Weekend snowstorm expected to fizzle ahead of larger storm potential for Monday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As this weekend’s snow boom is now expected to be more of a bust, a sizable winter storm is instead forecast for the area beginning Monday.
Steamboat area meterologist Mike Weissbluth, who owns and operates the forecasting website snowalarm.com, said earlier this week that weather forecast models were uncertain of the exact strength of this weekend’s anticipated storm.
“My guess is 3 to 6 inches at this point,” Weissbluth said on Monday. “There is disagreement between and within the weather forecast models as to the speed and strength of the storm. Right now, it appears the brunt of the storm will be on Saturday with it winding down by Sunday.”
Storms coming into the area through Friday evening and Saturday morning now look to bring only slight chances for snow. Weissbluth said to expect meager accumulations on Saturday, up to an inch or two.
“I guess under the current circumstances it should be expected that both the storm and Opening Day that were expected for this Saturday have gone missing,” he said.
But there is a better outlook for a larger storm starting Monday.
A potent storm currently brewing over the Bering Sea is forecast to cross the Gulf of Alaska and make landfall Sunday along the West Coast. That will lead to likely snowfall in the Yampa Valley area on Monday through Tuesday morning, according to Weissbluth.
While the “evolution of the storm” is admittedly uncertain, he said, multiple forecast models generally favor light to moderate snow over the area in that time frame. It could bring from 5 to 10 inches of snow before tapering off Tuesday morning.
With only a couple of weeks left before the planned Dec. 1 opening of Steamboat Resort’s 2020-21 ski season, there aren’t too many chances left for a major storm. And unfortunately that’s not likely to happen later next week either.
Following Monday and Tuesday’s storm, Weissbluth expects a ridge of high pressure to bring clearing skies in time for late Tuesday and Wednesday.
There is substantial disagreement in forecast models for Thanksgiving. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is forecasting a much stronger storm crossing the West Coast on Wednesday as opposed to the American Global Forecast System. Though both models agree with the size of this Monday’s storm. They call for dry weather in the area as the European model forecast splits the storm around northern Colorado and the American model shows it moving quickly to the north.
“We can only hope at this point that both are wrong, and it is possible that a compromise solution may bring some sort of storm overhead for Thanksgiving,” Weissbluth said.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has forecast Thanksgiving as partly sunny with a chance of snow showers and a high near 37.
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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