Warmer temps, smoky conditions on tap this week for Routt County with cool weather into Labor Day weekend
Steamboat Springs is expected to see temperatures in the mid- to high 80s on Sunday and Monday, with visible smoke continuing to blow in from fires burning throughout the West Coast, primarily in California. But moisture and cooler temperatures are expected later this week and into the holiday weekend.
Tom Renwick, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction that forecasts for much of the Western Slope, said temperatures are expected to cool beginning Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday bringing equal chances for rain and cloudy weather.
The cooling trend stems from a tropical storm in Mexico. Its effects will move north early next week, reaching into Utah on Wednesday and bringing rain to the Yampa Valley on Thursday and early Friday, Renwick said.
“The models are showing that a lot of that moisture is going to go up the Pacific Coast and get into your area,” Renwick said. “As far as temperatures go, if we increase the clouds and the precipitation, temperatures should cool down as well, so cross your fingers for Thursday and Friday.”
While Routt County residents may have noticed smoke lurking over the Yampa Valley this weekend, local meteorologist and owner and operator of forecasting website SnowAlarm.com, Mike Weissbluth, said smoke is expected to dissipate early in the week.
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“A smoke plume model has the southern edge of a ribbon of smoke mildly degrading air quality later this afternoon, but winds turn to be more from the southwest by tonight and push the smoke from our area,” Weissbluth wrote Friday.
Weissbluth also said winds coming from the southwest are expected to move north and keep breezy conditions around through midweek.
“You might see some early in the week, but by midnight (Saturday,) it starts shifting to the south,” Renwick said. “It likely won’t get any worse than what you saw over the weekend.”
While the Yampa Valley is in an exceptional drought due to low snowfall in the 2020-21 season, Renwick said in an average year, parts of Routt County normally get about 5 inches of snow by October. While snow patterns have trended lighter and later through recent years, Renwick said that may not be a permanent pattern, and a drought one year has little impact or prediction for snow and cooler temperatures the next season.
“If it gets really warm, snow might not be until November,” Renwick said. “Historically, that has not been the case.”
Renwick said Routt County is unlikely to see another day with temperatures above 90 degrees for the remainder of the year.
“There is a chance, certainly,” Renwick said. “But odds are probable not.”
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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