Heat will ease by weekend, then return June 27
Steamboat Springs — If residents of Steamboat Springs feel as though they’ve been living through a heat wave, it’s understandable — the official recorded temperature at the Steamboat Springs airport reached 90 degrees June 20 and 91 degrees June 21, according to John Kyle of the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
This week’s afternoon temperatures have peaked at about 14 degrees above the average June high of 76.7 degrees, according to the Weather Service.
Local weather stations followed by Weather Underground and Intellicast reported at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday that the temperature on Conifer Circle near Steamboat Springs High School was 88 degreees with a much cooler 82.8 degree reading on Steamboat Boulevard.
Steamboat-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, of the snowalarm.com blog, said a strong polar storm in the Gulf of Alaska will at least temporarily change the weather pattern this week as it nudges the ridge of high pressure responsible for Steamboat feeling the heat to the east.
“We should have our best chance for wetting rains by Thursday afternoon,” Weissbluth said.
Clouds were already gathering above the city at 4 p.m. Wednesday, as winds picked up and light showers were falling.
However, by Friday, Weissbluth expects increased westerly winds to cut off the feed of moisture from the south, although there will still be a chance of afternoon storms.
“Models move a relatively strong, but dry, cool front through the area Saturday morning, bringing dry, breezy conditions and cooler temperatures for the weekend, especially for Saturday,” he added.
The perceived severity of a heat wave depends upon what one is accustomed to — the average nightly low temperature here in June is about 41 degrees.
The temperature in Steamboat at 2 p.m. Wednesday was a tolerable 82 degrees, but outside Kyle’s office in Grand Junction, it was already 95 degrees on its way to a forecast 99. And then, there was the party of Steamboat river rafters that came off a Desolation Canyon float in Green River, Utah, Tuesday to find their car thermometers reading 110 degrees after they got underway.
Temperatures are expected to climb again Monday and stay above average until midweek, Weissbluth predicted. However, there could be more potential for rain by the end of the month.
“By midweek, another strong Pacific Northwest storm will again nudge the western ridge eastward, allowing moisture from the south to once again travel over our area,” he said. “This moisture feed may be more persistent than the current brief surge we are currently seeing, with longer range models keeping what appears to be the beginnings of our monsoon around for the following week.”
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