Upper Yampa Valley enjoying alternating sunny days with soaking rains | SteamboatToday.com

Upper Yampa Valley enjoying alternating sunny days with soaking rains

— Steamboat Springs received nearly 90 percent of average August rainfall in two days this week, and there may be more on the way Friday.

The National Weather Service confirms that Steamboat had received .37 inches of rain as of 7 a.m. Aug. 3 followed by an additional 1.05 inches on Aug. 4, for a two-day total of 1.42 inches. That compares to the average rainfall for the entire month of 1.6 inches.

Steamboat Springs-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth of snowalarm.com predicted Thursday afternoon that the monsoon-like pattern that drenched Steamboat early in the week could return with serious intent after the lunch hour Friday.

"A wave currently near Baja will bring a surge of monsoonal moisture over the Steamboat Springs area Friday and Friday night," Weissbluth predicted. "Showers may start as early as noon and may contain locally heavy rainfall by the afternoon. The showery weather with possibly locally heavy rain should last for most of the night."

The Weather Service forecast for the Upper Yampa River Basin, including the city of Steamboat, anticipates gusty winds accompanying the afternoon and evening showers. The valley could sees southwest winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour in the afternoon with gusts to around 20.

The chance of rain Friday afternoon is rated at 40 percent. The chance of thunder showers decreases somewhat after midnight, but there is still a possibility that some storms will produce heavy rainfall.

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Skies will become increasingly sunny into Saturday afternoon, but wind will still be a factor in the weather.

High temperatures in the Steamboat area are forecast to range from 75 to 85 degrees Friday, cooling to between 65 and 75 Saturday.

The Weather Service is also calling for a chance of heavy rainfall overnight Friday in the Central Yampa Basin, including the cities of Hayden and Craig.

August 2015 rainfall in Steamboat still has a ways to go to compete with August 2014, which was the second wettest on record with 5.05 inches, according to the Weather Service. Only August 1914, which saw 5.36 inches, was wetter.

The Yampa River where it enters downtown Steamboat had been flowing at about 140 cubic feet per second (cfs) since July 30, below the median of about 170 cfs for the week. The big storm of Aug. 4 caused the river to climb briefly to about 170 cfs, but by Thursday afternoon, it had dropped to 130 cfs.

Looking further out at the forecast, Weissbluth sees another surge of monsoon moisture arriving as soon as Aug. 12 and carrying over into the following day.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1