More rain to close out an above average May in Steamboat
A low pressure system brought about 6 inches of snow to the top of Mt. Werner early on Sunday, May 29, adding to the precipitation Steamboat Springs is seeing in what has so far been an above average month of May.
The cooler temperatures have slowed down runoff a bit, with the Yampa River in Steamboat flowing at about 1,850 cubic feet per second on Sunday, down from the 2,150 cfs seen on Saturday, May 28, and the spring peak of about 2,900 cfs seen on May 19.
There is still snow to melt in the Yampa, White and Little Snake River Basin, which still sits at 4.9 inches or about 80% of what is considered average for snow water equivalent in late May.
Through May 23, Steamboat saw 2.72 inches of rain compared to an average of 2 inches. The last few days of the month look to add to that total.
“It’s like a double punch of a system,” said meteorologist Erin Walter with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “One low (pressure system) will swing through (Monday, May 30) and on the backside of that we’ll have another low (pressure system) coming in from the Great Basin.”
Mike Weissbluth, a local meteorologist who runs the forecasting website SnowAlarm.com, said there could be some snowflakes overnight into Monday morning, but there likely won’t be any accumulation.
From there Weissbluth said there could be a break in the wet weather in the mid to late morning before showers start up again Monday afternoon. The National Weather Service predicts that Monday’s showers could also include some thunder and lightning.
“We may have a precipitation-free morning,” Weissbluth said. “Then we will have a chance of the afternoon showers, and some of them will be moderate, but they should not be long lasting.”
The system will bring in colder air coming from the Gulf of Alaska and Western Canada, which will drop Monday’s high temperatures to the low 50s and low temperatures to below freezing.
Tuesday starts with another chance for snowflakes before the day looks to have more chilly weather and afternoon showers. Tuesday evening brings a chance for some thunderstorms and more showers through the night.
“Wednesday it looks like the precipitation is going to end for good,” Weissbluth said.
As things dry out for the end of the work week, temperatures are expected to return to the 70s. Walter said a ridge of high pressure will build over the area and will remain in place through much of the weekend.
Both Walter and Weissbluth said there is another system lining up for the end of this weekend or beginning of next week, but it is still too far out for a reliable prediction.
“There’s not really a strong signal moving forward,” Walter said. “It looks like isolated showers. Usually Steamboat does better with those types of systems because you’re far enough north where you can tap into some of that moisture.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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