Gunnar cools off Sunday during a swim at the Old Town Hot Springs on Sunday during the pool's Poochy Paddle event. Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction are calling for record breaking temperatures Monday and Tuesday.

Photo by Scott Franz

Gunnar cools off Sunday during a swim at the Old Town Hot Springs on Sunday during the pool's Poochy Paddle event. Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction are calling for record breaking temperatures Monday and Tuesday.

Warmer days ahead for Steamboat Springs

Weather Service calling for record highs Monday and Tuesday

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— During the past four years, the Old Town Hot Springs has hosted its annual Poochy Paddle event in rain, in sleet and in snow.

On Sunday, it was held in the heat.

More than 100 dogs flocked to the pool to cool off on a day that saw temperatures in Steamboat Springs creep above 70 degrees and near a record high of 76. Festive music blared from speakers as the cold pool appeared to host more of a summer event than a spring one.

“This is the most wonderful day we’ve had for this,” Hot Springs Aquatics Director Jill Ruppel said as dogs chased tennis balls into the pool behind her. “But no matter what type of weather we get, people always bring their dogs out for this. This is a dog’s favorite day of the year.”

As he watched Gunnar, his Jack Russell terrier, swim in the pool with a toy, Steamboat resident Jeff Gruebel said he couldn’t remember a warmer day in April during the many years he’s lived in the Yampa Valley.

“It’s never been like this,” he said. “But these dogs are loving it out there.”

Travis Booth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said Sunday that it likely will get even warmer this week as a ridge of high pressure sitting above the southwestern U.S. continues to keep Steamboat hot and dry.

Booth said high temperatures are forecast to reach into the upper 70s on Monday and Tuesday and could even creep above 80. He predicted the temperatures could break Steamboat’s historic record high temperatures of 76 degrees Monday and 75 on Tuesday that were set in 1989 and 1987, respectively.

“We’re forecasting some abnormally dry days with well above normal temperatures,” Booth said. “We also may have a couple of mountain (storms) pop up here and there, but nothing widespread.”

He said the combination of the ridge of high pressure and lower soil moisture left over from a dry winter has allowed the temperatures to defy seasonal averages.

Steamboat saw significant moisture last week when a Wednesday storm dropped 0.55 inches of precipitation, but a warming trend has dominated since. Booth said that could change starting Thursday night when a chance for showers and thunderstorms returns to the forecast.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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