Another round of tropical storm-fueled rain coming to Steamboat Wednesday

Chance for a dusting of snow on Mount Werner Friday

This screenshot of the Steamboat Ski Resort Powdercam taken at 8:40 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 shows the top of Mount Werner in the top left of the picture may have seen its first snow last week. Screenshots of the Powdercam taken between 8:20 and 9 a.m. show the snow appearing to melt away.
Mike Weissbluth/Courtesy screenshot

After remnants of a Pacific Ocean hurricane brought about an inch of rain to parts of Steamboat Springs last week, more tropical storm-fueled moisture is in line to hit the Yampa Valley this week.

It could maybe even bring a dusting of snow on Mount Werner.

“It’s another impressive moisture surge,” said local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who writes weather updates at “It’s going to bring a good healthy surge – perhaps record-breaking for the time of year — over our area on Wednesday.”

Last week’s precipitation seemed to be stronger closer to the mountain. While downtown measurements near Steamboat Springs High School showed about 0.7 inches, Weissbluth measured about 1.2 inches on his rain gauge closer to the base area.

There may even have been some snow on Friday, Sept. 16, with shots from Steamboat Ski Resort’s Powdercam showing a limited amount of snow melting off as the morning progressed.

That plume of moisture came from from Hurricane Kay, which made landfall in Mexico about 10 days ago. Lucas Boyer, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction said the next batch of rain headed toward Steamboat is being fueled by tropical moisture as well.

“To get two of these in a row will feel a little unique,” Boyer said. “This tropical storm moisture, those are outliers because they give that much more fuel to a normal system that swings through.”

Between Tuesday, Sept. 20 and Thursday, Sept. 22, Boyer said models are showing that Steamboat could see more than an inch of rain, though the strongest precipitation will likely be in Southwest Colorado.

Weissbluth said this storm is monsoon-like, as it is tropical moisture coming from the southwest. Boyer said the key difference for him is that while this moisture is tropical in origin, it is a dynamic system coming through with support from the jet stream.

“If it can hold on to its moisture, it’s going to allow it to be much more productive than a monsoonal system would be,” Boyer said.

Monday, Sept. 19, should be much like Sunday, Sept. 18, with high temperatures approaching 80. Tuesday should start off as a nice sunny day too, with high temperatures near 77 degrees, before rain moves in that afternoon.

Wednesday should be the wettest day of the week, before moisture tapers off on Thursday, Weissbluth said. There is another chance for showers early on Friday, which is what could add an early morning dusting across Storm Peak.

“That may be cold enough to see some snow up at the higher elevations,” Weissbluth said, adding that current modeling shows snow down to about 11,000 feet, just about 500 feet higher than the mountain. “I think there’s still a possibility of snow even up on Mount Werner Friday morning, and more likely on the higher peaks.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.