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One to two feet or more likely by Wednesday afternoon

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Steamboat Ski area reported 5.5” this morning and 6” up top, and by 11am an additional 5.5” fell on mid-mountain and 3” up top. After a brief break this afternoon, the snow machine cranks up again tonight as a wet Pacific jet stream takes aim on Colorado. Relatively warm temperatures and very strong westerly winds are expected through midnight as snow starts up again around sunset or early evening tonight.

The winds should moderate sometime after midnight as some cool air moves over the area, but will likely stay strong through the early morning before relaxing and veering more to the northwest by noon Tuesday. Periods of moderate to heavy snow should occur tonight and through the day tomorrow. Including what fell today, I would expect 6-12” to be reported Tuesday morning with at least that much again for the Wednesday morning report.

Snowfall will likely continue at much lighter rates early Wednesday before the final wave in this train, this time in wet but not as windy northwest flow, moves over the area later Wednesday morning, There is some cooler air with the wave, so I would expect lighter density snow during the day before snowfall begins to taper off, but not end, after sunset. I would expect another 4-8” to be reported Thursday morning.

Light snow early Thursday should turn into even lighter flurries or even end for a bit later Thursday before a large and strong storm crosses the West Coast and backs our winds to the southwest on Thursday. The snow from this storm may begin early on Christmas Day as waves eject from the parent low to our southwest and move over the Steamboat Springs area. This storm is currently forecast to last all day, but I expect the forecast to evolve over the next few days as there is a lot going on with the preceding storm.

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