Snow squall could hit Yampa Valley on Tuesday morning
A snow squall moves in from the west over Steamboat Springs on Dec. 22, bringing a period of snow, gusty winds and severely reduced visibility. Another squall is possible for Tuesday morning.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Yampa Valley could see another snow squall Tuesday morning, bringing an intense period of moderate to heavy snowfall and gusty winds that could severely reduce visibility and cause whiteout conditions.
“Those things are always tough to nail down, but there is a possibility,” said Mike Weissbluth, a local meteorologist that runs the forecasting website snowalarm.com.
He said the storm likely will come in a couple of waves with one in the early morning and another later in the morning, but it is not clear which one could produce a snow squall.
“I think driving, there will be periods during the morning between 6 a.m. and noon where driving will be difficult,” Weissbluth said.
On Dec. 22, a snow squall passed through Routt County that brought rapidly darkening skies, lightning strikes, heavy winds and a wall of clouds moving across the valley.
Michael Charnick, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said Tuesday’s squall likely won’t be as strong as the last one, but it could still cause dangerous conditions.
“It still could get pretty tricky there for a little bit in the mid-morning,” Charnick said. “If anybody is going to be driving or out and about in town tomorrow during the morning hours, even in the afternoon, light snow is going to linger, then afterwards, just take it easy, leave plenty of space.”
Charnick said the squall should roll through the area between sunrise and about 10 a.m., and temperatures should stay below freezing.
As for accumulation, Charnick said between 2 to 4 inches in town with as much as 6 to 8 inches on the mountain. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Elkhead and Park mountains lasting until 5 p.m. Tuesday.
He said totals will be less west of Steamboat, with Hayden expecting about a half-inch of snow
Weissbluth said there could be an inch of snow before the front, followed by 2 to 4 inches by early afternoon. Depending on the storm, he said there could more accumulation throughout the afternoon as well.
“The afternoon is going to be that cool, moist, unstable northwest flow, which is really good for our area, and it just depends on how the showers form,” Weissbluth said.
Wednesday and Thursday look to be dry days following the storm before there is chance for more snow toward the end of the week.
“There is a chance for additional snow, either at the end of the work week or during the weekend or both,” Weissbluth said. “It probably won’t be a lot, but it may be a refresh.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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