Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Sunday night

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The storm-that-wouldn’t-leave is pretty much located directly over us, and there has been some clearing this afternoon under the hurricane-like eye of the storm. The storm will continue to sit and spin over or near our area for the next 2 days before finally moving east of our area around Wednesday.

There may be some snow showers overnight with no accumulations expected. Snow showers will continue Monday, and will become heavier and more frequent in the afternoon as any surface warming destabilizes the atmosphere.

It looks like we will see a short-lived break in the snow showers early in the day Tuesday before a lobe of energy, likely to bring severe weather to eastern Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska overnight tonight, will take the long way to our area, first moving northward and reaching Montana Monday night before curving south by the Tetons and bringing likely significant snow, at least to the mountain, later Tuesday or early Wednesday.

There is now disagreement on when this energy will arrive, with the more consistent AVN bringing a last wave of snow Tuesday afternoon and overnight, while the more mercurial NAM brings the energy in about 12 hours later. The earlier solution will likely bring some sun to the valleys by Wednesday afternoon while the later solution will delay the sun until Thursday.

A nice warm up is in store for the rest of the work week, with possible rain showers Friday afternoon, before another storm threatens our area with inclement weather around mid-weekend.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Saturday night

Saturday, April 16, 2016

This complex and lumbering storm, currently located in northern New Mexico, will slowly move north across Colorado Sunday and Monday before it ends up in central Wyoming by Tuesday. At this point, the storm finally begins to move east, bringing an end to the inclement weather over our area and an apparently short-lived return to spring later Wednesday.

Only light snow with minimal accumulations has been observed in Steamboat Springs Friday night and during the day Saturday as the storm sunk further south than originally forecast, keeping the TROWAL originally predicted to bring us possibly significant snow to our south and west. I still think we will receive some snow tonight, though amounts will be an inch or less in the valleys and 1-4” on the mountain, with some still significant snow overnight for the Front Range foothills.

Light snow showers should continue during the day Sunday before becoming more intermittent and weak overnight and lasting through Monday. There is a possibility of showers becoming heavier in the afternoon Monday as any surface heating during the day will further destabilize the atmosphere.

Strong storms over Kansas and Texas on Sunday will inject a batch of moisture into the upper atmosphere that will form a TROWAL as it rotates counterclockwise around the storm. This precipitation-maker will take the long way to our area, first moving northward and reaching Montana Monday night before curving south by the Tetons and finding its way into our area later Tuesday.

Ahead of this TROWAL, precipitation will decrease substantially overnight Monday and we may even see periods of sun during the first half of Tuesday before afternoon showers appear. Coincident with the main storm finally moving east and bringing favorable northwest flow to our area, the TROWAL will move overhead, bringing a round of possibly significant snowfall, especially on the mountain, overnight and into Wednesday morning.

Warming and drying is still forecast from Wednesday afternoon and into the beginning of next weekend before another storm threatens around mid-weekend.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Friday night

Friday, April 15, 2016

The very complex and still intensifying storm, now centered over northern Arizona, will continue winter impacts over our area through Monday with snow showers tapering off on Tuesday before we see a few days of warming and drying starting around Wednesday.

The cold air last night along with the strong convective nature of the storm allowed snow levels to drop to the valley bottoms soon after the front passed yesterday evening, and what I expected as rain was pretty much all snow, leading to 8” on my deck this morning.

Looking ahead, low level counterclockwise winds around the storm will draw substantial Gulf of Mexico moisture northward and westward, 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 several feet of snow by Sunday morning. There have already been road closures on I-70 and difficult to impossible travel will persist through Saturday night.

Closer to home, snow showers may continue overnight with another inch or so of dense snow in the valleys by Saturday morning and an additional 2-5” on the mountain as the winds turn easterly and strengthen. 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 with breaks in the inclement weather. Current model solutions have snow intensifying again later Saturday afternoon into the overnight hours as the storm finally begins to weaken and lifts northward across Colorado. We’ll probably see another 3-6” of snow in the valleys by Sunday morning with 6-12” on the hill.

The heaviest precipitation will have likely ended for the Front Range by Sunday morning, and we will also see a decrease in precipitation over our area during the day Sunday. However the proximity of the slow-moving storm, eventually forecast to be in southern Wyoming by Tuesday, will continue snow showers, some perhaps moderate to heavy at times, intermittently through Tuesday night. Drier weather forecast by Wednesday afternoon before another major storm threatens next weekend’s weather.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Thursday night

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Energy ejecting from the intensifying storm to our west will bring a cool front and several waves of moderate to heavy rain to the valleys from mid-evening until midnight with snow above 9000′. The precipitation will moderate after midnight with rain showers possibly turning to snow showers in Steamboat.

Precipitation will become heavier Friday afternoon as the cool air aloft destabilizes the atmosphere and brings the possibility of thunder. Rain will change to snow in the valleys 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 with breaks in the inclement weather. 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, and current model trends have slowed the storm enough so that the storm does not move east of our area until late Tuesday. Snow showers will continue intermittently through Tuesday afternoon with drier weather still forecast by Wednesday.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Wednesday night

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.

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