Next storm expected to pack a punch, with 10 to 16 inches of snow for mountains surrounding Steamboat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Mother Nature continues to take aim at the Yampa Valley as Steamboat Resort ramps up for the 2018-19 season.
The Thanksgiving storm dropped about six inches of new snow at the ski area, which opened additional terrain Friday and began offering top-to-bottom skiing.
“We now have 20 open trails with five lifts and 110 acres,” Steamboat Resort spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said.
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The storm, surprisingly, did not cause too much mayhem for drivers.
“I didn’t have a call of service all day long except to help move cows across the highway,” Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said. “Everyone is behaving.”
Elliott was awaiting the next storm, which is expected to arrive Friday night and go through midday Sunday.
“Looking for accumulations of 3 to 6 inches in the valley with higher amounts in the mountains,” said Dan Cuevas, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “This one is coming out of the northwest and making a pretty direct hit.”
He said 10 to 16 inches of snow is expected at higher elevations.
“It is stronger and colder than the storm that went through yesterday and last night,” Cuevas said.
Mike Weissbluth, a Steamboat meteorologist who runs SnowAlarm.com, also is anticipating a strong storm.
“Difficult travel may well become impossible from Friday night through the day Saturday,” Weissbluth wrote in a forecast email.
He is expecting 5 to 10 inches of snow at Steamboat Resort’s midmountain location with snow continuing for a “day of full-on, midwinter storm skiing.”
“The coldest air arrives Saturday afternoon along with a period of intense snowfall, gustier winds and likely whiteout conditions,” Weissbluth wrote. “Though moisture decreases behind the cold air, snow densities will decrease, keeping light and fluffy accumulating snows going overnight and into early Sunday morning, when another 5 to 10 inches of snow will likely be reported.”
After the storm, Weissbluth is expecting a ridge of high pressure to move into the area and bring drier conditions.
“The end of the workweek looks uneventful before another storm develops off the West Coast and possibly brings another round of stormy weather to our area around the following weekend,” he wrote.
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