First snow again possible at the Steamboat Ski Resort this week

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Temperatures are in the upper sixties with nary a cloud in sight early this Sunday afternoon in the Steamboat Springs area. This gorgeous weather will persist through Monday before an approaching midweek storm brings clouds on a still warm Tuesday ahead of a cold front on Wednesday. Expect precipitation along and behind the cold front to last through Thursday with accumulating snows at the Steamboat Ski Resort and even some snow possible in town.

Those readers paying attention will notice the title of this weather narrative is the same as the one from last Sunday, save for extra word ‘again’. Though the storm from last week did not cooperate, I’m giving it another shot this week as the chances for snowfall from this storm are much higher.

Our current spectacular fall weather is courtesy of a ridge of high pressure that is over the Rocky Mountains. But there are two upstream storms that will affect our weather this week; the first is in the Gulf of Alaska and the second just east of the Dateline over the Aleutian Islands.

The first storm is forecast to make landfall over the Pacific Northwest on Monday as the second moves into the Gulf of Alaska and strengthens while mixing with some cold air moving southward across Alaska. High temperatures today will be the warmest of the week and near seventy degrees, which is around five degrees above our rapidly declining average of 64 F.

The interaction between the first storm as it moves eastward on Monday and the ridge of high pressure currently overhead will weaken both, so we should see another mostly sunny day with only a degree or two of cooling.

Though we will see another warm Tuesday with another degree or two of cooling from Monday, the southern part of the first storm grazes our area for increasing clouds during the day and maybe even an isolated rain shower later in the day at the higher elevations.

The second and much stronger storm is also forecast to make landfall along the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday before affecting our weather on Wednesday and moving overhead early Thursday. Our high temperature of the day will likely occur by noon on Wednesday as colder air filters into the area and precipitation breaks out later in the day. High temperatures may make it only to the mid fifties on Wednesday and mid forties on Thursday.

And temperatures will be cold enough for some snowflakes down in town by Thursday morning, with even a dusting of snow possible on the non paved surfaces. Snowfall will be more substantial as elevation increases, with a total of 3-6” of snow possible around and above mid mountain as snow continues through the day Thursday and into the overnight. This will likely be enough snow to impact travel on Rabbit Ears Pass through the day, especially as the first snow of the season often catches even the locals off guard.

Though the storm is still changing in the weather forecast models, right now it looks like the skies slowly dry out on Friday with high temperatures around fifty degrees. And an early forecast for the partial solar annular eclipse over our area on Saturday morning, which peaks at around 10:30 am and is unsafe to look at any time with the naked eye, shows mostly sunny skies to start the day. But that forecast is uncertain as mid and high level clouds associated with a grazing storm may dampen the spectacle.

So enjoy the next several days of summery weather ahead of what might be our first taste of wintry weather by Thursday, and I’ll be back with my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon with an updated look at the weather for the Saturday solar eclipse.

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18 May 2018

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