Thursday, February 26, 2015
A trailing wave passes over the area this evening behind the departing storm, increasing snows a bit and leaving another 1-4” on the hill by tomorrow morning. Friday and Saturday morning is a transition period as another complicated storm system similar to last weekend takes shape over the western United States.
That storm, currently located near the Washington / British Columbia maritime border, is splitting. It is eventually forecast to evolve into two pieces including a closed low over the western Great Basin and a much faster moving wave that will skirt the northern Colorado border early Sunday.
Dissimilar to last week, there is no strong upward motion over our area during the transition period before the cutoff low begins to affect us by around Saturday afternoon. Therefore only light snow or snow showers at best are expected through Friday and most of Saturday, and it may even be dry.
While it is nearly certain that southern Colorado and those areas favored in central Colorado with southwest flow will receive the majority of snowfall from this storm this weekend, the models are struggling with the northern extent of the snows, creating an uncertain forecast for the Steamboat area starting Saturday afternoon and lasting through Monday morning. I’m going to have to wait until the models have a better handle on the storm before issuing snowfall estimates for that time frame.
Additionally, another kicker wave topping a ridge in the Gulf of Alaska will first force the closed low to move eastward beginning early Monday, moving over our area around Monday night with moderate to heavy snows. The kicker wave will mix with some very cold arctic air over western Canada, likely giving us another blast of heavy snows later Tuesday into Wednesday, accompanied with unseasonably cold temperatures by Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. While it is too early to forecast amounts, the potential for another one to two feet are possible from Monday through Wednesday.
Dry and warmer weather is expected to return for the following weekend.