Snows restart around noon and last through Friday night

Thursday, February 15, 2024

After five inches fell at mid mountain and six inches up top at the Steamboat Ski Resort on Wednesday, cloudy skies and a temperature of 29 F are over the Steamboat Springs area this Thursday midmorning. Two waves of moisture and energy centered on this afternoon and later Friday will bring periods of snow between noon today and Saturday morning with ten to twenty inches of snow expected over the two days. Skies should briefly clear on a cooler Saturday before another weaker wave restarts snow showers later Sunday and overnight.

A compact ridge of high pressure currently sits over the Yukon. One wave of energy and moisture that earlier moved underneath the ridge and across the Gulf of Alaska and eventually the Great Basin is on our doorstep, and moderate to sometimes heavy snow showers are expected to start soon after noon today. We could see 2-5” accumulate at mid mountain during the day and that again during the evening.

Another wave that earlier traveled over the ridge and down the eastern side has formed a small eddy currently over the Pacific Northwest, and part of it is forecast to move over our area later Friday and overnight. Snow showers will decrease or possibly end for a time later tonight and early Friday before they intensify again later Friday and overnight.

This second set of accumulations starting Friday will be fluffier as cold air brought from the Yukon decreases the density, and I would expect 5-10” of snow to be reported on the Saturday morning mid mountain ski report, with some of that falling during the previous day.

Weather forecast models are struggling with the amount of cold air that will be over our area by Saturday morning, with a 75% chance of low temperatures both in town and the mountain between 5 F and 17 F. There are also low chances for subzero temperatures which is an abnormally large range for a a weather forecast only two days away.

We should see the sun reappear by Saturday afternoon for a classic picture perfect powder day before clouds increase by Saturday night as another weak wave of energy and moisture sneaks under the ridge and moves towards our area. Current forecasts have light snow showers starting by Sunday afternoon and continuing overnight with 2-5” possible on the Monday morning report.

So enjoy the snowy start to the long holiday weekend, and what should be a beautiful winter day on Saturday, and check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon for an update on the snow totals expected for Monday morning and a look ahead to a possible midweek storm.

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11 April 2018

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