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Another storm cycle to start midweek after a short break

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Temperatures at our average of freezing and mostly sunny skies are over Steamboat Springs this Sunday mid afternoon behind the storm that left a two day snowfall total of 21” at mid mountain and 27” up top at the Steamboat Ski Resort. A sunny start to the work week will be followed by another long duration storm cycle that starts by midweek and continues into the weekend.

A large storm currently just off the coast of northern California that extends back southwestward toward Hawaii has incorporated an atmospheric river nicknamed the Pineapple Express, similar to our last storm, that will again bring heavy precipitation to portions of California today and Monday.

A ridge of high pressure has formed ahead of the storm over the Desert Southwest and Great Basin and will be responsible for the clear skies tonight and on Monday. Combined with the fresh snow cover and light winds, low temperatures should fall to around zero degrees in the Yampa Valley, which is around five degrees below our average of 6 F. Expect upper thirties to close to forty degrees on Monday under continued mostly sunny skies.

Meanwhile, the California storm is forecast to elongate to the southwest on Monday before moving east across Nevada and Arizona on Tuesday thanks to a cool storm moving across the Aleutian Islands that will eventually affect our area by Thursday.

Warm and moist air carried northward ahead of the California storm will raise the high temperatures for Tuesday into the low forties while also introducing clouds back into the weather forecast. This storm is then forecast to move northeastward through Colorado on Wednesday and to our northeast by Thursday.

There is a chance that showers could start as soon as Tuesday night or hold off until early Wednesday. This storm will be similar to the last one and start warm. But as the storm moves across Colorado during the day and intensifies to our northeast, winds will turn to be from our favorable northwest by Wednesday afternoon while temperatures cool thanks to the approaching Aleutian storm. Moderate to sometimes heavy snows should occur from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday, with the snowfall becoming fluffier before it tapers off early Friday.

We could see as much as 6-12” of snow at mid mountain by the Thursday morning report with continuing snows during the day and overnight possibly leading to a similar amount by Friday morning. We may see snowfall on Friday briefly stop, or not, as another cool Aleutian storm approaches our area for the weekend festivities of the 111th edition of the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival.

So enjoy the break in winter weather before the snows restart on Wednesday, and be sure to check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Thursday afternoon to see an updated snowfall forecast for Friday and how much snow we may expect for the weekend.

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4 February 2024

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