Thursday, February 18, 2016
After almost 4” of snow in 2.5 hours late this afternoon into this evening in Steamboat Springs, snows will end by around midnight before mostly sunny skies return for Friday.
Thursday night: Snows should end before midnight with skies turning partly cloudy and winds decreasing, but still remaining breezy, leaving 4-6” for the Friday morning ski report. Lows in the teens.
Friday: Mostly sunny with highs in the 40’s in Craig, 30’s in Steamboat and around 30 on the mountain. Breezy southwesterly winds with gusts up to 25 mph.
Friday night: Lows in the teens in Craig and around 20 in Steamboat.
Don’t let the current sunny skies fool you as this is a slot of dry air ahead of the very windy storm timed to cross the Steamboat Springs area late this afternoon. Gusty southwest winds will veer to the west and become stronger around and behind the frontal passage, with several hours of intense snowfall leading to blowing snow and difficult travel conditions around sunset.
Snowfall should be over by midnight, leaving 3-6” on the hill for the Friday morning ski report. Skies will become partly sunny on Friday before a weak wave to our north brings cooler temperatures and the threat of very light snow showers for early Saturday.
Drier air for Sunday promises a sunnier day before moisture increases late Monday ahead of a wave traveling over the West Coast ridge. This is an interesting development since some cold air from the Canadian Plains is forecast to mix with this wave, bringing some snows to the area on Tuesday.
The westward extent of the cold air over the Canadian Plains has been a key variable in our snowfall this winter. From about mid-December through early February, the West Coast ridge associated with El Nino events had been attacked from the west with Pacific energy and from the east by the cold air over the western Canadian Plains. We have done very well with snowfall as the moist Pacific air undercuts the ridge and overruns the cold Canadian air.
These last 10 days have seen the cold air move eastwards, bringing very cold air and winter weather to the East Coast, but leaving the West Coast ridge stronger and warmer, reducing the threat of snowfall for our area. I am hopeful that the cool air for the Tuesday storm marks a westward expansion of the cold Canadian Plains airmass and a return to a more active weather pattern.
Another drier and weaker wave is forecast to cross north of the area around Thursday, but current forecasts have no precipitation associated with this disturbance.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Southwest winds will increase tonight into early Thursday ahead of a blustery cold front currently timed to cross the area around mid-afternoon. Gusty west winds and a period of intense snowfall lasting several hours around and behind the front will create areas of blowing snow and possibly difficult travel conditions.
Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with lows in the 20’s.
Thursday: Gusty southwest winds 20-30 mph with possible rain or mixed rain/snow showers in the valleys and snow showers on the hill ahead of the cold front moving across the area around mid-afternoon. Highs around 40 before the cold front passes, with a period of possibly intense snowfall, blowing snow and gusty west winds to 35 mph in the valleys and 50 mph on the mountain during and after frontal passage.
Thursday night: Low temperatures in the teens with snow likely before midnight. Accumulations around an inch in the valleys and enough snow on the hill to produce 3-6” for the Friday morning ski report.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
We’ll have a gorgeous sunny and warm day Wednesday ahead of the next very windy storm currently timed for later Thursday.
Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with lows in the 20’s.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny with highs in the 40’s in the valleys and 30’s on the mountain.
Wednesday night: Turning mostly cloudy ahead of the next storm Thursday, with lows in the 20’s.
Monday, February 15, 2016
A trailing wave in moist northwest flow behind the departing storm will cool temperatures tonight and keep periods of snow going on the mountain. Skies will clear earliest in the lowest valleys Tuesday morning before clearing later in the morning or early afternoon on the mountain.
Monday night: Chance of snow in the valleys and snow likely on the hill with an additional 1-4” overnight leading to a 3-6” Tuesday morning ski report. Lows in the 20’s.
Tuesday: Snow showers ending first in Craig, then in Steamboat and finally on the mountain with skies turning partly to mostly sunny. High temperatures around 40 in the valleys and 30 on the mountain.
Tuesday night: Lows around 10 in Craig and teens in Steamboat.