Monday, March 28, 2016
Continued clouds overnight will keep temperatures warm ahead a Pacific storm that is currently in the Great Basin.
The storm elongates to the east Tuesday and eventually splits, with the eastern part of the split bringing breezy southwest winds with rain showers in the valleys and snow showers above 9000′ starting as soon as the morning. There may be accumulations at the higher elevations of around an inch or two during the day.
Snow levels will fall to the valley bottoms when storm moves over the area and the cold front passes, currently timed for Tuesday afternoon or evening but likely to change as we get closer to the event. There will likely be a relatively short period of heavy snows and gusty winds during frontal passage, with even some thunder possible, leading to reduced visibilities and difficult travel. Light snow showers will continue overnight before more favorable north-northwest flow develops behind the departing storm on Wednesday morning and increases snowfall rates during the day.
Snowfall amounts are uncertain due the splitting storm, but current forecasts indicate around an inch in Craig by Wednesday morning, with 1-3” in Steamboat and 3-6” on the mountain. While the valleys will likely continue with non-accumulating snows during the day Wednesday, the mountain may see an additional 2-4” leaving 5-10” between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. However, the NAM model is further south with the track of the storm, and if that model verifies, I would expect more snow during Wednesday both on the hill and in the valleys.
There may be a break in snowfall late Wednesday into early Thursday before another promising wave passing over the area from the north will bring a surge of cold air from the Canadian Plains and a final round of snows to end the work week.