Some moisture finally arrives

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Contrary to my last forecast, some moisture has arrived over the Steamboat Springs area courtesy of a large ridge of high pressure that has moved eastward over the central U.S. Clockwise flow around this high pressure has has carried Gulf of Mexico moisture first westward into New Mexico and eastern Colorado and then northward over the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The moisture will be enough to finally bring the chance of afternoon and evening showers to our area starting on this Thursday.

Several waves of Pacific energy moving well to our north will periodically deform the ridge of high pressure over the next couple of weeks, with subtle changes in the strength and position of the high pressure moderating the chance of afternoon and evening showers.

Timing of these waves has already proven to be quite difficult, but right now we may see a decrease in chances for late-day showers on Friday and Saturday before they increase again by later Sunday in advance of another one of these Pacific waves.

A decrease in shower activity is currently advertised for Monday and Tuesday afternoons before another Pacific wave moves to our north around midweek and increases shower chances for Wednesday.

Though another decrease in late-day shower chances may occur for the end of the work week, moisture does look to hang around with increasing shower chances heading into next weekend as a more robust southwestern monsoon signal is forecast to send moisture and energy northward from Mexico.

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Seasonable temperatures with some moisture midweek

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A fairly quiet weather week is forecast for Steamboat Springs with some moisture arriving around Independence Day that may yield some clouds and a small chance of showers. Otherwise seasonable temperatures are forecast to become hot before cooling again for the weekend.

The cold front that blasted through Steamboat Springs around 12:30 pm Saturday dropped the temperature from 68 F to 57 F in about 2 hours, which is impressive during the hottest part of the summer when we had above 90 F temperatures only two days before. Unfortunately, there was very little moisture associated with the front as only a few very large raindrops from melted hail fell.

Dry weather and seasonable temperatures will prevail for the rest of today, Monday and Tuesday before an expansive and hot ridge of high pressure elongates westward from the East Coast through midweek. Some moisture is drawn northward along the western periphery of the ridge and will bring some clouds and a small chance of showers for Independence Day.

The small amount of moisture erodes on what is forecast to be a dry Thursday and Friday as temperatures soar to above normal when the ridge of high pressure moves over the southwestern states.

Though the dry forecast extends through at least next weekend, temperatures look to moderate back towards seasonable levels as an incoming Pacific storm traveling along the Canadian border drags some cooler air across the northern U.S.

Earlier forecasts had indicated the southwestern monsoon might be starting this week, but current longer term forecasts have backed away from that scenario. For what its worth, they currently indicate some monsoon-like moisture moving into the southwestern U.S. near the end of the following week as a ridge of high pressure rebuilds over the southwest.

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Several cool fronts in time for the weekend

Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Pacific storm currently crossing the West Coast will drag several cool fronts through the Steamboat Springs area starting Friday as the storm passes mostly north of our area this weekend. We’ll see cooler temperatures closer to normal, the possibility of showers later Saturday and continued gusty winds before hot temperatures return for the start of the Independence Day week.

After another hot day with gusty afternoon winds on this Thursday, a couple of dry cool fronts arriving early and late in the day Friday will knock temperatures back a bit, along with continued gusty winds.

Saturday is starting to look more interesting as the last cool front is now trending stronger in the American weather forecast models, after the same models showed a weakening trend earlier in the week. Furthermore, today is the first day that they show some moisture with the cool front, leading to a fairly uncertain forecast for later Saturday. While gusty winds are advertised by all the models, a stronger and wetter cool front would lead to at least the chance of Saturday afternoon and evening storms, with some possibly strong, and cooler afternoon temperatures.

If the front comes in on the stronger side later Saturday, then Sunday will start on the cool side, though all models have decreased winds and seasonably warm temperatures by the end of the day.

Temperatures will increase on Monday and become hot again by Tuesday as a ridge of high pressure that is forecast to move towards the East Coast elongates back westward across the country. There does seem to be some moisture that is transported northward into Colorado along the western periphery of the ridge starting around Independence Day, and this may be a signal that the Southwestern Monsoon is starting. However the moisture is sparse and little more than clouds and a small possibility of light showers is currently indicated for the end of the work week.

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Hot and dry week ahead

Sunday, June 24, 2018

An unseasonably strong storm brought a cold front through the Steamboat Springs area Saturday night, and we are seeing a cool and showery day this Sunday as storms move over northern Colorado in the moist and unstable northwest flow behind the front. Temperatures at the top of Mt. Werner fell from a high of 60F on Saturday afternoon to just about freezing around noon today, and the Arapahoe Basin ski area cam showed some accumulating snow near 12,000 feet!

This storm will depart Colorado sooner than I originally thought in the previous forecast, with showers ending by sunset, if not earlier, followed by a cool night. We should see plenty of sun for Monday as dry air settles over our region and very comfortable temperatures before a building ridge of high pressure moves over the Rocky Mountains and brings much warmer and drier air over Colorado starting Tuesday and lasting into the weekend.

A Pacific storm traveling eastward along the Canadian border will bring breezy conditions and some clouds for Wednesday, and a very small chance of some showers later in the day and overnight that would produce more gusty wind than rain.

Otherwise, hot and dry weather is advertised for the rest of the work week and heading into the weekend ahead of the next weather-maker that may very well be similar to the storms today and last Sunday. A strong Pacific storm may again mix with some cold air from the North Pole and develop into another unseasonably cold storm. As might be expected, there is disagreement among the various weather forecast models, with the American GFS advertising more cold air and a deeper storm that may affect us around mid next weekend.

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Nice start but unsettled end to the weekend

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A couple of storms will pass mostly north of the Steamboat Springs area on Friday and Sunday, with the Sunday storm likely extending into Monday and providing the best chance of wetting rains this week.

After a sunny day this Thursday with above average temperatures, the first grazing storm for Friday will drag a dry cool front through northern Colorado during the day. Winds will turn from the west to the northwest, and the dry airmass will limit the effects to cooler high temperatures closer to our mid-seventies June average, and perhaps a storm in the evening that would produce far more gusty wind than rain.

We should see warming temperatures with mostly sunny skies and perhaps some high clouds on Saturday ahead of a much stronger storm moving over or just north of northern Colorado by Sunday. Weather forecast models still disagree on the southern extent of the storm, but a seasonably strong cool front is advertised to pass through our area Saturday night with the chance of some showers.

Unsettled and below average temperatures are expected on Sunday when the storm is closest to our area and again on Monday behind the storm as it makes its way eastward. Sunday could be showery for most of the day, similar to last Sunday, if the storm takes the southern path, or showers could be confined to more of the afternoon if the storm takes a more northern path.

The unsettled and cool weather will last through Monday in the unstable northwest flow behind the storm.

Drier air starts to invade Colorado by Tuesday, and mostly sunny skies should dominate for the rest of the work week. Temperatures should be around average as the seasonal ridge of high pressure over the western states is suppressed by an active storm track well to our north.

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