Visitors arriving Saturday by plane will have access to considerable Steamboat Resort terrain | SteamboatToday.com
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Visitors arriving Saturday by plane will have access to 95 percent of Steamboat Resort terrain

At Steamboat Resort, 95 percent of terrain is now open. (Photo by Tom Ross)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The influx of visitors who will begin arriving Saturday at Yampa Valley Regional Airport will be greeted upon their arrival with 95 percent of terrain open at the Steamboat Resort and available to ski.

In the 24-hour period ending Thursday morning, Steamboat Resort received an unexpected 11 inches of new snow.

“We will take any surprise Mother Nature wants to throw our way,” Steamboat Resort spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said.

So far this season, the resort has received 95 inches of snow at midmountain. There were 158 out of 169 trails open as of Thursday, and it had snowed 10 out of the 13 days in December with a December snow total of 35.5 inches at midmountain.

On Saturday, the winter tourist season in Steamboat will ramp up with the arrival of the winter air program, which provides direct flights from key markets that the ski resort targets to attract guests.

The Jet Blue airline will makes its arrival at Yampa Valley Regional Airport with three new flights Saturday. The flights will be coming from Boston, Massachusetts; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Long Beach, California.

Alaska Airlines will also be arriving on the tarmac with flights from San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington.

Additional direct flights will be arriving next week.

The active, winter weather season Colorado has been seeing recently is expected to calm down for the immediate future.

Steamboat meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who runs the website, snowalarm.com, said weak storm systems Saturday and Tuesday are the only likely candidates for interrupting an otherwise calm weather cycle with warm and sunny weather.

“We’ll see some clouds on Saturday as a weak Pacific storm rides up and over the ridge of high pressure and grazes northern Colorado, but sunny skies and warm temperatures with highs above our 28-degree average are on tap for Sunday and Monday,” Weissbluth wrote.

“Another stronger Pacific storm is forecast to cross the West Coast around Monday, but the stubborn western ridge forces the storm to split as it approaches our area on Tuesday,” Weissbluth added. “At this point, we may see some clouds on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday as part of what is left of the storm slowly moves across Colorado, but no precipitation for our area is expected.”

Warm and dry weather is expected to end next week.

Northwest Colorado currently has a healthy snowpack with the average in the Yampa and White River basins at 121 percent.

The weather measuring station on Buffalo Pass at 10,500 feet was recording a snowpack that was 112 percent of average on Thursday.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.


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