Warm weather to start week in Steamboat before arctic storm brings more snow | SteamboatToday.com

Warm weather to start week in Steamboat before arctic storm brings more snow

Avalanche risk considerable on Monday

A snowcat pushes snow on the main face at Howelsen Hill Ski Area in Steamboat Springs.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The jet stream sagged further south than forecasted on Saturday, Nov. 5, triggering a winter weather advisory and bringing about eight inches of new snow to Steamboat Resort by Sunday afternoon, Nov. 6.

The snow and clouds are expected to clear out on Monday, Nov. 7 as temperatures are expected to get significantly closer to average in the Yampa Valley to start the week.

A southwest flow of warmer air is expected to push the high on Monday to 51 degrees, and on Tuesday, Nov. 8 to 52 degrees.

“They should be pretty nice days,” said local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth. “Dry and warm air is going to be brought in ahead of a storm (coming later in the week)”

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction is forecasting sunny skies both days, with morning lows in the mid 20s. Things stay warm for much of the day on Wednesday, Nov. 9, before another winter storm is expected to roll in that night.

“That next storm right now is over the Pacific Northwest, and … this came from the Arctic Circle, so it’s going to be a cold storm,” said Weissbluth, who writes about Steamboat weather at SnowAlarm.com. “It looks like it’s going to move inland into the Great Basin on Wednesday, and affect us on Thursday, (Nov. 10)”

Weissbluth said the storm had been moving faster on earlier models, with some expecting it as soon as Tuesday, but it has slowed since. By Friday morning, Nov. 11, Weissbluth said he expected the storm to produce another six to 12 inches of snow at mid-mountain.

With the storm comes colder air, which will push low temperatures into the single-digits on Thursday and Friday. Highs will top out near freezing each of those days.

A moose makes an appearance on the Steamboat Resort mid mountain cam on Sunday morning.
Steamboat Ski Resort/Screenshot

“It really is a cold storm and it looks like the cold air is going to be left behind through the weekend and into the following week, which is great news for snowmaking,” Weissbluth said.

The new snow led to updates on multiple different forecasts for avalanche danger locally on the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s website, with much of the Zirkel Wilderness and area around Rabbit Ears Pass being rated with “considerable” avalanche risk. Areas near the Flat Tops and California Park are expected to have moderate avalanche risk on Monday.

Much of the avalanche risk is associated with new snow that may have formed a layer that could slide in recent storms. That considerable rating is expected to drop to moderate on Tuesday.

“Westerly winds have been strong over the last few days and built slabs on northerly and easterly-facing slopes,” the avalanche center wrote in its update on Sunday evening. “If you are planning on traveling in the Park Range, avoid steep slopes on Monday and give the snowpack some time to adjust to the load.”

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