Better overnight snowmaking temperatures this week

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The skies over Steamboat Springs have turned crystal blue with temperatures in the upper thirties this Sunday afternoon. Temperatures will rise at least ten degrees on Monday and Tuesday ahead of colder weather for Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day, but with only a small chance of snowfall. For the projected opening of the Steamboat Ski Resort on Saturday, the best news is snowmaking will be possible for at least some of each night with the forecast cold overnight temperatures in the low twenties.

Sunshine Peak from Village Dr. on 21 Nov 2021The top of Sunshine Peak looks great this afternoon as it shows off the 6” of natural snowfall received from yesterday’s storm, though less than an inch fell around town. But this winter coat will have a tough time hanging on as a ridge of high pressure currently over the West Coast moves overhead on Monday and Tuesday.

Clear and sunny skies for Monday and most of Tuesday will allow high temperatures to soar to ten to fifteen degrees above our average of 37 F. Meanwhile, a storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska will move across the Pacific Northwest on Monday and Idaho on Tuesday. Additionally, that piece of energy off the California coast leftover from our Saturday storm will be incorporated into the Idaho storm to create an expansive area of low pressure forecast to move across the Rockies on Wednesday.

While this sounds good, there just is not much moisture associated with the storm, and most of it will fall to our north on Tuesday night and south on Wednesday, leaving us with only a small chance of light snow showers. While the lack of precipitation will be disappointing, the quite cold air mass forecast to be dragged through our area starting Tuesday night will help snowmaking efforts, with high temperatures on a cloudy Wednesday in the low thirties.

More cool weather is forecast for what should be a beautifully crisp and sunny Thanksgiving Day as a reinforcing wave of cold and dry air follows Wednesday night, with temperatures rising to around average.

Another wave may graze our area on Friday, though current forecasts have that weak wave staying north of our area, with another ridge of high pressure moving overhead for the weekend. I’ll have more details on what is hopefully the Steamboat Ski Resort’s opening day on Saturday¬† in my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thanksgiving Day.

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23 November 2021

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