Wednesday, April 13, 2016
A major spring storm currently gathering strength off the Pacific Northwest coast will bring significant weather to our area by Friday and extending through Monday
Thursday will be warm and windy with southwesterly winds and the possibility of afternoon rain showers. During the day, the major storm strongly splits over the Pacific Northwest with most of the energy driving the storm south across the Great Basin before it settles around the Four Corners region by the weekend.
Energy ejecting out of the still intensifying storm will bring rain showers first to Craig Thursday night and then to Steamboat later in the night or early in the morning, with snow showers on the mountain. Precipitation will become heavier in the afternoon as the cool air aloft destabilizes the atmosphere and brings the possibility of thunder.
The cool air will eventually turn rain to snow during the evening as the storm strengthens significantly. By Friday night, the low level counterclockwise winds will draw substantial Gulf of Mexico moisture into the storm creating conditions that produce a TROWAL somewhere over the Colorado mountains from Saturday through Monday and strong upslope flow over the Front Range. While all of Colorado will receive substantial precipitation, the foothills look particularly favored with 12-18” of snow expected by Saturday afternoon that will make travel on I-70 west of Morrison difficult to impossible. There may be road closures.
Closer to our area, I would expect 1-3” of dense snow in the valleys by Saturday morning with 5-10” on the mountain as the winds turn easterly. While we are often sheltered from precipitation when easterly winds downslope off the Park Range, we can receive moderate to heavy precipitation under a TROWAL.
Models indicate the position of the TROWAL moving around through the weekend, so the periods of moderate to heavy precipitation will likely move around as well. The easterly upslope flow for the Front Range, however, will be persistent, and another 12-18” of snow may fall from Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon, continuing the travel problems on the I-70 corridor.
There may be a decrease in precipitation over our area during Sunday before the storm moves east enough to bring northwest flow and more snowfall to the area for Sunday night through Monday. Snows should taper off Tuesday with warmer and drier weather currently forecast by Wednesday.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The chance of afternoon showers remain for Wednesday, though they will be less numerous than the past few days.
Thursday will be warm and windy with southerly winds, again with the possibility of afternoon showers, ahead of a likely major spring storm that makes landfall in southern Oregon that morning. This cold storm will deepen rapidly as it moves across the Great Basin on Friday and major impacts are likely by the weekend as Gulf of Mexico moisture mixes with the storm and produces possibly heavy precipitation over our area by around Friday afternoon.
Lots of uncertainty with respect to snow levels and precipitation amounts for the event, though the mountain will almost certainly see heavy snows for at least the first part of the weekend.
The storm looks to hang around through the weekend and into at least Monday and will also affect the Front Range to our east, especially the foothills, and the Utah desert to our southwest.
Monday, April 11, 2016
One last storm to our south that will move across the U.S - Mexican border on Tuesday will keep the chance of afternoon showers for Tuesday and Wednesday with mild temperatures and a fair bit of sun each day.
Thursday looks to be breezy to windy and warm, again with the possibility of afternoon showers, ahead of a possibly major spring storm that makes landfall in southern Oregon that morning. This cold storm will deepen rapidly as it moves across the Great Basin on Friday and the possibility for major impacts exists by the weekend as Gulf of Mexico moisture mixes with the storm and produces possibly heavy precipitation over our area.
The storm looks to hang around through the weekend and into Monday and will also affect the Front Range.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
A couple more storms to our south will keep the chance of afternoon showers for Monday through Wednesday with mild temperatures and a fair bit of sun each day.
Thursday looks to be breezy and warm ahead of a possibly major late-winter snowstorm that makes landfall in southern Oregon that morning. This cold storm will deepen rapidly as it moves across the Great Basin on Friday and the possibility for major impacts exists by the weekend as Gulf of Mexico moisture mixes with the storm and produces possibly heavy snowfall over our area.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Several storms passing to our south will keep warm and showery afternoon weather over the area through midweek.
Yet another southern storm makes landfall early Sunday and may phase with a weak cool front associated with a passing storm to our north later in the day and into the evening Sunday. This front may be the focus of stronger showers Sunday afternoon and evening and could briefly lower snow levels to around 8000′ after it passes.
More afternoon showers are forecast for Monday through Wednesday as additional warm Pacific storms move along the U.S. - Mexico border.