Weak cool front brings a chance of showers mid-weekend

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The broad storm system that was over the southwestern quarter of the U.S. will grudgingly move east of the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday, with warming and drying expected for the following week, except for a weak cool front that will bring a chance of showers later Saturday into Sunday.

First, however, the tail end of the storm system contains a weak circulation that will move over our area today, giving us another chance of showers this afternoon and evening, similar to yesterday.

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Drier air filters into the area behind the departing storm for Friday and Saturday with daytime temperatures warming above our 75 F average. Ahead of a weak cool front timed for overnight Saturday or early Sunday, we should see increased chances for showers late in the day Saturday and overnight.

Any showers should end by midday Sunday as much drier air invades from the west ahead of a strong and developing storm off the Pacific Northwest coast. Pieces of the storm eject well to our northwest even while additional cold air moving through the Gulf of Alaska keeps the storm spinning near the coast, and the end result for our area is mostly dry air and continued warm temperatures in southwest flow.

We may see slight shower chances later Monday as a cool front races well north of our area, but sunny skies should predominate for the rest of the work week as pieces of the northwest storm sink southward along the West Coast. This will force the jet stream southward and closer to our area, bringing warm and windy southwest flow during the work week, especially around midweek.

While the weather will be rather quiet for us, look to the east for excitement as current Category 3 hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast. The path of the hurricane as it nears the coast is still very much in question, though at this point the entire mid-Atlantic and northeastern seaboard is threatened after mid-week and heading into next weekend.

Small chance of late day showers through midweek

Sunday, September 2, 2018

A broad, diffuse and modestly moist area of low pressure over the southwestern U.S. will keep mostly sunny mornings and a small chance of an afternoon or evening storm around through midweek for the Steamboat Springs area. Drier air then invades the area after midweek behind a storm from western Canada that mostly stays well to our north as it travels along the northern U.S. border.

As has been the case this weekend, the best energy and moisture stays to our south through the coming midweek period. The afternoon and evening storms that do form may produce brief moderate rain for those lucky areas beneath the strongest cells, but they will likely be more windy than wet for the bulk of our region.


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A storm from western Canada will travel along the border early in the work week and drag a weak cool front through northern Colorado on Tuesday, similar to the European ECMWF weather model solution offered in last week’s forecast. This will help move the southwestern weather system eastward across Colorado over a couple of days, with Wednesday having the relatively highest likelihood of showers as the tail end of the system moves over our area.

Drier air begins filtering into the area on Thursday, with much drier air advertised for Friday and Saturday. The sunnier afternoon skies and warmer airmass will force daytime temperatures above our 76 F average, but the clear overnight skies will keep lows near our 39 F average for some gorgeous late summer weather.

A fast moving Pacific storm is forecast to cross the northwest coast later Friday and again travel north of our area, though a weak cool front with the possibility of some showers is currently advertised around mid-weekend.

Quiet weather week ahead

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Other than a mostly dry cool front currently timed for early Saturday, not much weather is in the cards for Steamboat Springs this Labor Day weekend up until possibly mid week when substantial uncertainty appears in the weather forecast.

Our area is currently sandwiched between a broad area of cool air to our northwest and a warm ridge of high pressure to our southeast. For the rest of today and Friday, expect breezy southwest winds, passing clouds and temperatures above our 77 F average as the upper level flow is squeezed between the two weather systems on either side of us.

Some of the cool air to our northwest will translate eastward through the weekend, bringing a mostly dry cool front through Colorado on Saturday. The southwest flow ahead of this front will draw some monsoonal-like moisture northward, but activity will stay south of our area, and even there more wind than rain is expected.

Temperatures will cool to near average on Saturday and Sunday, with cool morning lows near our average of 40 F. Drier air may move in behind the front, so there may be more sun for Sunday and Monday, with temperatures warming to above average by Labor Day.

As early as Monday night, significant differences between the weather forecast models appear, with the European ECMWF carrying Pacific energy southward well off the California coast and bringing southwest flow and dry and warm weather to our area through midweek. The American GFS, conversely, brings some of that Pacific energy ashore and advertises a cold front passing through our area around Wednesday, along with a dose of showers. Stay tuned to my Sunday forecast as to how this plays out.

Breezy and chance for showers ahead of cool front Tuesday

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A complex storm currently over the Pacific Northwest this Sunday morning will move over the Intermountain region over the next two days, eventually bringing a couple of cool fronts through the Steamboat Springs area on Tuesday.

The southwest flow ahead of the storm will keep the chance of showers around later today, with short range models indicating the best chance of brief, locally heavy rainfall and possible small hail this evening, and lighter showers later overnight, as energy embedded within the monsoonal flow weakly interacts with the first piece of energy ejecting out of the Pacific Northwest storm.

Winds will increase from the southwest and west on Monday as another piece of the Pacific Northwest storm ejects to our north. It looks like some drier air will infiltrate our area during the day behind the departing wave of energy and ahead of the eastward moving main storm to our northwest, precluding the chance of showers. Some cooler air does look to make into our region overnight on Monday leading to a cool start to Tuesday with low temperatures in the 30’s.

Then, another push of cool air associated with the main storm looks to arrive during the first half of Tuesday, a bit later than indicated in my Thursday forecast. Additionally, there will be some moisture associated with the cool front for a chance of showers on Tuesday before much drier air arrives late in the day or early Wednesday.

If skies clear Tuesday night, Wednesday will start quite chilly, with low temperatures again in the 30’s before a ridge of high pressure is advertised to build over our area for the rest of the work week, bringing warming temperatures and sunny skies heading into the weekend.

Next weekend’s weather will be determined by the evolution of another Pacific Northwest storm, with timing and strength currently uncertain. Right now, my best guess is a relatively dry cool front on Saturday followed by warming temperatures and perhaps and increasing chance of showers by late in the weekend.

Warming and drying heading into the weekend

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The weather over the northern hemisphere is turning more active as the northern latitudes cool and force a strengthening jet stream further south. The Steamboat Springs area is currently seeing clearing skies under below average temperatures as the storm that brought beneficial rains to the Yampa Valley this week departs our area. Most areas received between a tenth or two of an inch of rain by Tuesday morning, and between two and three tenths of an inch for each of Wednesday and this mornings.

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We should see some sun and clouds for the rest of this Thursday with a possibility of a passing shower, with comfortably cool temperatures staying below our average 79 F and breezy westerly winds. Temperature will warm close to or above average on Friday as the upper level flow turns southwest ahead of another Pacific storm forecast to cross the West Coast late in the day.

The southwesterly flow ahead of the storm will bring some monsoonal moisture back to our area through the weekend and early next week with warm tempeartures. While showers will be more likely further south, we should see a small chance for showers on Saturday. There may be a better chance for Sunday and Monday as the Pacific storm moves across the Great Basin if some dry air associated with the storm stays north of our area, though there is weather model disagreement on that prognosis.

In any event, ahead of the storm, we should see the winds pick up from the southwest, especially on Monday before the cool front associated with the storm moves through late in the day or early Tuesday. Much drier air overspreads the area behind the front, and after a chilly start to a pleasantly cool Tuesday, warmer temperatures, sunny skies and likely breezy westerly winds will dominate the rest of the work week.

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