Forecast for Sept. 12, 13 includes chance of snow above 10,000 feet in northern mountains |

Forecast for Sept. 12, 13 includes chance of snow above 10,000 feet in northern mountains

A dusting of fresh snow was visible beneath the 14,439-foot summit of Mount Elbert south of Leadville on Sept. 4.
Tom Ross

— If you didn’t bring your tomato plants into the garage Friday night, the season might be over. However, gardeners in the Yampa Valley, particularly those living near Craig, can look forward to milder overnight temperatures for the weekend followed by a chance of snow above 10,000 feet early in the new work week.

National Weather Service senior forecaster Jeff Colton issued a freeze watch for the central and upper Yampa River Basin overnight Sept. 9 into Sept. 10 and cautioned that temperatures could dip into the 20s in the Craig area.

“Overnight lows will be on the cold side with clear skies and light winds,” Colton wrote. “This could bring widespread freezing temps to portions of Northwest Colorado along the Yampa River Valley.”

Meteorologist Joel Gratz of forecasted at midday Friday that a splitting storm will head toward Colorado from the Northwest bringing cold temperatures again Sept. 12 and 13. And when the cold air collides with moisture from the south, snowflakes could fall from the sky.

“The air temperature with this storm won’t drop as low as I previously thought, so the snow level should stay near or above 10,000 feet, perhaps closer to 11,000 feet or above,” Gratz wrote in a news release Friday.

It’s not uncommon for Yampa Valley residents to see the first snowfall on top of Mount Werner within a week of Sept. 15, and there was fresh snow above 13,500 feet on Mount Massive and Mount Elbert outside Leadville over the Labor Day Weekend.

Signs of winter in September

The average daily low in Steamboat Springs in September is 42.5 degrees, but the National Weather Service has already recorded an official overnight low of 35 degrees on Sept. 6 when roofs in parts of the city had a light coating of frost.

Still, Craig could see a high of 83 degrees by Sunday, and Steamboat Springs can expect cloudless skies and a high of 79 Saturday.

Precipitation in any form would be welcome after an unusually dry summer.

Kate Gmeiner, who measures precipitation at her weather station .7 miles southeast of Steamboat for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, recorded .06 inches of precip on Sept. 2 followed by .02 inches Sept. 3 and .14 inches Sept. 4.

For the summer months, Gmeiner recorded .57 inches of precipitation in June (normal is 1.77 inches), .77 in July (normal is 1.52 inches) and .71 inches in August (normal is 1.6”), for a summer-long total of 2.05 inches..

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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