Cold front to pass through Yampa Valley this weekend bringing chance of rain, snow at higher elevations
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs’ run of above average, summer-like weather will likely come to an end this weekend as a cold front brings cooler temperatures and potentially some snow on Sunday.
Don’t get your skis out just yet though, as snow is likely to be limited to only a few inches at higher elevations, according to Mike Weissbluth, a local meteorologist who runs the forecasting website snowalarm.com. In town, while possible, snowflakes are unlikely with mild rain showers being probable.
“I think the mountain will get a little bit of snow, and we’ll get a little bit of rain,” Weissbluth said.
The warm weather will continue until Saturday with a high temperature of 73 degrees, according to snowalarm.com, ahead of the cold front’s arrival.
As the cold front nears it will bring drier weather with gusting winds exceeding 35 to 45 mph, said Erin Walter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
Weissbluth said the wind would be out of the southwest on Saturday, likely clearing out smoke from the nearby Middle Fork Fire and other surrounding wildfires.
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While atmospheric smoke models from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggest the weekend will be relatively smoke free in Steamboat, Weissbluth cautioned that the models are not always perfect.
“While it has generally done pretty well, it missed really badly” forecasting the smoke in town on Thursday, Weissbluth said. “It’s dependent on the fire behavior.”
As the cold front rolls in during the mid- to late-morning hours on Sunday, it will bring some light rain and below-average temperatures. The high for Sunday is forecasted to be 52 degrees according to snowalarm.com.
High elevations could see 1 to 2 inches of snow, but the best shot for snow will be in the mountains farther north of Steamboat, Walter said.
Steamboat will likely have heavier showers on Sunday, but they won’t bring much of an accumulation of precipitation.
“They will be here and then they will be gone and then they may be back,” Weissbluth said.
The wind will shift on Sunday, coming from the northwest, which makes the effect of smoke in town more unpredictable, he said.
“With any northerly component to the wind, that pushes things to the south, so later Sunday and in the week it is not clear yet what is going to happen there,” Weissbluth said.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021