Snow reluctantly ends to start the work week ahead of significant midweek storm
Sunday, March 12, 2023
Temperatures are around twenty degrees in the town of Steamboat Springs and mid-teens near the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort under lightly snowing skies late this Sunday morning. Light snows will continue today and reluctantly end by Monday morning, though we may see some more snow showers Monday afternoon and overnight. We will see a break in the unsettled weather on Tuesday with some sun possible ahead of a significant storm for Wednesday and Thursday.
After eight inches at mid-mountain and nine inches up top were reported Saturday morning at the Steamboat Ski Resort, brilliant sunshine emerged early in the morning and lasted through the day. But snow showers have restarted in our favorable northwest flow this morning, with three inches accumulating on the Steamboat Powdercam and two inches at the mid-mountain snow stake. Snow showers should continue through the overnight leading to a 3-6” Monday morning ski report at mid-mountain.
A weak wave passing to our south on Monday may restart light snow showers for a time Monday afternoon and overnight with 1-4” possible by the Tuesday morning report.
A break in the unsettled weather is forecast for Tuesday as a ridge of high pressure moves through the Rockies, and we should see temperatures within several degrees of our average of 41 F along with some hard-to-come-by sunshine this winter.
The nice day on Tuesday will precede our next major storm starting on Wednesday and lasting through Thursday as a cold storm currently over the Gulf of Alaska conspires with another atmospheric river north of Hawaii. As with the last storm, temperatures will be above freezing down in town after the precipitation starts early in the day Wednesday, so expect snow or a rain-snow mix turning to rain in the afternoon. Snow levels should rise to as high as 8000′, so wet and dense snowfall should be above Christie Peak.
The structure of the storm as it moves overhead Wednesday night is still uncertain as weather forecast models indicate there may some sort of split in the storm. A cold front may then stall over the mountainous terrain of north-central Colorado later Wednesday into Thursday, which contributes to a difficult snowfall prediction. We will likely do quite well from the combination of the moisture associated with the atmospheric river and the cold air from the original Gulf of Alaska storm, and my current guess is 6-12” for the Thursday morning report at mid-mountain with another 2-5” during the day Thursday.
Though the weather forecast models disagree on the details of the storm as it passes overhead, they do agree on the unseasonably cold air in the wake of the storm by Friday morning, especially if skies clear Thursday night. Unless there are big changes in the forecast, I’ll be back with my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon where I’ll discuss what currently looks like a nice start to the weekend and the following storm.