Early September in Steamboat could prove to be warmer than August
September 3, 2013
Steamboat Springs — The calendar says September, but the weather forecast continues to say August. In fact, the forecast daily highs for the next four days could rival or surpass the warmest temperatures recorded in Steamboat Springs during the month of August this year.
The National Weather Service is predicting a high of 88 degrees Wednesday with a possibility of the temperature reaching 89 on Thursday and 87 on Friday.
Weather Service records for August 2013 show that the mercury reached 87 degrees twice last month on Aug. 18 and 20 and finished out the month with a high of 86 degrees Aug 30 and 85 degrees Aug. 31. But there could be relief from the high 80s in sight. There were 15 days in August that didn’t get out of the 70s.
August also was short on rainfall: The 0.76 inches that fell compares to the August average of 1.71 inches. The biggest single rain event of the month was the 0.23 inches that fell Aug. 2 augmented by 0.18 inches that fell Aug. 28.
Weather Service meteorologist Jim Daniels in Grand Junction said Tuesday that a stubborn high-pressure system centered over eastern Colorado has been keeping a trough off the Pacific coast, allowing the summer monsoon season to persist. But there is a possibility that a cool front from the north will push into Northern Colorado by Monday or Tuesday.
"Right now, we're in a rather stagnant weather pattern," Daniels said. "The high-pressure system that is centered over Eastern Colorado that wavers back and forth between the high plains and the Rockies will remain until this weekend. That has kept a trough off the West Coast and is maintaining the monsoon pattern into the Great Basin" and western Colorado.
Daniels said a disturbance that will push into the area this weekend and early next week has the potential to push a cool front across the Northern Colorado border by Monday.
"It's still up in the air with the strength of this high pressure system," Daniels said.
According to the National Climatic Data Center the normal daily high temperature here in September is about 74 degrees and the nightly lows are about 35 degrees. By the middle of the month, frost on the windshield is not an uncommon event and the first dusting of snow on Storm Peak often appears within a few days of Sept. 15.
One of the warmest early Septembers on record here was recorded in 1998 when the temperature reached 91 degrees Sept. 5 and 90 degrees Sept. 7 and 8, according to the Weather Service.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com