Snow dance may be in order as mid-season approaches

Matt Stensland

— Steamboat Ski Area needs to get 6.5 inches of snow in the next 11 days if it wants to just tie the single worst January in the resort’s history of record keeping going back to 1979.

So far in January, 10.5 inches of snow have fallen at mid-mountain. On average, January yields 74.78 inches of snow and is typically the snowiest month of the season.

The worst January in the resort’s history was in 1981 when 17 inches was measured at mid-mountain. The second-worst January was in 1986 when 21.5 inches of snow fell.

The best January on record was in 1996 when 216.5 inches piled up. That is an average of nearly 7 inches per day.

The ski area is coming off a December when 56.25 inches of snow fell. On average, the ski area gets 68.74 inches of snow in December.

This January has also been a warm one with an average high temperature of 32.3 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The average high temperature for January in Steamboat is 27.3 degrees.

The biggest powder day so far this season was on Dec. 15 when 13 inches was measured at mid-mountain.

Joel Gratz, with, does not have great news when looking ahead to the last week and a half of January.

“I still don’t see a definitive timing of a pattern change toward consistent cold and snowy weather, but chances do increase late in January into early February for somewhat more consistent moisture,” Gratz wrote.

Gratz said all Colorado mountains could see light snow Wednesday and Wednesday night, and then a few storms could clip mountains along Interstate 70 and north Friday through Monday.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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