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Cold and snowy pattern starts Friday

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

After a weak wave passed through the Steamboat Springs area this morning, snow showers will end later today before some warming and drying is observed tomorrow. Another weak wave skirts our area early Thursday, likely leading to similar weather that we have today.

As this wave moves east of our area, a strong Pacific jet stream impacts the West Coast on Thursday and incorporates some cold air from the Gulf of Alaska. This storm is forecast to be a significant weather maker as it moves first southward along the coast and then eastward into the Great Basin. Winds will back to the southwest and increase again during the day Thursday as the storm approaches the area.

Pieces of energy are forecast to eject form the storm as early as Friday morning, bringing precipitation to Steamboat Springs during the day Friday. Temperatures will be mild ahead of the storm until the cold front passes sometime on Friday, leading to the possibility of rain or mixed precipitation at the lower elevations until colder air filters into the region.

Snows will increase during the day Friday, likely becoming moderate or heavy at times around Friday afternoon. Mountain-top winds stay southwesterly during this part of the storm, limiting the snowfall to be reported Saturday morning to 3-6”.

Cold air will pour into Colorado during the day Saturday as the storm moves over the area, keeping snow showers with light accumulations going through the day. But snows should pick up again by Saturday night as the winds finally turn to our favored northwest directions and a weak wave moves over the area early in the day on Sunday, leaving 1-4” for the Sunday morning report.

Warming behind this wave will limit snowfall later in the day Sunday and into Monday morning before another storm, very similar to Friday, approaches the area and increases snowfall by Monday afternoon. Again, there may be mixed precipitation late Sunday or early Monday before another wave of even colder air is forecast to wash over the area. Winds look to turn northwesterly by Monday night, and cold temperatures with moderate to sometimes heavy snow are forecast to occur overnight and through the day Tuesday.

Models indicate the possibility of another wave in northwest flow around Wednesday, with snow forecast to briefly increase again into Thursday morning. There may be a break in the snowfall near the end of next week before additional storms may threaten the area around the next weekend.

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