October snow in Steamboat? Trick or treat…
Steamboat sees near normal October precip
October 31, 2016
Steamboat Springs — If the warm, dry weather the Yampa Valley experienced in October 2016 struck Steamboat Springs residents as being strangely familiar, it's probably because it was very close to what they enjoyed in October 2015.
Weather watcher Kate Gmeiner, who tracks precipitation through her involvement with the Community Cooperative Rain Hail and Snow Network, reported that her weather station between Old Town and Mount Werner received 2.03 inches of precipitation last month. Of that, .15 inches of moisture came in the form of 1.7 inches of snow.
A year earlier, Gmeiner said her rain gauge saw 2.12 inches of precipitation, including .12 inches attributable to .9 inches of snow.
"Normal" October precipitation here is 2.19 inches (recorded at a different rain gauge). The normal average high temperature for the month is 58.2 degrees. October 2016 saw an average of 64.8 degrees. The highest daily high was the 76 degrees recorded on both Oct. 15 and 16. The coldest overnight low was 20 degrees recorded Oct. 21.
The forecast for Steamboat on Oct. 31 called for a 50 percent chance of showers, but any rain that fell was reflected on the Nov. 1 report.
Recent years have taught skiers and riders that October can be a big snow producer on the slopes of Steamboat Ski Area.
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As recently as October 2013, Steamboat racked up 40 inches at mid-mountain and 10.5 inches fell in town on Oct. 4. That was a season when mid-autumn snowfall made a contribution to opening day conditions at the ski area.
A day's drive to the northwest, Jackson Hole ski area is having one of those Octobers. The lifts aren't running at Jackson, but there was 4 inches of fresh snow on the Halloween ski report bringing the month's total to 54 inches on the upper mountain, where the standing snow depth was 19 inches.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 30-day climate outlook for Northern Colorado rates the chances of above or below-average precipitation in November at "even."