Thursday, November 17, 2022
Cloudy skies with intermittent snow showers and cold temperatures are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday mid-afternoon. The last cold front in the series over this past work week will bring accumulating snows tonight, with skies clearing by tomorrow afternoon. A frigid start to Saturday will be followed by lots of sun and gradually warming temperatures through the weekend and into the start of Thanksgiving week.
An expansive deep and cold area of low pressure currently extending across the northern half of North America is downstream of a ridge of high pressure over the Gulf of Alaska. Winds from the north and northwest ahead of the high pressure and behind the low pressure have brought mid-winter temperatures over our area this week, along with daily snow showers that are on the light side thanks to the relatively dry continental origin of the cold air.
The last reinforcing cold front is currently on our northern doorstep, and will bring a round of light to sometimes moderate snowfall through our area tonight. We’ve not been above 27 F for the last few days, which is around fifteen degrees below our average of 41 F, and the Friday high temperature in town may be in the low twenties for the coldest day in a cold work week. And we should be waking up to some fresh snow on the ground, with a couple inches in town and twice that up at the Steamboat Ski Resort.
Skies should be clearing on Friday, and fresh snow cover along with dry skies and light winds will bring low temperatures near zero degrees on Saturday morning, which is also about fifteen degrees below our average of 16 F. The favored coldest low-lying spots near river drainages will likely be in the negative single digits.
The ridge of high pressure is forecast to weaken and move eastward behind this last cold front, leading to plenty of sunshine and warming temperatures through the weekend and into the start of the short work week. Look for high temperatures to warm about five degrees per day starting Saturday before reaching average by Monday. Low temperatures will be a bit more stubborn, and though they will warm from zero degrees in town, they may stay in the low teens as the clear skies, light winds and fresh snow cover encourage efficient cooling of the nighttime surface.
The nice weather looks to continue into Tuesday, after which there is some hope for more snow around Opening Day of the Steamboat Ski Resort, currently scheduled for Wednesday, November 23. Be sure to check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where that evolving opportunity will be discussed.