Steamboat flirts with record heat

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— The city endured its seventh straight day of 90-plus-degree heat Thursday, nearing the end of a week that has seen daily highs come within several degrees of the records.

Most homes and many vacation condos in Steamboat Springs do not have air conditioning. With almost 13,000 vacationers expected in town Saturday night, some innkeepers are beginning to perspire.

"The heat has caused a problem," Snowflower Condominiums manager Keith Skytta said. "We're getting more and more requests for air conditioning and we just can't provide it. We're buying a lot of big fans."

Skytta's property is booked solid for three consecutive nights this week while a major youth soccer tournament is in town. Air conditioning has been an afterthought for many property managers in a mountain town where the average daily highs this week are more often in the low 80s.

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction said he couldn't offer much hope of relief over the coming week.

"The center of the high pressure system is to our east right now, but I expect it to build back to our west over the next few days," Joe Ramey said. "High pressure (and near-90-degree heat) will remain for the foreseeable future."

There is a chance that the remnants of Hurricane Claudette will bring some moisture to Colorado, but most of it is being pulled around the high-pressure system and directed toward Wyoming and Montana.

If some of the mid-level moisture from Claudette makes it to Northwest Colorado next week, it shouldn't be mistaken for the beginning of the summer monsoon season, Ramey said. That won't arrive until the high-pressure system moves farther east, and subtropical moisture from Mexico is pulled northward.

A National Weather Service spotter in Steamboat Springs confirmed Thursday the mid-afternoon temperature had reached 91, possibly on its way higher. That marked the seventh straight day of 90-plus heat. The daily highs July 12-16 were identical readings of 92 degrees.

Last year, Steamboat experienced nine days of consecutive 90-degree heat beginning June 30.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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