Unsettled weather takes a break before restarting on Sunday

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Temperatures are just above freezing under cloudy skies in Steamboat Springs this Thursday noon. After receiving eighty inches of snowfall at midmountain at the Steamboat Ski Resort in the last two weeks, the snows will stop through the first part of the weekend before chances for snow restart on Saturday night and continue into the following work week.

Snow Water Equivalent in the Yampa-White-Little Snake drainage basin as of 18 January 2024 as compared to averageOur last storm, which accumulated nine inches on the Thursday morning report at the Steamboat Ski Resort, has brought much warmer temperatures to our area as the arctic air mass was pushed to the east. Those eighty inches helped boost the snow water equivalent for the Yampa, White and Little Snake basin to right around average after 4.5” of water accumulated since January 4th, compared to an average accumulation of 2” during this period. The associated graph shows the current snow water equivalent in black, the median between 1991 and 2020 in yellow and the maximum and minimum measured since the 1985-1986 season.

An approaching ridge of high pressure will keep the snow away through Saturday, but there is a lot of moisture moving through the ridge which will keep clouds around through much of this period, with the best chance of seeing some sun on Saturday.

The ridge of high pressure will be kept moving eastward by a series of relatively mild storm storms moving through the central Pacific. These storms are forecast to move through the West and weaken in a rather disorganized pattern that will bring unsettled weather back to the forecast by Saturday night.

The storms are relatively warm compared to the just-departed arctic outbreak, and will bring chances for only modest snowfall accumulations. We could see 1-4” by the Sunday morning ski report at midmountain, with light snow for much of Sunday contributing another 2-5” by the Monday morning report. And temperatures will be quite mild compared to our recent cold, with high temperatures in the mid thirties in town, around five degrees above our average of 29 F, and mid twenties at the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort.

There should be additional chances for some accumulations at times during the next work week, but the weather forecast models are struggling with the speed and position of the incoming impulses of Pacific moisture and energy. So be sure to check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon where some of those details should be clearer.

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26 June 2021

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