Weekend snow a sign of things to come | SteamboatToday.com

Weekend snow a sign of things to come

Snowmaking crews at the Steamboat Resort have been busy making snow, which waits in piles at the base, the past few weeks. The ski area might get a boost this weekend as forecasters are predicting snow starting Saturday. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After a sunny and mild week, Steamboat Springs will see more wintry weather this weekend and into next week.

“There is definitely potential to see some good accumulation of snow in the mountains and at least all areas seeing some decent precipitation, even if that is rain or snow for Steamboat,” said Mathew Aleksa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

The storm will come through in parts, starting Saturday night with more snow sporadically through the week, according to Mike Weissbluth, a local meteorologist who runs the forecasting website snowalarm.com.

The first sign of the coming storm will be increased wind on Friday afternoon, but temperatures will remain above average through Saturday. Unlike the last storm that quickly plunged temperatures to single digits, the drop off will not be quite as steep.

“That last system was a strong cold front that dropped the temperatures pretty quickly as it moved through,” Aleksa said. “This one is more gradual as we get phases of colder air moving in.”

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Saturday could see some rain in the early afternoon as it transfers to snow overnight before a break for much of the day on Sunday. While winds out of the south generally doesn’t equate to good local snowfall, the storm is so strong that the snow will come, Weissbluth said.

The first wave would likely not produce much snow, between 1 and 4 inches. But the wind shifts to be coming out of the north, which is better snow producing weather for the area.

A deeper, colder part of the storm will move in Sunday night and continue through the day on Monday with the heaviest of the snow coming in the afternoon.

“I think it will be cold enough for snow, but not brutally cold,” Weissbluth said.

While Steamboat will see some snow, Weissbluth said that southern Colorado will see the bulk of the snow.

“(Monday) is probably when Steamboat and the mountains around there will see their best chances of seeing accumulated snow,” Aleska said.

After a dry Tuesday, a storm out of the northwest on Wednesday could bring another 2 to 5 inches of snow, with snowfall peaking that night.

It is still a few days out, but Aleska said the area could see between 5 and 10 inches of snow total as the storm rolls through. Snow totals are more uncertain at lower altitudes because of how midday temperatures could fluctuate.

Weissbluth said the series of storms could provide a nice snowpack on the mountain ahead of Steamboat Resort’s planned opening on Nov. 21.

“My guess is that is going to be really good for ski area opening. That will put us with some good accumulation ahead of the opening,” Weissbluth said.

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