March saw nine days with high temperatures in the 60s in Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com
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March saw nine days with high temperatures in the 60s in Steamboat Springs

— After an unusually mild month of March that saw 18 days when the daily high temperature was 50 degrees or higher, and 9 of those 18 days eclipsing the 60-degree mark, April is promising at least a brief return to some semblance of normalcy in Steamboat Springs’ weather.

The National Weather Service was predicting that Thursday’s and Friday’s high temperatures in town won’t get out of the low 40s, and a chance of snow has returned to the forecast for the first time since March 25.

For skiers and snowboarders contemplating the prospects for the final two weekends of the ski season at Steamboat, it’s a welcome forecast. The National Weather Service reported that the high temperature in town on the last day of March reached 68 degrees at 4:15 Tuesday. That reading was preceded by a high of 63 on Monday.



There is a 50 percent chance of rain mixed with snow during the day Thursday followed by a low of 20 degrees overnight and a continuing 50 percent chance of snow.

Above 10,000 feet on Mount Werner, at the Storm Peak Weather Observatory, overnight lows will dip into the teens Thursday and Friday.



Steamboat-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth of SnowAlarm.com said in an e-mail the cold front that edged into Northwest Colorado Wednesday afternoon will lead to atmospheric destabilization on Thursday with the likelihood of gusty winds, falling temperatures and even the possibility of thunder and lightning by early evening.

“Some of these showers may produce an inch or two of snow on the (ski area), which would be reported Thursday morning,” Weissbluth said.

The chance of snow increases Thursday night and Friday morning when the winds are expected to shift and come out of the northwest, Weissbluth predicted, but don’t expect the snow to pile up in your driveway.

“I expect to see 2-6 inches on the Friday morning ski report and another inch or two during the morning hours,” Weissbluth said. “While we are likely to see snowflakes in the valley, the very warm temperatures of the past few weeks have warmed the ground surfaces and will preclude accumulating snow.”

March snowfall in town finished at 11.7 inches compared to the average 20.7 inches.

The Weather Service foresees a return to sunny skies and high temperatures in the mid to high 50s for the weekend.

Western Colorado escaped the grips of a lengthy drought in the summer and early fall of 2014 thanks to heavy rain in July, August and September. July and August were the second wettest on record.

Now, the U.S. Drought Monitor published by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on March 24 anticipates Northwest Colorado will experience moderate drought in the short-term — typically less than six months.

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


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