Moderate storm likely for Tuesday

Sunday, January 3, 2021

A mix of sun and clouds is over the Steamboat Springs area early this Sunday afternoon, with temperatures in the mid-twenties. A weak storm will graze our area tonight with a stronger one forecast for Tuesday, possibly accompanied by a snow squall that could make travel difficult, or even briefly impossible. A couple of weak and disorganized storms may bring light snowfall back to our region near the end of the work week and again during parts of the weekend.

A storm to our north will graze our area tonight, bringing increasing clouds and light snow later today and overnight. We may see an inch on the hill by the Monday morning report

A ridge of high pressure then briefly moves over our area on a warmer and sunnier Monday before the next stronger storm is forecast to cross the West Coast Monday night and affect our area on Tuesday. Weather forecast models have trended towards a more consolidated storm, with a wave of light snow forecast Monday night followed by a strong cold front early on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service started issuing Snow Squall Warnings at the beginning of the 2018 winter season, though I did not see them on my cell phone until this season. Snow squalls are intense but limited duration periods of moderate to heavy snowfall accompanied by gusty surface winds and resulting in greatly reduced visibility and whiteout conditions. Note that administratively, these warnings are not issued when an area is already under a Winter Storm or Blizzard Warning since they are redundant.

We may see conditions that approach or exceed the threshold for a Snow Squall Warning Tuesday morning when the cold front blasts through, perhaps with a rumble of thunder. Winds will then turn to be from our favorable northwest direction for the rest of the day in the cold, moist and unstable air mass behind the storm. Accumulations will be limited by the quick motion of the storm, but after a possible inch for the Tuesday morning report, we could see an additional 3-6” of snowfall by the time it tapers off by midnight on Tuesday, which would be reported on a cold Wednesday morning report.

It looks like we will see a dry Wednesday and Thursday behind the storm as a convoluted weather pattern approaches our area for the end of the work week and the following weekend. While some sort of ridge of high pressure is forecast to build over the northern Rockies starting Friday, a couple of weak storms undercut the ridge and start an unsettled pattern to our weather. The position and evolution of these storms is quite uncertain, but right now it looks like light snow is a possibility for Friday with more intermittent snow showers forecast for the weekend.

Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon as there are indications a more persistent snowier period is possible starting sometime the following week. And I want to thank those who found and clicked on the displayed Amazon products before purchasing (embedded within this forecast when viewed on the website at as the small commission helps offset the time and money it takes me to produce this community resource.

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4 May 2019

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