Early spring snowstorm to drop up to 18 inches by Friday in Steamboat area, forecasters say
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — An early spring storm moving in from the Gulf of Alaska could result in a snowy next few days for much of Northwest Colorado, according to forecasters.
The storm front is expected to move into the Yampa Valley area late Wednesday, but snow could start falling as early as Tuesday night if the forecast holds true. As much as 18 inches of snow could fall before the weekend, when the storm is expected to move out of the area ahead of a warming up period beginning Friday.
Light snow will develop over the northern Colorado mountains late Tuesday and increase in coverage overnight, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. While initial accumulations will be light, travel could be impacted along U.S. Highway 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass.
Steamboat Springs forecaster Mike Weissbluth, who owns and operates the weather forecasting site snowalarm.com, said snow showers could be seen Tuesday night ahead of the mass of the storm, then become more intense and numerous through Wednesday. The morning low on Wednesday is expected to be around 17 degrees.
Moderate to heavy snow is expected by Wednesday night, with 6 to 12 inches possible by Thursday morning atop Mount Werner and several inches in downtown Steamboat, according to Weissbluth.
Travel will be difficult Wednesday and Thursday due to the conditions, Weissbluth cautioned.
Snow showers are expected to continue throughout Thursday, bringing another 3 to 6 inches.
As the storm moves out of the area late Thursday, much warmer and drier weather is expected for Friday and part of Saturday, according to Weissbluth.
April was not a snowy month last year for Steamboat, with only five days recorded as seeing any accumulation of the wintry precipitation. It was mid-April when a relatively sizable storm dropped about 8 inches on Steamboat.
• Find the latest forecast and recent weather stories here.
• View Steamboat webcams here.
• Find information from the National Weather Service, including storm warnings and advisories at wrh.noaa.gov
• The Colorado Department of Transportation provides road conditions, closures and traffic cameras at cotrip.org.
• For travel information by phone, call 511 (in Colorado) or dial 303-639-1111.
• Find information about avalanche danger and conditions from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
• For flight information, visit flightview.com/traveltools.
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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