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Last storm in this series arrives for Christmas Day

Thursday, December 24, 2015

After last week’s three foot storm cycle, the 7” mid and 8” up top reported this morning, almost all of which fell during the day Wednesday, leaves the Steamboat Ski Area with another storm cycle total of 35” at mid and 42.5” up top since Sunday night.

After a dry day today, a large storm currently located over the central West Coast will begin to stretch tonight and eventually split by later tomorrow. Energy leading to this split will move over the Steamboat Springs area sometime after midnight tonight and before sunrise tomorrow, likely leading to light falling snow for Christmas morning.

Additionally, the energy moving over our area looks strong enough to form a secondary closed low that will veer our winds from the southwest to the northwest by later in the day, increasing the chances of moderate to sometimes heavy snowfall in the afternoon.

Lighter snows should continue overnight as this secondary low moves east of the area, and may linger Saturday morning. I would expect 6-12” to be reported Saturday morning, with a significant portion of that falling between noon and midnight Friday.

Very cold temperatures will be reinforced for Saturday before warming at higher elevations should be noted by Sunday as the skies clear. Valleys will stay chilly as a temperature inversion reforms after the storm passes.

Monday should stay sunny with pleasant mountain temperatures before a series of weak storms interact and threaten the area with light snow for Tuesday. These storms will drag some more cold air over the region that may be reinforced by another weak storm around Thursday.

Long term models indicate that a Gulf of Alaska or West Coast ridge typical of recent El Nino episodes is likely to form around next weekend, possibly diverting the recent stormy weather around the West and Inter-mountain West.

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