Sunny start to the week for Yampa Valley forecast before snow chances arrive every day until next year |

Sunny start to the week for Yampa Valley forecast before snow chances arrive every day until next year

Snow Friday covered many of the backcountry ski trails on Rabbit Ears Pass in several inches of fresh powder, including this one near Walton Peak, just in time for a bluebird Saturday.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Last week’s snowstorms have helped put snowpack levels around the Yampa Valley closer to normal after the valley experienced below average snowfall early in the season.

The snowpack across the entire Yampa-White River Basin is at 89% of its 30 years average, according to the National Water and Climate Center. However, some notable measuring locations, such as Rabbit Ears Pass, are at 100% of the average.

Snowfall in Steamboat Springs on Friday totaled 5.2 inches near the high school, making it one of the most significant snowstorms delivered so far this winter. About 16 inches have fallen in Steamboat so far this season, which is around 2 inches shy of the 30 year average.

Local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth said that while Steamboat Resort is reporting 27 inches of snow at midmountain, near the summit the total is closer to 50 inches, a sign that higher elevations in particular benefited from last week’s snow.

“The upper mountain is skiing great,” Weissbluth said, adding that to start the week, the upper mountain will likely see highs barely in the 20s. “Down here, it’ll probably be more like upper 20s and maybe getting close to freezing.”

Just like Saturday and Sunday, Weissbluth, who runs the forecasting website, said the start of the week should bring lots of sun. On Wednesday and Thursday, clouds should start to move over the area as a storm currently taking shape off the coast of California sets into Colorado.

The pattern that is setting up is somewhat complicated, making it difficult to forecast exact snow totals, Weissbluth said, but there is a chance for snow every day from this Thursday until Dec. 30.

Snow will likely start falling Thursday night and continue into Friday. Depending on how much moisture the storm pulls in before it gets here, Friday could see significant snowfall, Weissbluth said.

The weather pattern then looks to remain unsettled for most of next week.

“We’ll probably have showers on Saturday and Sunday, and then Monday, it’s going to be cold and unsettled, and we could do quite well from that,” he said.

It will remain unsettled, making light precipitation possible until next Thursday, when Weissbluth said a larger storm looks like it will move into the area in time for New Year’s Eve.

“There is a chance of snow every day, so it’s not clear how much we’re going to get,” Weissbluth said. “I think we’re in a great pattern starting on Thursday night, Friday morning.”

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