Steamboat weather runs hot and cold with 40-degee temperature swings

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— Temperature swings of more than 40 degrees will rule Steamboat Springs’ weather for the next couple of days as the daily highs nudge into the 90s and overnight lows slip below 50 degrees.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction is predicting that after a high in the upper 80s on Tuesday, Wednesday’s high could reach 91 followed by a forecast of 93 degrees Thursday. However, all Steamboat residents need to cool off the house at night is to open the windows. Overnight lows are expected to be 49 degrees into Wednesday and 48 into Thursday. Daily highs are expected to return to the upper 80s for Rainbow Weekend.

Later in the week, Steamboat could get its first taste of annual monsoon moisture. But National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Ramey said at 10 a.m. Tuesday that he doesn’t think the thundershowers should affect scheduled Saturday and Sunday hot air balloon launches.

“Friday looks like the best chance for showers — there could be disruptive showers Friday morning,” but any thunderstorm activity Saturday and Sunday shouldn’t develop until later in the afternoon, Ramey said.

Early Tuesday morning, the Weather Service was predicting a 20 percent chance of showers here Friday, but Ramey said he was upgrading that probability as of midday.

The Weather Service is forecasting a “significant moistening trend” for Southwest Colorado and the Grand Valley as subtropical moisture finds its way north from Mexico. The Four Corners could see as much as an inch of rain from afternoon thunderstorms beginning Thursday.

Ramey said a large blob of thunderstorm activity was centered in the Mexican state of Sonora on Monday night and dropped overnight temperatures in Tucson, Ariz., to 85 degrees. The clockwise flow around the high is expected to deliver moisture to Southern California on Wednesday and into the Great Basin on Thursday before slipping into Western Colorado and reaching as far north as Routt County.

The Weather Service does not foresee critical fire weather popping up on Colorado’s Western Slope throughout the weekend.

Western Colorado’s monsoon season typically begins in the second week in July, according to the Weather Service. That’s when an area of high pressure along the main Pacific ridge breaks loose and allows subtropical moisture to flow north from Mexico.

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

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