Snowy week ahead

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The Steamboat Springs area is seeing mostly sunny skies and cold temperatures of 0 F at the Bob Adams airport and 9 F at the top of Mt. Werner this Sunday noon. We will see a break in the snowfall through today as the storm that grazed our area last night stays to our south. Snowfall starts up again Monday and lasts through Wednesday before we see a second brief break on Thursday, followed by more snowfall as we head into the following weekend.

Snowfall since Thursday night ended up at the low end of the forecast range these past three days, with 16” at mid-mountain and 22” up top. While the cold air associated with that grazing storm arrived last night as advertised, the storm drifted far enough away from our area to preclude the significant accumulations that were possible.

So enjoy the sunny skies today and crisp winter temperatures as another storm moving in flow from the northwest begins to affect our area on Washington’s Birthday. Some intermittent and light snow showers early in another cold day should give way to heavier and more persistent snow later Monday into Tuesday as favorable moist northwest flow ahead of the storm encroaches on our area and pushes the coldest temperatures to our east. Like the storm last night, this one is also expected to split as it crosses the Great Basin on Tuesday, though not as much, so expect our heaviest snowfall Monday night with lighter snowfall continuing on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There could be 4-8” of snow on the Tuesday morning report, with another 1-4” falling during the day Tuesday. While Tuesday will warm up a bit, the storm will bring another round of cold temperatures for Wednesday and Thursday, with another 1-4” possible during Tuesday night and again on Wednesday before the snowfall tapers off by Thursday morning.

A shallow ridge of high pressure passes overhead on Thursday behind the departing storm and ahead of our next one that could start snowfall as early as early Friday morning in fast flow from the northwest. However, weather forecast models disagree if we will see several waves in northwest flow through the weekend, like the current American GFS, or more of a consolidated storm similar to the latest European ECMWF. So we may see a couple of waves of snowfall centered around Friday and Saturday nights, or more of a single event centered on Saturday.

Current forecasts have another break in the snowfall after the weekend, though this one may also be short-lived as more possibilities for snow emerge during the following work week. Stay tuned to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon to see how the upcoming weekend event is developing.

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