Thursday, September 29, 2022
Temperatures have dropped from the upper sixties earlier this Thursday afternoon to around sixty degrees late this afternoon as several rounds of showers passed through the Steamboat Springs area. This is in advance of a cold front expected Friday morning that will be accompanied by widespread showers and periods of steady rain that will last through the day and into Saturday morning, with some snow above treeline. While Friday will see the bulk of the accumulating moisture, showers may continue through Saturday and possibly on Sunday depending upon the path of the approaching storm.
While Hurricane Ian is affecting the Southeast, an area of low pressure currently crossing the Pacific Northwest is forecast to form an eddy over Idaho tomorrow that will wobble around for a couple of days before eventually moving into Montana and rejoining the jet stream. Our weather will be very dependent upon the wobbles of the eddy and how quickly dry air on the backside of the storm makes it into our neck of the woods.
Unfortunately this makes for an uncertain forecast for even just two days ahead, though most of the accumulating precipitation looks to occur from Friday night into Saturday morning. High temperatures will certainly fall from what we enjoyed the last several days into the mid-sixties which is right at our average of 66 F. Low temperatures on the other hand will be elevated due to the insulating effects of cloud cover and will stay above our average of 30 F.
The movement of the eddy may be dependent upon the eventual track of the remains of Ian which is expected to turn inland toward the Ohio River Valley by mid-weekend, but the track of hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable. So I would say be prepared for unsettled weather this weekend that likely extends into Monday, but keep an eye outside and on the local satellite and radar movies from SnowAlarm to make your outdoor plans.
It does look like the weather warms and dries for most of the following work week, but be sure to check back for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss that forecast in more detail.
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Another gorgeous fall day is over the Steamboat Springs area with cloudless skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties early this Sunday afternoon, on their way to the seventies. More of the same is expected through midweek before moisture increases and shower chances return on Thursday ahead of a Pacific weather disturbance currently forecast for the end of the work week.
An expansive ridge of high pressure currently over the West is sandwiched between two impressively deep and cold low pressure areas with one extending southward through the Aleutian Islands and another southward through Hudson Bay. And not that it will affect our weather, but Tropical Storm Ian currently south of western Cuba is forecast to become a hurricane by Monday and make landfall as a strong storm somewhere around the eastern Gulf Coast or Florida after midweek.
The Aleutian storm is forecast to move eastward early in the work week and split as the southern end moves through the Pacific Northwest around midweek. We will eventually see the influence of the southern piece of the storm, but not before several more spectacular fall days grace our area on Monday and Tuesday, and likely Wednesday, with high temperatures in the mid-seventies, over five degrees above our average of 69 F and low temperatures around or above freezing, a bit above our average low of 31 F.
There is weather forecast model disagreement on how much energy is partitioned into the Pacific Northwest storm and how much moves eastward across Canada, but they agree that the southerly flow ahead of the storm will combine with the clockwise circulation around the high pressure to increase moisture over our area by later Wednesday and Thursday in a monsoon-like pattern. So there should be some chance of showers on Thursday ahead of a better chance on Friday when the cold front is expected to pass through.
The weekend forecast is very uncertain as the European ECMWF forecasts the storm to shear and keeps unsettled weather around, while the American GFS quickly moves the storm through the area for a nice weekend. So check back on Thursday afternoon for my next regularly scheduled weather narrative when these differences should be resolved in time for a more certain weekend weather forecast.
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Temperatures in the low sixties and periods of sun and clouds are over the Steamboat Springs area early this Thursday afternoon. After occasional showers this afternoon and evening behind the departing weather disturbance that is skirting our area, Friday will certainly feel like the first day of fall as sunny skies return and temperatures stay in the upper sixties. Continued sunny days with temperatures warming into the low seventies are forecast for the rest of the weekend and into next week.
The storm responsible for the recent wet weather is currently moving through Montana after bringing about three tenths of an inch of rainfall around town as of 7 am this morning and an additional tenth of an inch after that. Winds have picked up today with gusts up to 20 mph out of the west as the storm moves eastward and drier air begins to move overhead, though additional showers are expected this afternoon and evening ahead of and along a cool front this evening.
Skies will continue to dry after the autumnal equinox arrives at 7:03 pm this evening, which is when the sun moves southward across the equator and marks the astronomical beginning of the fall season. Winds will remain breezy for one more day tomorrow out of the northwest, and although we will see plenty of sunshine, temperatures will be similar to today with highs right around our average of 69 F.
Winds will relax after Friday as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West, with very dry air leading to brilliant sunny skies and high temperatures in the seventies, along with cool nights with low temperatures around freezing, which is right at our average.
This quintessential Colorado fall weather is forecast to continue into the next work week before we may see some moisture return around midweek ahead of a possible Pacific weather disturbance. So enjoy the beautiful first weekend of fall, and check back for updates in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, September 18, 2022
A stunning day is over the Steamboat Springs area this Sunday morning with cloudless skies and temperatures around fifty degrees, after low temperatures this morning reached the upper thirties. Temperatures will warm into the upper seventies through Tuesday before wet weather returns by midweek.
Before the beautiful and dry weather started today, impressive rainfall fell over the Steamboat Springs area for four days starting last Wednesday, thanks to the moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Kay and several waves of energy from the Pacific. It appears that the mountain area received more rain than areas downtown, with observations indicating around 1.2” of rain near the mountain and 0.7” downtown. Additionally, 3 frames from the Steamboat Powdercam from Friday morning at 8:20 am, 8:40 am and 9:00 am show what appears to be a dusting of snow near the top of Storm Peak in the upper left of the snapshots quickly melting.
But now, a large eddy that has recently cut off from the main jet stream is spinning just off the West Coast while a ridge of high pressure is building over Texas. Warm and dry winds from the southwest will bring plenty of sunshine and allow high temperatures to reach the upper seventies today and tickle eighty degrees on Monday, which is almost ten degrees above our rapidly declining average high of 71 F.
Part of a large storm currently in the Bering Sea is forecast to move eastward early in the work week and nudge the West Coast eddy inland, bringing a surge of monsoonal-like moisture over our area by midweek. Clouds should be increasing Tuesday during another warm day in the upper seventies ahead of showers later in the day caused by a grazing storm to our north.
By Wednesday, the eddy is forecast to move into the Pacific Northwest and join the jet stream before moving into Montana on Thursday. Over our area, energy ejecting out of the eddy will conspire with both the subtropical monsoon moisture and the grazing cool front to create periods of moderate to heavy rainfall during the day Wednesday and overnight.
Showers might hang on into Thursday, but be less widespread and intense compared to Wednesday. And right now, a ridge of high pressure is forecast to build over the West behind what is left of the departing eddy for the weekend. But stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather forecast on Thursday afternoon to see if that forecasts holds steady.
Thursday, September 15, 2022
Rain showers are ongoing over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday afternoon with temperatures around sixty degrees. After decreasing overnight, more showers are in store for Friday, though with periods of sunshine between the storms that should warm temperatures into the upper sixties. The weather begins to dry out on Saturday with slightly warmer temperatures, though we may still see some showers through the day before Sunday brings plenty of sunshine and significantly warmer temperatures in the mid-seventies.
The persistent ridge of high pressure that brought record-breaking temperatures to our area last week and was overhead as recently as two days ago has been relegated to the southeastern U.S. by a broad trough of low pressure extending from the eastern Pacific to the Rocky Mountains. Waves of energy moving through the low pressure area have brought and will continue to bring showers and cool temperatures below our average of 72 F through the early part of the weekend.
Our area has received beneficial rainfall from this system, with around a third of an inch recorded around town by this morning and at least an additional quarter-inch so far today recorded by the SnowAlarm weather station near the mountain.
Snow was also remotely observed by the Grand Junction radar over the Uinta Mountains yesterday and today with their peaks reaching above 13,000′, with some weather forecast models predicting snowflakes over Cameron Pass later tomorrow. Our first snowfall will wait though, as low temperatures in the upper thirties near the top of the Mt Werner will likely not be cold enough for snow. But certainly check the Steamboat Powdercam in case snow levels fall further than forecast.
The unsettled weather will be around on Friday and linger through Saturday, though more sunshine between the showers should allow high temperatures to increase to the upper sixties tomorrow and breach seventy degrees on Saturday. Shower coverage will decrease on Friday compared to today, and more so on Saturday, and there may be morning showers on both days in addition to the more usual afternoon showers.
By Sunday, though, beautiful dry weather with a temperature in the mid-seventies is forecast as a storm currently near the Aleutian Islands moves southward along the West Coast and forms an eddy that may loiter there through the early part of the work week. This allows the ridge of high pressure to build back toward our area bringing another beautiful and even warmer day on Monday.
And, contrary to the possibly premature prognostications by some declaring the monsoon season over, the combination of southerly flow ahead of the eddy combined with the clockwise circulation around the high pressure area may bring another surge of monsoonal moisture overhead by midweek. Enjoy the improving weather over the weekend, and what is likely to be a stellar Sunday, and I’ll be back that afternoon discussing the evolution of that eddy and whether we have another monsoonal surge of moisture in our midweek forecast.