Saturday, September 20, 2014
The first part of the storm forecast for this weekend was weaker and drier than expected, bringing some scattered clouds into our area late in the afternon. Rather than rain, a spectacular sunset graced Steamboat Springs last night.
Both of these were taken looking west towards Emerald Mountain from my deck Friday evening.
I still expect the second part of the storm, which is currently a cutoff low just off the coast of south-central California, to move westward during the day tomorrow, bringing first showers earlier in the day and then moderate to heavy rains by the late afternoon or early evening. Rain and rain showers will continue during the day Monday, until the upper low moves east of our area by early Tuesday, bringing warming and drying to the area.
Friday, September 19, 2014
After a late start, the fall color show has seemingly appeared overnight! Well, not quite overnight, but literally in several days. Monday afternoon, the Twilight trees in the Priest Creek Area were tinged with light green, by Tuesday they were light yellowish and by Wednesday they were full yellow.
I escaped for a mid-afternon ride Thursday afternoon as temperatures touched 80F in the Yampa Valley. I took the this picture looking over Priest Creek from the Elkhead loop, and you can see the Duster road cutting horizontally across the middle of the picture.
I like riding the Sunshine loop in a counter-clockwise direction, so the next picture is taken from the Duster road looking up at the Twilight trees. The underbrush has turned a beautiful red color which contrasts nicely with the aspen.
This picture was taken looking down what I believe is Flintlock about a third of the way up the new reroute of the Sunshine Trail
Finally, I took this picture cruising down the long traverse on Sunshine Trail somewhere in the Shadows area. You can see the town of Steamboat Springs over the ridge in the left hand side of the picture down in the valley floor.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Currently, a beautiful and warm fall day is gracing our area with the remnants of former hurricane Odile staying to our south and a Pacific storm approaching the west coast. This storm will split, with the progressive northern branch bringing showers and some cooling to our area by tomorrow afternoon and lasting for some of the evening.
Saturday and some of Sunday will be precipitation-free before the cutoff part of the Friday storm left behind in central California moves westward. Interestingly, some of Odile’s moisture will be drawn into the system even though the former hurricane will be east of our area, leading to the possibility of moderate to heavy rains by later in the day Sunday and Sunday night. The start of precipitation is uncertain at this time as models disagree on how quickly the difficult-to-forecast cutoff low moves west, but it should be raining by sometime in the afternoon and the rains will continue through midnight.
Rain will turn to showers on Monday and will continue through the day as that cutoff low moves over our area. Some showers may be moderate to heavy later in the day as moist and cool northwest flow is predicted behind the storm. Models disagree on whether the storm lingers for Tuesday, but conditions should rapidly improve and skies clear as a strong ridge builds behind the departing storm.
Beautiful warm and dry fall weather will hang around for most of the workweek before a strong storm approaches the west coast by Friday. Current model forecasts have this storm threatening our weather for the following weekend.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
An unseasonably strong cold front is lurking just to our north and will likely blast through the area around sunset. This front has already surged down the Front Range, and uncharacteristically looks to bring the first low elevation snowflakes to that area before Steamboat Springs. Most if not all of the moisture associated with the front will also slide to our east, leaving us dry and seasonably cold for tomorrow, especially in the morning where we may see some below-freezing temperatures for the first time this season.
The dry air behind the front will keep our area sunny through Saturday before a trailing wave passes to our north late that night. Temperatures will cool a bit again on Sunday, but not be as cold as Friday morning, and there may be some showers in the afternoon as moisture from the south moves northward behind the departing wave. In fact, a ridge is forecast to build behind the departing wave and the clockwise circulation around the west side of this ridge will continue drawing moisture north through the workweek, leading to warming temperatures and the continued slight chance of afternoon storms.
Another strong wave approaches the west coast late in the workweek, but again there is disagreement about the interaction with another tropical storm forecast to be off the coast of Baja. The European ECMWF keeps these storms separate and the American GFS phases them. Remember this was similar to the prediction last week, and the end result was that tropical moisture was shared by the storms leading to the heavy rains on Tuesday, even though the storms themselves remained separate. So again, the outlook for next weekend is uncertain.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Currently, monsoonal moisture has once again invaded the area from the south, leading to high clouds this afternoon. Additionally, a cool front is moving across our northern Colorado border, and that may help some afternoon or evening showers to develop.
The upper level low associated with this front is currently splitting, with some of the energy being left behind on the central west coast. Pieces of this lagging part of the trough will keep the chance of showers for Friday and Saturday as the energy moves either over us or just north of us, as there is model disagreement on exactly how this lagging trough will evolve.
There may be a break on Sunday and early Monday as transient ridging crosses the area ahead of another trough forecast to be over the Pacific northwest by late in the weekend. Not only will this wave pick up whatever energy remains from the lagging trough off the central west coast as it moves eastward, but the remnants of Tropical Storm Norbert, currently of the coast of Baja, will also be entrained as that storm moves north.
This may lead to another very wet period late Monday through Tuesday night before the westerly flow associated with the Pacific northwest trough moves over our area by Wednesday. Dry and cool air behind this trough will likely produce some great early fall weather through the end of the workweek before another trough looks to threaten next weekend’s weather. However, there is considerable model disagreement by then, so the forecast is uncertain.