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Cold ahead of likely New Years Eve day storm

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The productive storm which brought 6” of snow to the Steamboat Ski Area over the last 24 hours is now bringing severe winter weather to the Mississippi River Valley. Behind the departing storm, the Steamboat Springs area is enjoying some sun behind lingering snow showers this cool Thursday morning as another storm takes up residence in the Great Basin. Our area will be mostly missed by the snow as the storm eventually moves east, but not the cold that will hang around through the weekend in advance of a possibly significant New Years Eve day storm.

The Great Basin storm is expected to move southward today, with a large portion of the storm ejecting out ahead of the parent circulation and bringing significant snows to southern Colorado and New Mexico tonight and Friday. The notable weather for Steamboat Springs will be the cold as high temperatures for Friday and Saturday are forecast to be five to ten degrees below our average high of 26 F and low temperatures ten to twenty degrees below our average low of 3 F.

As the storm passes well south of our area on Friday, we’ll see clouds increase, with even light snow showers possible from Friday night into Saturday morning if the moisture associated with the storm makes it far enough north.

The sun should briefly return later Saturday ahead of a cold and wet Gulf of Alaska storm crossing the Pacific Northwest coast around Saturday night. The storm will mix with some more cold air from the Canadian Plains, first bringing clouds on Sunday followed by light snow showers during the day. A strong cold front is forecast to move through Colorado Sunday night accompanied by moderate to heavy snows that should taper off during the day Monday. Weather forecast models disagree on whether the southern end of the storm cuts off from the jet stream, but right now it looks like we could see 6-12” from the storm before snows turn showery and taper off by Monday afternoon.

Another push of even colder but drier air is forecast for New Years Eve followed by another one containing slightly more moisture for Tuesday night. While there may be some showers around New Years Day, a better chance of showers producing light, fluffy low-density snowfall exists for the quite cold Wednesday morning report.

A ridge of high pressure that develops over the West Coast is forecast to move inland midweek, and this will bring notable higher elevation warming for the end of the work week. Lower elevations will likely stay cold as a temperature inversion, where air is warmer at higher elevations, develops.

I absolutely love this super-warm split-finger mitten-glove, and you’ll be happy you have them for our forecast cold weather! I’m on my second season with these and am very impressed with their durability and warmth, especially when combined with the standard HotHands handwamers. Three fingers sit together with the index finger separated, but there is enough room to scrunch all your fingers together while on the lift, which is especially nice if you have a handwarmer in the mitten-part of the glove.

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