Wet weather headed for Routt County | SteamboatToday.com

Wet weather headed for Routt County

Cracked earth and low water lies at the southwest end of Stagecoach Reservoir Sunday afternoon. Dry conditions have resulted in lower water levels in Stagecoach Reservoir and the Yampa River this year. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A hurricane is headed for Routt County.

Granted, by the time Rosa gets here, it will likely have decayed into a tropical storm, then a tropical depression, then a regular ol’ storm system.

Hurricane Rosa was projected to make landfall on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula as a tropical depression Sunday night. By midweek, the remnants of the storm are forecasted to reach Colorado, bringing tropical moisture with it.

“There’s a lot of moisture entrained with that system,” said Norv Larson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Grand Junction.

The system is expected to hit Northwest Colorado on Tuesday. Rain is expected to start during the day and continue into Wednesday, with daytime highs around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and evening lows forecasted in the 40s.

Larson said there are not significant chances for heavy rain as the storm moves inland, but “there is a potential for flash flooding if we get some heavier cells forming.” Right now, a steady rain is more likely in the forecast, as opposed to the heavy rainfall that accompanies flash flood events.

He added that the public should be especially wary of fresh burn scars from area wildfires.

“Anybody that’s anywhere near burn scars this time of the year or anytime when it rains hard, they have a propensity to bring down a lot of boulders and mud without too much rainfall,” he said. “But, I think for the most part, people are going to probably enjoy a good, wetting rain — hopefully put out these fires that we’ve had lingering through the summer.”

A low-pressure trough will also move into the area from the West Coast later in the week, which could bring more showers.

“We’ll see chances then increase again for the latter part of the week as that disturbance moves through in an area where I imagine we’re going to have some residual moisture left over from Rosa, and that’ll bring us another round of shower activity for Thursday,” Larson said.

The system will also provide cooler temperatures, with the forecast calling for temperatures in the 60s. The combination of moisture and cool weather could bring a light snow in the mountains, though Larson said that forecast could change as Rosa makes its way across the continent.

The front is one of a series developing, according to Mike Weissbluth, a local meteorologist who operates snowalarm.com.

“The timing and strength of the cold fronts will certainly be subject to change, but right now, there are good precipitation chances for almost every day for the next two weeks,” he wrote Sunday.

“Initially, the West Coast storm is forecast to move inland and pass near our area around next weekend, though additional incoming Pacific energy and cold air from western Canada keep cold and unsettled weather over the western states through the following week as well,” he added. “For what its worth, it appears the coldest air and the best chance for snowflakes in the Steamboat Springs area will occur early in the work week after next weekend.”

For many in the area, the precipitation is a welcome site after a dry September.

Kate Gmeiner tracks rainfall at her home between downtown and Mount Werner as a member of the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow network.

Gmeiner recorded 0.35 inches of precipitation in September, the lowest amount recorded at that location since 2010. The average amount of precipitation during the same period was 1.79 inches.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.

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