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Blustery storm today with next significant snow possible Tuesday

Thursday, February 18, 2016

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.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Wednesday night

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.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Tuesday night

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.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Monday night

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.

Steamboat Springs area short term weather forecast from Sunday night

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A moist northwest jet stream with embedded waves is currently over our area and will lead to periods of snow and gusty west to northwesterly winds through Tuesday morning.

Sunday night: Snow likely with around an inch or two in Steamboat and 3-6” on the mountain, yielding a 5-8” Monday morning ski report. Gusty west to northwest winds, stronger at higher elevations with lows around 20 and fog possible in the valleys.

Monday: Fog possible in the valleys and snow likely with around an inch in Steamboat and 1-4” on the mountain. Gusty west to northwest winds, stronger at higher elevations with highs around 30 in the valleys and 20’s on the mountain.

Monday night: Chance of snow with around an inch in Steamboat and 2-4” on the mountain. Lows around 20.

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