Sunday, June 16, 2019
The unsettled weather Steamboat Springs has seen for the last several days will continue through Tuesday before drying occurs for Wednesday and some of Thursday. The unsettled weather looks to return later Thursday and extend into next weekend as another storm moves across the West.
First, thanks to those who commented on possible changes to this twice weekly forecast, and those who have not commented can still do so by following the link above or just clicking here. I had wanted to try and take this Sunday off, but lots happening as we approach the Summer Solstice on Friday at 9:54 am MDT.
Our weather currently is influenced by a couple of stormy areas to our north and southwest. Waves of energy and moisture rotating around the storm to our north and ejecting out of the storm to our southwest will conspire to bring good chances for showers and storms to our area for the next three days, with the best chances and greatest coverage on Monday and Tuesday. Like on this past Friday, the storms will be capable of localized moderate to heavy rain, gusty winds and small hail.
Meanwhile, a strong storm crossing the Gulf of Alaska will mix with some still-cold air from near the North Pole as it crosses the Pacific Northwest coast around Tuesday. Winds will increase as they turn from the northwest to the west on Wednesday, briefly bringing dry air overhead and likely eliminating any precipitation potential.
Additional Pacific energy will move into the storm early on Thursday, further increasing the winds as they turn from the west to the southwest. Also, there will be enough cold air associated with the storm to form a mostly stationary cool front extending from roughly central Utah through northern Colorado.
Another round of unsettled weather looks to start around later Thursday as the stationary front forms near our area. But this will be a tricky forecast as drier air lurks just to the south of the front, creating a relatively sharp boundary between the warm and dry or cool and showery weather.
I expect the forecast to change, but right now, Friday looks to be the most active day for our area, with that activity possibly extending into at least part of Saturday. More Pacific energy follows, and though weather forecast models disagree on the evolution of those disturbances, the current forecast bring warmer and drier weather back to our region later in the weekend.
Thursday, June 13, 2019
The past few days of beautiful mostly sunny weather in Steamboat Springs will be turning more unsettled for the upcoming week. Waves of Pacific energy and moisture will move over the West and increase rainfall chances starting on Friday and lasting through midweek.
Though our area has enjoyed mostly sunny skies with high temperatures right near our average of 73 F over the last few days, atmospheric moisture this Thursday is already increasing ahead of several Pacific disturbances taking aim on the West. The first will bring some more clouds this afternoon, and any showers will be confined to the higher elevations to our north and produce more wind than rain as the lower levels of the atmosphere are quite dry.
But that changes on Friday as a stronger disturbance passes by in the afternoon and substantially increases the moisture in all levels of the atmosphere. Showers will become more likely by later in the day and overnight, some of which may produce brief periods of locally moderate to heavy rain.
Another disturbance is forecast for later Saturday, so more showers producing locally moderate to heavy rain for a time are again likely. In fact, a parade of nebulous and hard-to-time disturbances will pass by in generally west to northwest flow through Tuesday of next week, keeping good chances of mostly afternoon and evening showers, some moderate to heavy, on each day.
By mid-next week, a series of stronger Pacific disturbances are forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast. There is weather forecast disagreement with regards to the southern extent of these disturbances, but models agree that we will at least see breezy to windy west to northwest winds as these disturbances move eastward.
Lastly, I am considering decreasing the frequency of these weather narratives to once per week on Thursdays in order to lessen my workload. And I’m just not sure how many people are reading this in the summer. Please contact me if you have thoughts about this possible change.
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Early on this Saturday afternoon in Steamboat Springs, temperatures are running about fifteen degrees below yesterday behind the cool front that passed through last night. Additional mostly dry cool fronts are timed for Sunday and Tuesday, and a moister one on Thursday, after which a stream of Pacific moisture and energy will turn the weather warmer but unsettled, lasting through Father’s Day weekend.
An unseasonably cold storm currently centered over Idaho is located behind ridges of high pressure along the West Coast and northeast North America. Though temperatures will warm today toward our average of 71 F, some Pacific energy moving over the top of the West Coast ridge will force the Idaho storm eastward, and another wave of cool air will sweep over our area on Sunday. High temperatures will be cooler than today, with low temperatures both Sunday and Monday five to ten degrees below our average low of 37 F.
The strong June sun (we are only 2 weeks away from summer solstice, which represents the time of year when the sun is highest in our northern hemisphere sky) will allow temperatures to recover and warm back towards average on Monday before they are knocked back a bit below average again on Tuesday by another dry cool front traveling down the east side of the West Coast ridge.
As the Idaho storm intensifies over the upper Midwest and Canadian Plains, another cool front is forecast to move through our area on Thursday. Additionally, the Pacific energy and moisture that had been riding over the top of the West Coast ridge will pass through and underneath the ridge instead, allowing warmer temperatures and more moisture to move across the West. This pattern looks to persist through Father’s Day weekend and into the following workweek, and would bring increased chances of showers through the period.
Thursday, June 6, 2019
The current mostly sunny skies with seasonable temperatures will continue in the Steamboat Springs area through midweek after which moisture is advertised to return for the end of the work week.
Currently, a transient ridge of high pressure has built behind a departing storm that passed mostly south of our area yesterday and ahead of an unseasonably cold storm crossing the Pacific Northwest coast. As the northwest storm moves mostly north of our area across the northern Rockies over the weekend, we should see breezy southwest winds Friday ahead of the storm, along with some afternoon clouds and a chance of a storm that will likely bring more wind than rain.
Several cool fronts will be dragged through our area on Saturday, Sunday and Monday as energy rotating around the storm grazes our area. The Saturday front will be weak enough so its effects may only be noticed by the winds markedly decreasing and shifting to the west.
The Sunday front will still be dry but stronger, with cool morning temperatures approaching or below freezing, which is five to ten degrees below our average of 37 F, and high temperatures falling a bit to below average.
Monday will start on the cool side, but temperature will warm to around average as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West Coast behind the strong storm that is now forecast to be over the central Canadian Plains.
We should see generally light northwest winds and average temperatures Monday and Tuesday as the ridge of high pressure is pushed eastward by a series of Pacific waves of energy and moisture. Wednesday will likely be the warmest day of this forecast period before the Pacific waves bring westerly winds and increasing moisture, leading to the chances for showers for the end of the work week and heading into the weekend.
Sunday, June 2, 2019
The current seasonable weather in Steamboat Springs will largely continue during the upcoming week, with the weather highlighted by a good chance of wetting rains on Wednesday and possibly Thursday and a dry cool front around mid-weekend.
What has been a stationary area of low pressure currently in southern California will be forced eastward across the Desert Southwest early in the workweek by a strong and cold storm moving eastward from the Gulf of Alaska. Some energy and moisture ejecting out of the southwest storm will conspire with the surface heating from a strong early June sun to bring the chance of afternoon and evening storms today, Monday and Tuesday, with high temperatures within about five degrees of our 69 F average. However, the lower atmosphere will remain dry enough so that we may see more wind than rain from the storms.
As the Desert Southwest storm moves across the the Colorado / New Mexico border on Wednesday, we should see more clouds than earlier in the workweek as the atmosphere moistens, along with a better chance for wetting rains during the day and evening.
The storm will be east of our area on Thursday, and though the atmosphere dries, some cool air behind the storm will help destabilize the atmosphere and produce a chance for stronger, but perhaps more isolated, storms on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, the eastward moving Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to cross the Pacific Northwest coast. While the previous two weeks featured very significant snowfall in our area from this type of storm, summer is going to win the battle this time as the storm stays mostly north of our area as it travels along the U.S. / Canadian border through the weekend and the beginning of the following workweek.
A downturn in shower activity is expected for Friday and Saturday as drier air in southwest flow moves over our area ahead of the storm, along with warming temperatures on Friday. One or possibly two dry cool fronts are forecast to graze our area on Saturday and Sunday, with the Sunday cool front more certain and cooler.
The drier weather looks to persist into the beginning of the following workweek before moisture possibly returns to our area,