Summer heat arrives just in time for the Summer Solstice

Monday, June 19, 2017

It is appropriate that a blast of summer heat will arrive by the Summer Solstice, which will occur on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 at 10:24pm. A ridge of high pressure is currently centered over the desert southwest, and this will move towards the Steamboat Springs area on Tuesday bringing very warm summertime temperatures.

Concurrently, a storm in the Gulf of Alaska will move eastward and mix with some cool air from the western Canadian plains. While the bulk of the storm will stay well to our north, the cool air moving southward will battle the warm air under the ridge, suppressing the ridge southward and bringing some cooling, clouds and winds for Wednesday. There is a small chance of some afternoon storms that would likely bring more wind than rain due to the dry lower atmosphere, especially at the higher elevations.

Thursday will be similar to Wednesday before disagreement between the numerical forecast models appears for Friday and the weekend. While both the American GFS and the European ECMWF have another wave of cool air traveling mostly north of us, the American GFS brings this through on Friday with most of the cool-down experienced on the Front Range, while the European ECMWF keeps Friday warm and brings the cooler air and breezy conditions further west through the mountains on Saturday.

After that, both models agree on a building ridge of high pressure over the Intermountain West by the second half of the weekend, which will bring a return to hot and dry conditions heading into the next work week.

Quiet weather for this week

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The jet stream will stay mostly north of the Steamboat Springs area for the next week leading to mostly warm and dry days. However, embedded waves in the predominantly westerly flow will force the jet to sag south on Saturday and again near the end of the next work week, leading to some slight cooling, some clouds and the possibility of afternoon showers and breezy to windy westerly winds.

Between Saturday and Thursday, a growing ridge of high pressure over the western states will lead to very summery weather heading into and around the Summer Solstice on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 at 10:24pm.

Around Thursday, the jet stream is forecast to again sag to the south, and this will re-introduce some cooling and clouds with breezy westerly afternoon winds and the chance of afternoon thunderstorms for the remainder of the work week.

Cold front this evening followed by average temperatures and decreasing winds by midweek

Monday, June 12, 2017

A strong winter-like storm currently in the Great Basin has brought 4” of snow to the Alpine Meadows ski area near Lake Tahoe, California! While the dry southern end of the storm will preclude any precipitation for the Steamboat Springs area, temperatures will drop when the cold front blasts through our area around or a few hours before sunset with windy conditions.

Winds will diminish overnight leading to quite chilly Tuesday morning temperatures, with frost possible, so cover your tender, just-planted vegetation. Winds will become breezy again as the cool day wears on, with temperatures over twenty degrees cooler than today.

As the storm moves across first Wyoming early tomorrow and then Montana later Tuesday into Wednesday, temperatures will rebound by Wednesday, though stay around average. Flat westerly flow will keep the comfortable temperatures and breezy afternoon winds around for the rest of the work week.

By the weekend, the American GFS has a shallow ridge of high pressure building over the West Coast, with the European ECMWF recently trending to that solution as well. The American model advertises a couple of waves embedded in the west-northwesterly flow moving over our area during Saturday, and these will bring breezier conditions with even some showers possible later in the day and overnight.

After that, models disagree in the strength of the West Coast ridge and whether any additional waves in northwest flow will move over our area for the end of the weekend and the beginning of next week.

Cooling on Tuesday followed by increasingly hot and dry weather

Monday, June 5, 2017

A wave currently located along the northern Montana border has flattened the western U.S. ridge of high pressure that brought this past weekend’s spectacular weather. This grazing storm will drag a weak cool front through northern Colorado later this afternoon and evening and storms will be possible as this boundary moves through the Steamboat Springs area.

Some storms will also be possible on a cooler Tuesday afternoon as lingering moisture and instability from the front remain over our area.

The western U.S. ridge rebounds on Wednesday, bringing warming temperatures and perhaps a stray afternoon shower as the strong surface warming acts on any remaining moisture in the atmosphere.

Drier air and hot temperatures invade the Intermountain West for the rest of the work week with meager chances for precipitation.

While we are basking in mid summer-like weather, a strong and powerful storm approaches the Pacific Northwest coast around Thursday. However, seasonality dictates that the battle between the storm and the ridge will be dominated by the ridge, at least through the weekend. The main affect on our weather will be the appearance of breezy southwest winds ahead of the storm that will make only slow eastward progress through the weekend.

Breezy conditions will persist into the beginning of the work week. Models now generally agree that some sort of cool front will be dragged through our region around Tuesday as the Pacific Northwest storm eventually moves eastward, and this will bring cooler temperatures and a chance of showers for the day.

Weak storm today followed by typical summer-like weather

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A splitting Pacific storm is currently moving across the Great Basin. While most of the storm will avoid Colorado, increasing moisture and upward motion ahead of the storm will bring good chances for showers to the Steamboat Springs area this afternoon and tonight.

Lingering energy and moisture will fuel the chance of afternoon thunderstorms on Friday as the northern part of the storm moves towards the Great Lakes.

The last forecast discussed the possibility of the southern part of the split possibly affecting our weather on Saturday, but numerical weather forecasts now have that area of low pressure well to the south of northern Colorado. Drier air moves over our region behind the departing northern part of the storm leading to a very pleasant Saturday.

Late in the weekend another storm crosses the Pacific Northwest coast. As earlier predicted by the European ECMWF, a building ridge of high pressure over the Rockies will shunt the slow-moving storm first to our northwest and then to our north. The ridge will be flattened over our area by the grazing storm, and this will lead to a small chance of afternoon storms on Sunday and a better chance on Monday and Tuesday as the airmass is destabilized by cool air aloft associated with the storm.

Temperatures will warm again starting on Wednesday and continuing through the rest of the work week as a ridge of high pressure rebuilds over the Intermountain West behind the grazing storm.

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