Two more storms during Closing Week

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Steamboat Springs area is currently experiencing a mix of sun and precipitation as showers move over our area this Sunday in moist and unstable northwest flow. A storm from the Pacific Northwest will move over our area tonight, bringing cooler temperatures and the chance of 2-5” of fluffier-than-the-last-three-days snow for the Monday morning report. Snow showers will taper off during the day Monday, with another inch or two of snow possible, mostly before noon.

Even though the Steamboat Ski Area reported a season-high 99” of base at the top of Sunshine Peak this morning, the calendar says spring, and Tuesday won’t disappoint with plenty of sun and above average temperatures.

Temperatures will cool a bit for Wednesday as a weak storm is now back in the weather forecast models, with some clouds and even an isolated shower possible.

Drier air briefly returns for later Wednesday into early Thursday before we start to feel the effects of a strong and much colder storm forecast to cross the West Coast around midweek. While weather forecast models agree breezy to windy southwest to west winds will occur in advance of the storm, they disagree on when a vigorous cold front will cross the area, with the American GFS bringing cooler air and showers into our area during the day Thursday while the European ECMWF waits until Thursday evening.

Furthermore, the European ECMWF has the storm a bit stronger and colder, while the American GFS is broader, and the evolution of the storm will ultimately determine our snow amounts. At this point, I would expect a moderate snow event from later Thursday through Friday night that will be accompanied by unseasonably cold air.

While Saturday may start chilly, temperatures will warm as a ridge of high pressure builds over the West. There will be very dry air to our south, but moisture and energy that travels over the top of the ridge will be to our north. While I cannot promise a cloud free Closing Weekend, it does appear seasonably warm and dry is likely.

Save your soles! As the snow disappears in the spring, you know the grating and grinding sounds you hear from your ski boots as you walk across hard surfaces can’t be good. In fact, worn boot soles make your binding unsafe as it interferes with the boot-binding interface. Cat Tracks are a flexible protector that keeps your boot soles pristine, and adds a cushion for walking comfort. When it’s time to click into bindings, I take them off and stash them in my coat pocket. Yaktrax are similar, but I have not used them since they appear they would take up a bit more space in my jacket pocket. But you get a rocker sole that promotes a natural stride which may be worth the space sacrifice. If I did not have to carry them around all day, these would be my choice.

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