First significant snowfall of 2019-20 season coats Routt County; severe cold blast is on its way (with video, photo gallery) |

First significant snowfall of 2019-20 season coats Routt County; severe cold blast is on its way (with video, photo gallery)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs woke up to nearly 5 inches of accumulated snow Thursday morning, marking the first significant snowfall of the 2019-20 season.

The snow started falling just after 10 p.m. Wednesday in Steamboat as a winter storm moved into the area. Snowfall grew heavier overnight and accumulations stuck around through Thursday morning. The wintry conditions led to chain laws going into effect and at least one vehicle crash on Rabbit Ears Pass. The chain law restriction was lifted at 10 a.m.

A CDOT road camera shows diminished conditions along Rabbit Ears Pass at 10:36 a.m. Thursday.
CDOT road cam

At 7 a.m. Thursday, 4.6 inches of snow was recorded at a location one mile east-southeast of downtown Steamboat, according to the National Weather Service’s snow total data. Just 1 mile farther southeast, 6.6 inches of snow was recorded. Four miles northeast of Milner recorded 4.5 inches of snow, while only 2 inches were recorded in Oak Creek.

Three snow recording sites in Steamboat Springs showed an average of a little more than 5 inches of snow fell by Thursday morning.
National Weather Service

Steamboat Resort reported 7.5 inches of snow had fallen by 9 a.m. at midmountain. Due to the colder temperatures, the ski area was able to commence snowmaking operations.

The snow totals were pretty much on par with the Weather Service’s prediction of 2 to 5 inches. The first significant snowfall for the 2018-19 season was Oct. 8, 2018.

As the snow is expected to taper off by Thursday afternoon, a major cold front moving into the area will bring drastically colder temperatures.

Lows are expected to reach 3 degrees overnight and into early Friday morning. The high forecast for Friday is 41 degrees.

Welcoming the first snow in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Posted by Steamboat Pilot & Today on Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The cold temperatures will lead to a widespread hard freeze that will kill any remaining vegetation across all elevations of Western Colorado, according to the Weather Service.

But the winter weather won’t be sticking around long as the Weather Service is calling for dry and cool conditions with mostly sunny skies through the weekend. Temperatures will slowly warm back up to near or slightly above normal by next week.

How much did it snow?

Take a look at the snowfall totals from the 2018-19 winter season.

How much did it snow? A look at winter 2018-19 snowfall totals in Routt County

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email

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