Thursday, November 29, 2018
After the 7” reported at mid-mountain at the Steamboat Ski Area this morning, and 8” up top, the Steamboat Springs area will see a brief break in the weather ahead of our next storm which is currently pounding the Sierras with snowfall.
The Sierra storm will move through the Great Basin on Friday, and ahead of it we will see some clearing this Thursday afternoon as relatively warm southwest flow ahead of the storm first brings some drying, followed by a slug of moisture that may produce minor snowfall accumulations around sunset and into the evening.
Though the storm is not very cold, we will see a cool front pass through northern Colorado around midday Friday which will swing the winds towards our favorable northwest direction and produce moderate snowfall rates for a time. Lighter snowfall looks to continue overnight and into Saturday before tapering off late in the day. I would expect 4-8” of snow to be reported by Saturday morning, with some Steamboat Magic occurring between report time and ski time for bonus accumulations.
This storm is pushed eastward by another storm that is currently in the Gulf of Alaska but is forecast to be entering the Great Basin early in the weekend. This one has far colder air but far less moisture, so look for a cooler and mostly dry Sunday followed by an unseasonably cold Monday morning with low temperatures ten or fifteen degrees below our 10 F average.
Yet another Pacific storm is forecast to loiter off the California coast early in the work week, and our area will be sandwiched between the cold air associated with the light northwest flow from the former Gulf of Alaska storm and the much warmer air associated with the southwest flow ahead of the new Pacific storm.
Our weather will depend on the which airmass is over our area; currently the cold air is forecast to be in place through Tuesday, with some snow showers through the day Monday, especially in the afternoon, producing several inches of fluffy low-density snowfall.
There looks to be no more accumulations during a still-cool Tuesday.
A warm front ahead of the finally-moving-eastward Pacific storm may bring some light snow showers to the central and northern mountains around Tuesday night into early Wednesday, though accumulations should be quite light for our area.
The Pacific storm is forecast to be in the vicinity of the Great Basin after midweek, and even though the heaviest accumulations look to stay south of our area, we will have a good chance of accumulating snows as this storm moves past. Timing is subject to change, but right now we could see a period of good snowfall from Thursday night through Friday night before a ridge of high pressure temporarily builds over the west for the following weekend.