Fire and ice: Routt County under a red flag warning Monday, could see snow Friday | SteamboatToday.com

Fire and ice: Routt County under a red flag warning Monday, could see snow Friday

A mix of rain and snow is expected to close out a dry workweek

Snow tops fences in Steamboat Springs on Thursday.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County’s workweek forecast contains both fire weather and snow.

Though temperatures will be about 60 degrees, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning on Monday.

The dry weather, which plays a role in fire weather, is expected to continue throughout the week. Daytime temperatures are expected to reach a high of 63 degrees with sunshine Tuesday and a mostly cloudy 69 degrees Wednesday. Nighttime lows will be in the 20s all week.

On Thursday, temperatures are expected to reach a high of 71 degrees. Winds are expected to pick up again, which could bring another warning.

“It’s possible later in the week as the next storm system approaches,” said National Weather Service forecaster Mike Meyers. “More so on Thursday, we’ll have the return of some Southwest winds over the area as that next storm system moves in.”

Though the days are getting colder and snow is starting to fall, the risk of wildfire is still present. Routt County is not currently under any fire restrictions, though other parts of the state are starting to restrict open burns, including many of the counties along the Interstate 70 corridor and southeast Colorado.

“The big thing in this situation is the dry fuels that are occurring because it’s been dry for the last few weeks,” Meyers said. “Dry fuels are a major player and winds and low relative humidity as well.”

While Thursday is expected to see a breezy but warm day, a snowstorm is forecast to move into the area Thursday night. It’s the first of two potentially snowy systems blowing into Yampa Valley. Meyers said one system will move through late Thursday night and Friday morning, and another will come through later in the weekend on Sunday.  

“There’s a potential for snow across the northern areas,” he said. “It looks like a fairly cold system, as you get into the weekend especially, so it looks like the precipitation would be snow over that area. The second storm looks a little stronger.”

With Friday still days away, Meyers was hesitant to forecast amounts of snowfall. Thursday’s and Friday’s precipitation could fall as a wintry mix, though the second storm coming in later in the weekend is expected to bring colder weather and stronger snow showers.

Local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth wrote in his bi-weekly blog on snowalarm.com that the storm could bring daytime rain showers with snow at higher elevations.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.


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