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Gorgeous late fall weather continues

Monday, November 7, 2016

A high amplitude western ridge will continue our spectacular weather through at least the next week.  Temperatures will warm even more for Tuesday and Wednesday as the heart of the ridge moves over the Rockies before a Pacific storm moving along the Canadian border drags a dry cool front through the Steamboat Springs area sometime on Thursday.

Meanwhile, some energy left behind from this past weekend’s storm moves southwestward from it’s current position in Kansas and ends up along the Mexican border for Wednesday and Thursday. Colorado will be sandwiched between these two systems later Thursday and part of Friday leading to cooler temperatures with the possibility of cloudy conditions for a while.

But the ridge rebuilds for later Friday and Saturday once again bringing warm and sunny conditions to our area.

Another weak wave moving along the Canadian border this weekend may bring another dry and even weaker cool front through northern Colorado later Saturday, but temperatures quickly rebound for later Sunday and into the beginning of the next work week.

Dry weather persists except for a chance of light showers for Saturday

Thursday, November 3, 2016

After a couple of gorgeous days to end this work week, moisture increases starting later Friday and hangs around through Saturday night as the wobbly low mentioned in the last forecast moves near the Steamboat Springs area and brings precipitation to southern Colorado. Low temperature for both nights will be warmer than the past few days as the clouds act like a blanket to trap the earth’s daytime heat while daytime highs for Saturday will be cooler as the clouds block the sun.

There may be enough moisture for a chance of rain showers Saturday afternoon and evening especially at the higher elevations.

Clouds may hang around for Sunday and part of Monday with little chance for precipitation as a weak and splitting Pacific weather system crosses Colorado. For those keeping score, the European ECMWF was the clear winner in minimizing the significance of the system.

By Tuesday, the western ridge expands, shunting any Pacific weather systems to our north and bringing another warm and dry work week to the Intermountain West.

There is a chance of some weather for next weekend, though the European ECMWF is once again weaker with the trough and stronger with the western ridge than the American GFS.

Showers to continue tomorrow before likely warming and drying

Monday, October 31, 2016

While one weather system leaves the area tonight, another one that is currently crossing the northern California coast will split tomorrow as it enters the Great Basin. The weaker northern part of the storm races eastward and brings the possibility of light showers to our area as early as noon Tuesday that may persist into Wednesday morning with similar temperatures to today.

Meanwhile, the dominant southern portion of the split forms a closed low by Wednesday as it sinks into Arizona. The track and evolution of these cutoff lows are notoriously difficult to forecast which leads to some uncertainty for the rest of the week’s weather. Current forecasts agree that the bulk of the warm moisture and precipitation will be to our south, with northern Colorado sandwiched between dry air to our north and the wobbly cutoff somewhere to our south and west.

The end result is Wednesday will show clearing skies and the dry air to our north will likely move over our area for Thursday and Friday with noticeably warmer temperatures.

After meandering for a few days in the Great Basin, models have the cutoff low weakening and moving eastward across Colorado during the weekend. While warm precipitation is a good bet for southern Colorado, small changes in the actual track will be the difference between thin weekend clouds for a nice Steamboat Springs weekend, thicker clouds for a cooler weekend or even a showery weekend if the low moves far enough north.

Even more uncertainty is advertised for early in the next work week behind what is left of the departing closed low. The American GFS brings a strong trough with colder temperatures and good moisture through our area on Monday while the European ECMWF brings a much weaker and drier trough through or even north of our area around then.

Nice weather except for showers Saturday and later Sunday into Monday

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Pacific Northwest storm is being forced southward and eastward by energy dropping southward from the Aleutians. Though the last forecast had the storm splitting as it crossed the California coast, current forecasts keep the storm more consolidated as it moves across the Great Basin during the weekend.

Ahead of this storm, the tropical system mentioned in the earlier forecast had turned into a hurricane named Seymour, and the remnants will move through the Great Basin on Saturday ahead of the Pacific storm. Though this will mix with some cool air from Canada, the bulk of the storm looks to graze the Steamboat Springs area late Friday and early Saturday, with some cooler temperatures closer to average and light rain showers as it is deflected to our north by the still dominant western ridge.

We should be between waves later Saturday into Sunday morning before the aforementioned Great Basin storm again brings the chance for showers later Sunday and Monday with breezy southwest winds, cooler temperatures and snow levels between 8000′ and 9000′.

Weather looks to clear again for Tuesday and Wednesday with average temperatures, but there is a lot of uncertainty with regards to the Aleutian energy that eventually makes landfall early in the work week. Originally, models had the storm affecting our area around Thursday but now at least the ECMWF model is forecasting a closed low that may end up staying south of our area.

Pleasant work week bookended by showers tonight and possibly Saturday

Monday, October 24, 2016

Southwest flow ahead of a large storm currently spinning off the Pacific Northwest coast will carry some tropical and subtropical moisture through the Steamboat Springs area later today into Tuesday. Relatively warm showers should start later this evening and peak during the overnight hours, with the snow level near the top of Mt. Werner.

Light showers may persist in the cool northwest flow behind the small storm on Tuesday, but should end later in the day as the atmosphere dries and stabilizes under a building ridge.

Warm and sunny weather should return for Wednesday and Thursday before additional energy dropping southward from the Aleutians forces the Pacific Northwest storm to elongate and move eastward. The storm is forecast to split, with the the tail end of the northern branch bringing a dry cool front through the area on Friday as it moves across Montana.

Meanwhile, the southern end of the split makes landfall around central California on Friday and mixes with a topical system moving northward from Baja. Current model forecasts have the ridge rebuilding behind Friday’s cool front, so it is unclear how much of this energy will make it to the Steamboat Springs area by Saturday, but another round of relatively warm showers are possible.

Drier weather should return for the end of the weekend for a short time before more Pacific energy moves what was once the Aleutian storm eastward. Once again, the threat of showers will increase by late in the weekend or early in the next work week as that storm crosses the California coast and moist southwest flow increases.

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