Steamboat Ski Area passes 200 inches |

Steamboat Ski Area passes 200 inches

Cold front forecast to produce more snow, cold temperatures

Chris Moran blows snow out of a driveway in Steamboat Springs on Sunday after a large storm brought plenty of fresh powder to the area.
Joel Reichenberger

— With a storm that dropped 17 inches of snow in less than 24 hours on Mount Werner, Steam­boat Ski Area surpassed the 200-inch mark Sunday, nearly two months earlier than last season.

The ski area didn’t reach the 200-inch milestone last season until March 8, and the 2009-10 season total was 261.75 inches. As of Sunday afternoon, the ski area was reporting 209.5 inches of snow at mid-mountain, with a base of 69 inches.

“We’re always excited when our season kicks off with such great snow and (it) continues throughout the season,” ski area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said, referring to a November that saw the most snow ever recorded for the month. “To have an 18-inch storm is a great way to jump-start the 2011 portion of our season.”

The ski area reported 18 inches of snow in the past 24 hours at the summit of Mount Werner.

And it’s not quite done.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the Upper Yampa River Basin, including Steamboat, until 6 a.m. today.

Chris Cuoco, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in Grand Junc­tion, said Sunday afternoon that an additional 2 to 4 inches of snow is forecast to fall in town by this morning. He said the storm could result in 3 to 5 inches or more on northwest-facing slopes on Mount Werner and surrounding mountains.

After the snow stops falling, Cuoco said, it’s going to get cold.

He said the overnight low tonight is forecast to be 25 degrees below zero. That’s cold but not quite the record for Steamboat, which saw 43 degrees below zero in 1962, Cuoco said. He said the average low for this time of year is 1 degree.

“It is colder than normal, but it’s not way out of the norm,” he said, adding that it’s not uncommon for temperatures to dip below zero and into the negative teens or 20s in January.

Despite the heavy snowfall since Saturday afternoon, area law enforcement agencies didn’t respond to many car wrecks.

Colorado State Patrol troopers were called to a noninjury rollover car crash at mile marker 42 on Colorado Highway 131 near Yampa on Sunday afternoon. Steamboat Springs Police Department officers responded to three noninjury crashes during the day.

Law enforcement agencies responded to a two-car crash Saturday.

Area law enforcement officers advised drivers to slow down. Police Sgt. Gerard Geis recommended that drivers anticipate maneuvers they might make and, correspondingly, anticipate maneuvers of other drivers around them.

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