Thursday, January 2, 2014
As skies cleared behind yesterday’s storm, valleys markedly cooled last night. This created another round of temperature inversions that will keep the lower elevations cold before they are mixed out by the next storm on Saturday. Today and most of tomorrow should be mostly sunny with mountain slopes warming far more than the valleys before high clouds appear ahead of the approaching storm later Friday.
Snow showers should begin in the cooling atmosphere by Friday evening as the storm moves over the area. Periods of moderate to heavy snow should follow by Saturday morning as the main wave passes through. Snow should become more showery in nature behind the main wave, but at least two distinct reinfocing shots of cold air later Saturday and again later Sunday will keep sometimes heavy snow showers going through the weekend.
I’m a little concerned that the winds could turn westerly Friday night into Saturday morning and negatively affect the snow quality first thing Saturday morning, but the flow does turn northwest later in the day. Furthermore, unlike the New Years storm, we should have cooling during the entire event which will limit the wind speeds and minimize the damage westerly winds usually cause at Steamboat.
Snow amounts are bit tricky at this point due to the westerly flow in the beginning of the storm, but I would guess around 4-8” each day of the weekend, leading to a storm total of 8-16” by Monday morning.
A series of weak and disorganized Pacific wavess move across the area or split around the area beginning midweek, and I expect much milder temperatures and at least some snow from these. This storm track is currently forecast to continue through next weekend as stronger, but still relatively warm Pacific waves cross the area late in the workweek and again late next weekend.