Snow in forecast for holiday weekend | SteamboatToday.com
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Snow in forecast for holiday weekend

Skier Susie Frasier of Steamboat Spring waits for a ride Friday afternoon after enjoying a day at Steamboat Ski Area that felt more like spring. That's expected to change Monday when a cold front moves into the area bringing lower temperatures.
John F. Russell

— A storm moving into the area Saturday night is not looking as promising as it once was, but some snow is expected through Monday to help freshen up conditions at Steamboat Ski Area.

“By Sunday, likely early in the day, the weakened Pacific storm will bring some light showers to our area with only an inch or two of accumulations expected on the hill,” wrote Steamboat meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who runs the website http://www.snowalarm.com.

Weissbluth expects another three to six inches of snow to fall during the day Monday.



“Most of the recent models have shifted this storm further to the east, which would mean less snow for most of the ski areas west of the divide, and the highest accumulations along and east of the divide,” wrote Joel Gratz, with http://www.opensnow.com.

Gratz is calling for between one and four inches of snow from each of the storms on Sunday and Monday.



“The summary for Sunday and Monday is that new snow is good, and new snow on back-to-back days of a holiday weekend could reward the weekend warriors with some fresh snow, which is nice,” Gratz wrote. “Though I wouldn’t call Monday a powder day at this point.”

Temperatures next week are expected to be closer to normal, with high temperatures below freezing.

Ski areas in Colorado have been waiting for a shift in the weather pattern that has been sending bountiful amounts of snow to the East Coast. A warm and dry ridge in the western part of the country is to blame, but according to Gratz, the ridge is slowly breaking down.

“It may take until around March 1 for the pattern to really break,” Gratz wrote.

The ski area is coming off its driest January on record. Only 11.75 inches of snow fell at mid-mountain.

So far this February, 26.25 inches of snow have fallen at mid-mountain in Steamboat. On average, the ski area gets 65.39 inches of snow in February, according to records going back to 1979. The driest February at the ski area was during the 1996-97 season, when 36 inches of snow fell.

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


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