Strong winter storm to start Saturday night, preceded by high winds

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Temperatures in the town of Steamboat Springs are near freezing under brilliant blue skies this Thursday noon, on their way to around forty degrees. While we may sneak in some more sun on Friday with similar temperatures, a powerful winter storm will first bring clouds and very windy conditions on Saturday before the snows start on Saturday night and persist through the rest of the weekend, and possibly beyond.

A strong and cold storm currently in the Gulf of Alaska is bringing heavy precipitation to the Pacific Northwest and is forecast to begin moving through our area by Saturday night. We may sneak in another nice day on Friday with some passing clouds, breezy winds and high temperatures in the low forties, just above our average high temperatures of 39 F.

Similar temperatures are forecast for Saturday under overcast skies, but increasingly windy conditions are forecast with mountain-top winds averaging as high as 30 mph with gusts approaching 70 mph by the afternoon that will continue into the evening.

Weather forecast models are still struggling with the mid-weekend storm, but right now it looks like the storm will move over our area in pieces, with the first piece bringing a cold front through our area Saturday night and starting the snows that will continue through the day Sunday.

We could see 5-10” of snow by the Sunday morning ski report at mid-mountain, with another 3-6” falling during the day, and half that in town. Winds will decrease on Sunday, but still remain stout from the west as the leading edge of the storm passes to our northeast. High temperatures in town will fall into the upper twenties with upper teens expected near the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort.

The main part of the storm is forecast to move through our area later Monday, though the southern extent of the storm and its proximity to our area are still uncertain. There is a chance that the cold front associated with the main storm may stall near or over our area on Monday, continuing moderate to heavy snows during the day, or graze our area to the north. If it snows hard on Monday, snow showers look to taper off overnight and be followed by a very cold Tuesday morning.

The early work week weather forecast is subject to change in the coming days, so be sure to check back to my next regularly scheduled weather narrative on Sunday afternoon for updates on this powerful winter storm that may start the work week.

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30 April 2022

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