Steamboat Ski Area’s 4.5 inches of fresh snow puts springlike conditions on hold for a day |

Steamboat Ski Area’s 4.5 inches of fresh snow puts springlike conditions on hold for a day

Andy Best and his dog Pedro fish along the banks of the Yampa River.
John F. Russell

— The Steamboat Ski Area reported a welcome 4.5 inches of snow at mid-mountain Tuesday from the storm that peaked in the first hour of daylight. On the valley floor, five weather stations close to the city of Steamboat Springs recorded 1.5 inches to 12 inches of snow with moisture amounts ranging from one-10th to three-10ths of an inch.

The snow event offered a change from recent record heat. A Web page maintained by the National Weather Service in Grand Junction reports that the high of 53 degrees measured on Feb. 7 was a record for that date, as was the 51 degrees recorded on Feb. 9.

NWS meteorologist John Kyle said temperature records were broken at numerous locations across Colorado’s Western Slope last weekend.

The compressive heating that comes with the high pressure system that has been dominating Steamboat’s weather for much of the New Year is back in place through the coming weekend, according to the Weather Service.

Steamboat meteorologist Mike Weissbluth of the Snow Alarm blog predicts Thursday and Friday have the potential to bring near-record temperatures back to the valley before a wave of cooler weather touches Northwest Colorado on Saturday.

“There is much forecast uncertainty by early next week as models struggle with the evolution of the west coast ridge as it is attacked by Pacific energy,” Weissbluth wrote in an e-mail. “This Pacific energy may or may not interact with the loitering Baja cutoff low and additional waves of energy rotating around the Hudson Bay vortex from the north. This leads to some hope that we may be returning to a snowier pattern sometime next week as the west coast ridge breaks down.”

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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