday and Saturday afternoons, though that forecast is subject to change as that will depend on exactly how and where the ridge of high pressure rebuilds. Stay tuned to my next weather narrative on Thursday afternoon to see how these next batches of moisture evolve.
Thursday, July 9, 2020
The current hot and dry weather over Steamboat Springs this past week looks to continue for the following week, with even hotter temperatures forecast through the weekend. There may be some heat relief midway through the next work week, but significant rainfall looks unlikely through this forecast period.
A summer ridge of high pressure over the western two thirds of the U.S. is battling a stormy area over the Gulf of Alaska, and the ridge is handily winning over our area as storms from the Gulf periodically travel across the northern Rockies.
One such storm will move across Montana on Friday and produce a breezy afternoon with winds from the west. Another stronger storm crosses the British Columbia coast this weekend, with the southwesterly flow ahead of the storm encouraging the ridge to build even more over most of the West. While the Bob Adams airport in Steamboat Springs reached 89 F this past Tuesday, nineties are in our future as soon as Friday. These hot temperatures are well above our average high of 81 F and look to last into the next work week.
Chances for precipitation are close to nil for the next few days, and only slight for Sunday afternoon as sparse monsoonal moisture is drawn over the Desert Southwest and toward our area ahead of the British Columbia storm. But this moisture will be high based, and while we may see some clouds at times that would moderate the hot temperatures, any precipitation is likely to evaporate before reaching the ground, producing virga, and more wind than rain.
As the British Columbia storm moves eastward across the northern Rockies early in the work week, winds will increase from the west again which will increase fire weather concerns. But the storm looks to be strong enough to drag a weak cool front near our area around Tuesday and Wednesday, and this will help limit the afternoon temperatures to the eighties.
In addition to some heat relief, there may be some moisture around for the possibility of showers, though that is very uncertain at this time. Not only may there be some moisture associated with the cool front, but the storm is forecast to be strong enough to displace the ridge of high pressure eastward, perhaps allowing some monsoonal moisture from the south to move northward along its west side and toward our area.
There are indications in the longer term weather forecast models that this weak tap of monsoonal moisture may persist through the rest of the work week and headed into the following weekend, though areas to our south would be favored if that occurred. However, the monsoonal surges predicted by the longer range models have not been verifying well so far this season, so I would classify that forecast as optimistic.
I’ll discuss the cool-down for next week and the possible appearance of some moisture in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, July 5, 2020
The temperature is already 80 F in sunny Steamboat Springs this Sunday noon on the way to the mid-eighties. Building clouds, if they occur over our area, may take the edge off the heat this afternoon, though these storms, like yesterday, would likely produce more wind than rain. But today will be our last chance for any rainfall until mid-next weekend as hot, dry and sometimes breezy to windy weather is expected through the upcoming work week.
A ridge of high pressure loosely centered over the central U.S. will build westward over our area through the work week as a persistent area of storminess over the Gulf of Alaska keeps a series of storms moving through the jet stream located across the northern Rockies. While dry air and hot temperatures five to ten degrees above our average high of 80 F will be the rule this upcoming week, afternoon winds will periodically increase ahead of and along with the Gulf of Alaska storms passing to our north.
One such storm crosses the Pacific Northwest on Monday, so breezy to windy southwest flow is expected on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday as the storm passes well to our north.
Behind that storm, the ridge of high pressure to our east moves westward and over our area by the end of the work week, decreasing winds but keeping the hot temperatures around.
Additionally, another Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest mid-next weekend as a strong tropical storm moves west of the Baja peninsula. There is a chance that some moisture from the Baja storm will be drawn northeastward in the southwesterly flow ahead of the Gulf of Alaska storm, though weather forecast models disagree on whether the Gulf of Alaska storm will be strong enough for that to occur.
So there may be some rain chances by next weekend, or not, and I’ll be discussing this possibility in my next weather narrative scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Thursday, July 2, 2020
The current hot, dry and sunny weather in the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday afternoon will yield to a modest increase in mid and upper level moisture starting on Friday. But the lower levels of the atmosphere will remain dry, so there will only be small chances for showers from Friday through Sunday, with the best chances on Independence Day. While clouds may moderate afternoon temperatures, a return to hot and dry weather is forecast for the following work week.
A strong and cold storm off the British Columbia coast will be kept at bay by a westward-expanding ridge of high pressure currently over the central U.S. The North American Monsoon then gets started as the combination of southerly flow ahead of the British Columbia storm and the clockwise flow around the ridge of high pressure bring moisture originally from the Gulf of Mexico and now pooling over the Mexican Plateau northward.
The ridge of high pressure will bring hot temperatures in the eighties for the upcoming week, which will be above our average high of 79 F. While areas to our south will be favored for precipitation, we will see small chances on Friday and Sunday, with a better chance on Independence Day, especially at the higher elevations.
The British Columbia storm is forecast to move across the northern Rockies late in the weekend, which will suppress the ridge of high pressure to our south and shift our winds from southerly to westerly. Winds from the west will sever the stream of moisture from the south as much drier air moves overhead, so next work week is looking mostly sunny, hot and dry.
Another storm off the British Columbia coast is forecast to move across the northern Rockies midweek, and the ridge of high pressure rebuilds over our area behind that storm by the end of the work week. This will at least briefly shift our winds to be from the south again, which bring some shower chances around Thursday or Friday as monsoonal moisture is again transported over Colorado.
However, additional storminess is forecast off the British Columbia coast, and as these storm move across the northern Rockies, winds over our area will shift from the south to the west, and the air mass will dry. So while we may see some showers near the end of the work week, hot and dry weather is expected to return for the following weekend. For what its worth, longer-range weather forecast models do advertise a more substantial monsoonal pattern developing around mid-month.
We’ll see if this forecast stays consistent in my next weather narrative scheduled for Sunday afternoon.