Steamboat weather forecast unpredictable moving into the week
January 28, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The first part of the work week is expected to be dry before the next chance for snowfall arrives Wednesday night.
"The forecast from Wednesday night through at least Feb. 7 is only something we can talk about in generalities – the details are impossible to figure out," wrote Joel Gratz, who runs opensnow.com.
With the storm track primarily to the north, Colorado will depend on the track taking a dip to the south.
"The first of these more direct hits will likely be on Wednesday night and Thursday," Gratz wrote. "Perhaps there will be a low- to moderate-end powder day on Thursday in the northern mountains. The second of these more direct hits could be later next weekend, perhaps Sunday into Monday.”
Gratz said the weather pattern could keep the snow to the north of Colorado, or it could bring "decent accumulations" over Colorado's northern mountains.
"I still have little confidence in any of these scenarios, and it'll be nearly impossible to nail down the forecast for any of these storms more than one to two days before they hit, so stay tuned," Gratz wrote.
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Uncertainty is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to snow accumulating in the mountains surrounding Steamboat.
A storm Thursday night going into Friday morning was projected to bring 2 to 6 inches of snow to area mountains.
Steamboat Ski Area ended up recording eight inches of new snow at mid-mountain Friday morning, but the Powder Snow Cam at the summit of the ski area showed closer to 15 inches of snow.
Gratz calls the weather phenomena the "Steamboat Surprise."
"It happens usually once or perhaps twice a season," Gratz wrote. "In every case, the wind direction is from the west, and the temperature at the summit of Steamboat is five degrees, but every time these weather conditions are met, we do not have a Steamboat Surprise.
“I think that this is the hardest forecast in Colorado, and I've yet to really nail it," Gratz added.