Spring snow to continue falling in Steamboat Springs through midweek | SteamboatToday.com

Spring snow to continue falling in Steamboat Springs through midweek

Doug Fleury makes his way through the snow Monday afternoon in downtown Steamboat Springs as wintry weather returned to Northwest Colorado.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As backcountry skiers rejoice, those who are growing weary of winter will want to dig out their blankets and cocoa as spring snow showers are expected to continue until Wednesday.

A mix of rain and snow is in the forecast for Routt County through Wednesday, with the heaviest precipitation Monday and Tuesday.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction is calling for highs around 40 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday with evening lows of 30 degrees Tuesday night and 23 degrees Wednesday night.

This weather is the result of two storm systems: a warm, wet storm out of the southwest that hit Monday morning and a colder storm out of the Pacific Northwest that is set to start moving through the area Tuesday, said Mike Weissbluth, a local meteorologist who runs snowalarm.com.

Weissbluth said travelers could expect low visibility due to snowfall and difficulty driving over mountain passes Monday night, late Tuesday afternoon and overnight Tuesday.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center predicted considerable avalanche conditions near and above treeline Tuesday and moderate risk below treeline.

“It looks like the storm will be over by Wednesday afternoon,” Weissbluth said. “The persistent snowfall overnight will linger in the morning, and then it will become more showery through the day, with (precipitation) shutting off by sunset.”

Weissbluth predicted these storms would drop 5 to 10 inches of heavy snow at about 10,000 feet, with about half as much snow at 9,000 feet. Steamboat Resort’s Champagne Powder camera showed about 4 inches of snow at the top of Sunshine Peak on Monday.

“Clearly, this is an impressive spring storm and might yield around two inches of liquid or liquid equivalent through Wednesday afternoon, which water managers and emergency personnel will surely be watching closely,” Weissbluth wrote in a Sunday forecast blog.

This moisture comes after a rainy weekend in Routt County. The area received about one-half to three-fifths of an inch of precipitation Friday through Sunday, according to weather stations reporting to the Community Collaborative Rain, Snow and Hail Network.

The Yampa River was flowing at about 1,400 cubic feet per second at Steamboat’s Fifth Street gauge Monday, a slight fall from Saturday’s 1,800 cfs flow. The National Weather Service does not expect the river to reach flood stages through Saturday.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.

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