20 inches of snow has fallen on Storm Peak since Monday

Residents make mad dash for snow tires

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— Any questions if the recent snow in the valley is getting people into a winter frame of mind can be answered at TDS tire distribution.

"We are totally booked until not this Tuesday, but a week from this Tuesday," manager Rick Patrick said.

The tire business is putting snow tires on about 60 vehicles a day, Patrick said.

Things will slow down in a couple of weeks and walk-ins will have same-day service by mid-November. The increase of business was expected, he said. The first big snow pattern in the valley usually sends people running for their snow tires.

But they were running a little earlier than normal this year. The multiple days of heavy snow, starting Wednesday, is fairly unusual this early in the year.

"Isn't it great?" National Weather Service forecaster Joe Ramey said.

He said the jet stream dipping over Steamboat this week caused the white weather. The airflow is 30,000 feet from the ground and is blowing at 110 mph. It created an upward air motion, which developed the clouds that dropped the snow on the Yampa Valley.

Since Monday, 20 inches of snow fell on top of Storm Peak thanks to the system, according to Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Snow in the valley has only accumulated to a couple of inches, but it was enough to make driving to work Friday morning a bit of a chore for some commuters.

"Pretty slow," Janessa Landgrebe said of her drive to Steamboat from Stagecoach.

She said traffic was moving 25 mph on Colorado Highway 131 and the road was very slippery.

A foot of snow had fallen at Landgrebe's house by Friday morning, which is just past the Stagecoach Townhomes. The precipitation is not expected to stop either, Ramey said.

A cold front is coming out of the northwest today.

"It looks like it will pack a punch," he said.

He predicted at least three inches falling tonight in the valley, and as much as six inches in higher elevations.

"Then we are pretty much dry for the short term," Ramey said.

After Sunday, the next five days are expected to be clear.

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