Powerful winter storms expected to affect Steamboat through Wednesday | SteamboatToday.com

Powerful winter storms expected to affect Steamboat through Wednesday

Scott Franz

— Get ready Steamboat Springs, more snow is on the way.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction is forecasting a series of strong winter storms will drop several more inches of snow in Steamboat and the surrounding mountains through Wednesday.

The area remains under a winter storm watch until Tuesday morning.

Weather Service forecaster Matt Aleksa said the current forecast calls for 8 to 15 inches of snow to fall in the area through Tuesday morning, with higher totals possible above 9,000 feet.

Then, a more powerful storm with the potential of dropping an additional 1 to 2 feet of snow in the mountains is on track to arrive Tuesday and affect the area through Wednesday.

"It’s starting to feel more like winter around here, and we need the snow," Aleksa said Sunday. "It’s a good thing."

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Aleksa and the Weather Service are advising holiday travelers in the area to keep up with the weather conditions as the storms are expected to limit visibility and worsen driving conditions, especially on the mountain passes.

Gusty winds accompanying the storms also could complicate travel.

Police in Steamboat already were busy Saturday and Sunday helping drivers free their cars from snowbanks and ditches, but Sgt. John McCartin said none of the accidents caused by the recent blasts of winter have resulted in any injuries.

At about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers were called to help a group of three snowmobilers stuck on Buffalo Pass.

According to emergency radio traffic, the snowmobilers were not injured.

Moisture from the Pacific, cold air from the bay of Alaska and a favorable jet stream are behind the latest blasts of winter in Northwest Colorado, Aleksa said.

Storms in the state Friday favored the San Juan Mountains, but Aleska said the latest track favors the northern mountains.

Steamboat Ski Area is reaping the benefits of the recent weather patterns.

The mountain received nearly 2 feet of snow in past week, and it announced several new terrain openings.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Ski Area to open additional terrain

Steamboat Ski Area officials announced they will open Elkhead chairlift Monday, providing access to Rolex, West Side, Lower High Noon and Broadway. Lil’ Rodeo Terrain Park also will open Monday with 10 features. On Tuesday, the ski area expects to open Sundown Express along with trails in that area. Sunshine Express and South Peak are expected to open before the end of the week, the release states.

Ski area officials hope to open Morningside on Dec. 22, which is when the First Tracks program will begin, as well.