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Showers on Friday followed by weekend wind

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The best chance for showers in Steamboat Springs this week will occur on Friday ahead of some breezy conditions for the weekend that should at least temporarily clear the smoke blanketing the Yampa Valley from the Silver Creek fire to our south.

The last forecast from Sunday afternoon is in good shape as a Pacific storm currently crossing the West Coast near Vancouver pushes the dominant ridge of high pressure over the southwest eastward. Some energy and moisture rotating northward along the western periphery of the ridge will cross northern Colorado during the first half of Friday, and we may see a gusty shower ahead of the main push later this afternoon. But the best chance for showers looks to be between midnight tonight and noon Friday as the wave passes over northern Colorado, with some smoke dispersal possible. There will also be a chance for afternoon showers that linger into the evening as residual moisture is heated by the strong summer sun.

By Saturday, the Vancouver storm will be moving east, but winds will increase from the west as the storm nears, which should clear the smoke from the area if it wasn’t dispersed on Friday. Some energy associated with the storm will graze our area in the afternoon and possibly overnight which should lead to another chance of afternoon and evening showers.

Drier air works in behind the grazing storm for Sunday with still breezy conditions, though an afternoon shower cannot be ruled out.

For the following week, the ridge of high pressure will move back westward toward the Desert Southwest once again as the first large storm of the next season brews in the Gulf of Alaska. The southerly flow ahead of this storm will encourage the persistent southwestern ridge to amplify and expand northward heading into next weekend.

Longer range models have the Gulf of Alaska storm moving first south early in the work week and then east, and this will again force the southwestern ridge of high pressure eastward as well. Like the current scenario, we will see moisture increasing as this occurs with another chance of monsoonal showers looking possible after next weekend.

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Temperatures warm after cool start to Monday

Sunday, July 29, 2018

An approaching cool front to the north of the Steamboat Springs area has increased the southwest winds today, likely transporting smoke from nearby wildfires over our area this Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, the front will be dry, so after a breezy afternoon today and a cool start to Monday morning, temperatures will return to above average by Tuesday.

An incoming Pacific storm that will stay to our north as it progresses eastward this week will first amplify the persistent southwestern ridge of high pressure, bringing above average temperatures back to most of the west during the work week. The southwestern ridge of high pressure will then be forced eastward by the Pacific storm midweek, and the southerly flow behind the ridge will bring some increased subtropical moisture typical of the Southwestern Monsoon over Colorado starting around Wednesday or Thursday.

At this point, the moisture looks to be sparse over northern Colorado, so we’ll see only a small chance of afternoon storms for the end of the work week.

The Pacific storm is forecast to make landfall in the Pacific Northwest on Thursday, and around Friday and Saturday we may see some breezy winds as the cool front associated with the storm skirts to our north. There may be a chance of some afternoon storms around next weekend, but nothing appears significant at this time.

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Cooler temperatures for most of the next week

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A battle between the hot and dry weather associated with the persistent ridge of high pressure over the Desert Southwest and Pacific energy traveling to the north of Steamboat Springs will bring cooler temperatures closer to average to our area through most of the next week. The northern latitudes have begun to cool as daylight decreases and the sun angle lowers, producing a stronger Pacific jet stream which will travel further to the south and have some success in modifying the strong southwestern ridge.

The proximity of the Pacific jet stream will drag several cool fronts through our area through early next week that will keep our temperatures closer to average and keep the chance of afternoon storms in northwesterly flow going through the weekend.

The strongest cool front is currently forecast for late in the weekend or early in the work week, bringing cooler temperatures for Monday and at least part of Tuesday. Additionally, while there may be some stronger storms associated with the front depending upon the exact timing of its arrival, drier air sweeps in behind the cool front which will likely eliminate the chances for storms during the first half of next week.

A stronger Pacific storm is forecast to approach the West Coast midweek, and this one looks to travel far enough south to further weaken and dislodge the Desert Southwest ridge. As the ridge travels eastward, we should see temperatures warm along with increasing storm chances for the rest of the work week and headed into the following weekend as moisture increases from the south along the backside of the ridge.

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Standard summertime weather ahead

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The weak cool front promised in the last forecast does not look to arrive till this evening, so the Steamboat Springs area will see another warm day this Sunday with a chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Temperatures will cool back toward average behind the front on Monday with a good chance of afternoon and evening storms.

For the remainder of the week, our area will be under the influence of generally northwesterly flow as a series of Pacific storms travel well north of our area and drop southward into the Ohio River Valley. This will have the effect of forcing the dominant southwestern ridge of high pressure back westward, cutting off the fetch of monsoonal moisture into Colorado from the south, but bringing periodic surges of moisture and energy to at least northern Colorado.

Right now, Tuesday looks to be the driest day of the week before storm chances reappear for the afternoon and evenings through the rest of the work week and heading into the weekend.

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Cooler weather for next week arrives this Sunday

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The ridge of high pressure over the Desert Southwest that brought hot and dry weather to the Steamboat Springs area this past week will be pushed eastward this weekend by a Pacific storm that is forecast to travel through southern Canada. We will see a series of weak cool fronts associated with the storm well to our north though the week and good chances for wetting rains from later Saturday through Monday as southerly flow on the west side of the high pressure carries moisture and energy northward over Colorado.

Ahead of that, expect more of the same hot, dry, dusty and gusty weather for the rest of today and Friday. Though Saturday will start dry and warm, there will be an increasing chance of showers by the afternoon or evening as moisture begins arriving over northern Colorado.

Sunday should be noticeably cooler with temperatures closer to average as a weak cool front from the north conspires with increasing moisture to bring some clouds and a good possibility of storms. some with locally heavy rainfall, most likely in the afternoon and evening.

Monday looks like a repeat of Sunday as another weak cool front rotates through northern Colorado. At this time, the ridge of high pressure that was briefly to our east is pushed back westward again by storms dropping southward along the East Coast, though the northern extent of the ridge will be limited by the Canadian storm still well to our north. The end result should be decreased chances for showers and continued cooler temperatures in light northwest flow for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Another Pacific storm approaches our area in still northwest flow around Thursday or Friday and may bring an increasing chance of showers to close out the work week.

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