Thursday, November 10, 2016
Relatively rare gusty easterly winds have developed this afternoon as air is funneled between an indistinct low to our south and a lobe of high pressure to our north that is dragging a weak cool front through the Steamboat Springs area.
Warm temperatures and continued sunny skies with less wind will persist Friday and Saturday before a fast-moving Pacific traveling through the northern tier of states drags a weak cool front through the area on Sunday. There will likely be some clouds during Sunday and even a stray shower is possible, especially at the higher elevations.
Sunny conditions and warm temperatures return for the first half of the work week as a strong winter-like storm approaches the West Coast and pumps up the western ridge. While next Wednesday may be the warmest day of the week, southwesterly winds will increase through the day and become strong as the Pacific storm crosses the California coast.
The storm is forecast to race across the Great Basin Wednesday night and bring a sharp cold front through our area during the day on Thursday. If snow does not fall in the valley during the day, it should turn to snow by sunset as temperatures plummet from the unseasonably warm temperatures we have been enjoying this fall. If forecasts hold, there will be significant snow accumulation on the hill, possibly in the 6-12” range as well as accumulating snow in the valley.
A transitory ridge is advertised for the next weekend before additional energy in the Pacific approaches the West Coast.
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.
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.
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.
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.