Steamboat rain gauges see almost an inch from Monday’s lightning storm |

Steamboat rain gauges see almost an inch from Monday’s lightning storm

— The thunderstorm that rolled through Steamboat with loud thunder cracks late Monday afternoon was a big moisture producer, delivering anywhere from .62 inches to .95 inches of moisture at rain gauges within 1.5 miles of downtown.

The brunt of the storm appeared to flow through Strawberry Park and other neighborhoods just north and northwest of the city. A weather observer for to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) reported .92 inches of rain fell 1.5 miles west, northwest of Steamboat.

A National Weather Service observer in Hayden recorded .39 inches of rainfall from the storm, similar to the .37 inches reported on a CoCoRaHS rain gauge in Oak Creek.

Communities in neighboring Moffat County did not appear to have received the same amount of moisture. A CoCoRaHS station in Hamilton reported .09 inches of rain as of 7 a.m. Tuesday. The weather service reports that after receiving .03 inches Monday, Tuesday's total in Craig was just .01 inches.

The Weather Service confirms the storm was a monsoonal outbreak, but the southern flow of moisture was expected to take a break Tuesday through early Thursday.

"The next monsoonal surge (across Western Colorado) arrives Friday as a low pressure system over the Eastern Pacific moves ashore over Central California," Norval Larson, NWS senior forecaster in Grand Junction, wrote Tuesday. "In response, high pressure shifts eastward to the Texas Panhandle, allowing southwest winds to carry moisture from the Mexican Plateau."

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If moisture returns to Northwest Colorado this week, it may not be until Saturday when the Weather Service sees a slight chance of thunderstorms for Steamboat. In the meantime, skies here will be mostly sunny with highs in the low 80s to high 70s.

Daily high temperatures will be 3 to 4 degrees warmer in Craig, after topping out at 87 degrees Wednesday.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1