Steamboat could accumulate a foot of snow in four days while Southern Rockies get buried
Steamboat Springs — The National Weather Service is forecasting a chance of snow for Steamboat Springs today and continuing all the way through Wednesday, March 4. If that forecast comes true, it would mean Steamboat will have seen snow in the forecast for nine days in a row, marking a significant change in the weather pattern that prevailed for most of the first three weeks in February.
However the mega-storm that is threatening the Southern Rockies this weekend is unlikely to bury Steamboat, according to snow forecasters.
“While it is nearly certain that southern Colorado and those areas favored in central Colorado with southwest flow will receive the majority of snowfall from the storm this weekend, the models are struggling with the northern extent of the snows,” Steamboat-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth of the SnowAlarm blog wrote in a Thursday e-mail.
Joe Gratz of OpenSnow is forecasting that Wolf Mountain Pass east of Pagosa Springs could receive 4 to 5 feet of snow in the coming days due to the southwest flow of the storm. The Central Rockies could see 1 to 2 feet. But the Northern Rockies and Steamboat, which are favored by a Northwest flow, may see a total of a foot of accumulation over the next five days.
Gratz foresees Steamboat Steamboat getting 2 to 4 inches of snow Saturday and Sunday night with less snow during the daylight hours over the weekend, followed with another 2 to 4 inches during the day on Monday.
After a moist, but balmy, start to February, snowfall will finish a little above the average for the month on the valley floor in Steamboat.
Citizen weather observer Art Judson had recorded 31.8 inches of snow for February as of Thursday morning at his weather station between downtown and the ski mountain. That compares to the normal accumulation for the month of 30.8 inches as recorded by the National Weather Service.
With two days remaining in the month, there have been 14 days with measurable snowfall on the valley floor, according to Judson’s records. The greatest one-day totals included the 5 inches that was recorded the morning of Feb. 2 and the 7.7 inches counted Feb. 21.
Still, February felt unusually warm until the final week of the month when daily high temperatures didn’t leave the 20s. The first 20 days of the month saw 12 days when the high surpassed 40 degrees and 11 when it was 44 degrees or warmer. And there were six days during that run when the daily high reached 50 degrees or warmer.
The warmest day of the month was Feb. 10 when a record for the date of 55 degrees was recorded, according to the Weather Service.
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