Forecasters calling for snow by the end of the week, but how much?
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Forecasters agree Steamboat Springs is likely to see snow by week’s end, but just how much is still up for debate.
“It definitely looks like there’s going to be a chance for accumulating snow,” said Mike Charnick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “It’s highly variable right now. Some models are as low as only 3 or 4 inches, but other models have up to 10 inches, maybe even more than that.”
The storm system is still in the Pacific Ocean and is expected to arrive on the West Coast on Wednesday and will make it to the central Rockies on Thursday evening into Friday.
The new storm will come on the heels of a series of storms that have brought 18 to 21 inches of accumulation to the area over the past week. That series will continue with a weakened storm that is expected to arrive Tuesday evening into Wednesday. But local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth thinks that another storm slated to arrive at the end of the week has a better chance of bringing large snow totals.
“We have a new storm coming in this train that is going to hit in that Thursday, Friday timeframe,” Weissbluth, who runs snowalarm.com, said. “It is looking impressive at this point.”
Weissbluth is expecting the storm to bring 6 to 12 inches to the area before things start drying out Saturday and into next week. However, the storm is still a long way from the West Coast of the U.S., and Charnick said models vary widely at this point,
Weissbluth said a ridge over the Alaska area is the reason Steamboat’s forecasts have been filled with snow the past several days. He said some storms have been traveling through the ridge or underneath the ridge, allowing the Pacific energy to mix with cold western Canadian air.
“It’s the combination of the Pacific moisture and the cold air from the north that’s been giving us this very active pattern over the last week,” Weissbluth said.
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“The Tuesday night to Wednesday storm really had been looking far more impressive over the previous few days, but now, the models have trended further north and weakened the storm,” Weissbluth added. “Initially, I thought it was a slam dunk for 6 to 12 (inches) on Wednesday, but I have decreased that to 2 to 5, and I hope we get that.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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