Best chance for snow Friday, before sunny, dry weather resumes |

Best chance for snow Friday, before sunny, dry weather resumes

New snow sparkles in the sun under a blue sky on Rabbit Ears Pass on Saturday, Jan. 15.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today.

The Yampa Valley can expect sunny and dry days to start out the week, with the best chance for snow coming Friday, Jan. 21.

A high-pressure system is sitting over Northwest Colorado, as it has been for the past week, forcing storms away from the mountains around Steamboat Springs. Meteorologist Tom Renwick with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction said there are some storms passing to the north but not much else.

In the same trend, Monday, Jan. 17, should be sunny with few, if any, clouds in the sky and high temperatures nearing 40 degrees. More clouds will move in Tuesday, Jan. 18, likely lowering temperatures a bit before there is a slight chance for snow Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who runs the forecasting website, said Wednesday afternoon could start a series of days with unsettled weather, though how much snow is on the way is unclear.

“How much cold air gets sucked in there is going to play a part in how deep the storm gets and actually its track,” Weissbluth said, referring to the path the storm will take. “Yesterday, it looked like it was going to travel northeast of us, and this morning, it looks like it may travel southwest of us, so there is still a lot of uncertainty.”

A lot of that revolves around how much moisture is added to the system as it makes its way across the West. Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 20, look to be drier right now, and the weather those days may struggle to produce any accumulating snow, Weissbluth said.

He and Renwick both said weather models disagreed about how the storm would end up, but each favored Friday as the biggest day. Right now, forecasts show it could bring 3-4 inches of snow to higher elevations, with less significant snowfall in the lower valley, Renwick said.

But recent forecasts have tended to underestimate moisture, Weissbluth added. Last Friday, Steamboat Resort got about 4 inches from a storm that looked to be next to nothing.

“If this one is similar at all in terms of surprising on the upside, it could be a 6-12 incher,” he said.

The unsettled pattern is just a blip, though, as next week sunny dry weather will return. Weissbluth said that after Friday, the next best chance for snow looks to be toward the end of the month.

“But that is two weeks out, so all caveats apply,” he added.

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