Tropical flow struggles with dry westerly flow for control of Steamboat weather

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— Your Labor Day weekend weather could feature a competition between tropical moisture spinning off hurricane Ileana in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and a thrust of drier air seeking to dominate from the West.

Officially, the National Weather Service in Grand Junction is calling for a 20 to 30 percent chance of thundershowers through Sunday and high temperatures to remain below 85 degrees through Monday. However, there is a chance that Ileana, off the coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, could spice things up.

The Weather Service is anticipating that a strong push of moisture early in the evening Saturday will be followed Sunday by a push of drier mid-level air from the West. That combination of factors could create the greatest chance for moisture.

Alex Sosnowski, a senior meteorologist with Accuweather, reported on www.acccuweather.com that the flow of monsoon moisture from the Gulf of California could lead to more pop-up storms with the potential for drenching rains in Western states including Colorado this weekend.

Steamboat Springs weather observer Art Judson reported Friday that his rain gauge between downtown and the ski area captured 0.75 inches of precipitation during August. That compares with the average August precipitation of 1.6 inches. The most significant rain events took place Aug. 11, when 0.29 inches fell, and Aug. 23, when 0.18 inches fell.

The average daily high in August was 84.9 degrees, and the average daily low was 46.1. There were six days in August when Judson noted the air over Steamboat was smoky.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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