Skies clearing over Steamboat but slight chance of overnight snow remains on high peaks |

Skies clearing over Steamboat but slight chance of overnight snow remains on high peaks

Clouds surround Mount Werner on Wednesday morning, when cool weather served as a concrete reminder that fall is in the air.

— The rain clouds over Steamboat are expected to clear Wednesday night, but there remains a slight chance that the highest peaks in the Mount Zirkel and Flat Tops wilderness areas will see a touch of snow or rain mixed with snow after midnight.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction was forecasting Wednesday morning that the low temperature overnight in Steamboat would get down to 35 degrees under cloudy skies. However, clouds may linger over the high country, producing a 20 percent chance of snow showers above 11,000 feet on Mount Ethel, northwest of Steamboat in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area.

Mount Ethel is about eight miles north of Buffalo Pass and is visible from the top of the Storm Peak Express chairlift at Steamboat Ski Area. Overnight lows Wednesday on the peak are expected to dip to 27 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures won't get quite as low a little farther north at the mountain known as Big Agnes. The forecast is for a low of 32 degrees at 10,800 feet on the peak north of Clark. That could contribute to a 20 percent chance of a mixture of rain and snow Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

It's a similar story in the Flat Tops south of Yampa, where the temperature is expected to get down to 34 degrees, and the chance of rain mixed with snow is 30 percent at 12,133 feet on Orno Peak. The mountain is just west of Yamcolo Reservoir on the edge of the wilderness area.

An unofficial weather station monitored by Colorado State University showed Oak Creek received 0.42 inches of rain in the 24 hours preceding 7 a.m. Wednesday. Steamboat weather observer Art Judson recorded 0.16 inches in his rain gauge.

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The forecast for Thursday calls for the skies to be sunny with a high of 75 degrees. High temperatures are expected to climb modestly to 81 degrees by Saturday.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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