Meteorologists say lack of snow is disappointing but not abnormal
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — While Routt County residents and visitors may feel concerned over the lack of snow on the ground as the ski season opens, Mike Weissbluth, Steamboat Springs-based weather forecaster, said snow totals are normal for this time of year and should not be a cause for concern.
“It’s not shocking,” Weissbluth said. “It’s just a little disappointing.”
Compared with previous decades, current weather conditions are quite dry, he said, but the past 10 years have often brought dry winters.
While Steamboat has had little snow since its first snowfall in October, Weissbluth said he expects possible snowfall Tuesday and Wednesday, after a storm moving through the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest arrives in the area and could provide several inches of snow.
Weissbluth expects precipitation to end Wednesday, with a cold Thursday morning and a sunnier, warmer weekend.
Weissbluth said people should expect to wake up to snow Wednesday and plan accordingly.
“It’s really amazing,” he said. “You look outside, and it’s warm and sunny, but we’ll be waking up to some snow fall and colder temperatures through the day.”
While warmer temperatures and less snow may mean easier drives and less shoveling to worry about, some skiers expressed disappointment in the lack of snow as Howelsen Hill Ski Area and Steamboat Resort opened this week for the season.
“I think this year is the worst I’ve seen,” said Mike Broggi, a Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach who has skied in Steamboat the past five years.
“We’ve had to do some extra snow farming to make things happen this year, but winter will come,” said Sasha Nations, a Winter Sports Club coach.
Nations, who grew up in Evergreen, said she has seen winters as dry as this before and anticipates more snowfall will come.
“I think we’ll have a great season,” she added. “It just might be a little late to show up.”
Maddy Schaffrick, a ski instructor born and raised in Steamboat, said even if snow is less plentiful than winter sports enthusiasts would prefer, she believes skiing and snowboarding are vital to the health of the community.
“I think the world just needs skiing and snowboarding right now to get the COVID blues out,” she said.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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