After mediocre initial storm, significant snow still expected by end of week
The first of two storms that hoped to end the Yampa Valley’s snow woes was a flop, dropping just an inch of snow at the middle of Mount Werner and barely a dusting on the streets of Steamboat Springs.
“It went south of us, I really hate to say it,” said Mike Weissbluth, a local meteorologist who owns and operates SnowAlarm.com.
On Sunday, Weissbluth had said models were forecasting 4-8 inches near the top of Mount Werner. “The storm kind of split and some of the energy ended up going south of us, so we were left kind of high and dry,” he added.
Forecast models Monday night were also showing more robust precipitation than what Steamboat experienced Tuesday morning, Weissbluth said. Other resorts south of Interstate 70 fared better, with Telluride seeing about 6 inches of new snow.
“Everything went through a lot faster than what was expected,” said Mark Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “What was looking like a pretty decent storm even just a day or two ago kind of fizzled pretty quickly there.”
That storm was expected to linger over the Yampa Valley much longer. Instead, it quickly shifted south and brought drier air over Northwest Colorado. A northern swath of the storm brought very light snow showers late Tuesday morning, but Weissbluth said he didn’t expect much more.
But the meteorologists said the good news is that the second, more promising of the two storms is still on track to bring snow Thursday and Friday.
“There is nothing like a complete bust to shake your confidence,” Weissbluth said. “But this one for Thursday, Thursday night and into Friday is still looking good, and the cold air is still looking on track.”
Miller said this second storm is strengthening as it comes east across the Great Basin and into Colorado, where the first storm was moving south.
“This one’s a little bit more of a higher confidence storm,” Miller said. “This one has more moisture to work with, and pretty decent odds that you’ll be looking at pretty significant snows.”
The National Weather Service forecast has the storm starting late Wednesday and continuing until Friday night. Miller said it could bring about 6 inches in Steamboat, but Weissbluth said the storm won’t largely be felt until Thursday.
“We’ll get a little bit of snow out of there on Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night,” Weissbluth said. “The real storm is probably not going to get going until midday Thursday.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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