Winter weather to return today

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— Put away the shorts and t-shirts -- winter weather is on the rebound.

Forecasters for the National Weather Service say last week's spring-like weather will be replaced with winter conditions as a strong Pacific storm system covers much of the state today and Tuesday.

The mountains surrounding Steamboat Springs, including the Steamboat Ski Area, could receive up to a foot of snow by the time the system leaves the area late Tuesday or early Wednesday, National Weather Service senior forecaster Norvan Larson said.

However, a northerly flow will keep the brunt of the system over Colorado's central and southern mountains and eastern plains, where winter storm warnings and watches have been issued. Ten to 20 inches of snow are expected throughout much of that area.

As of late Sunday, no winter weather warnings or watches had been issued for Steamboat.

"It's one of those rare storms that we're not looking at significant accumulation for Steamboat Springs, at least not at this point," Larson said.

Temperatures will drop into the 30s today, thereby converting any initial rainfall to snow by midday, Larson said. Temperatures should remain low enough for snow over the ski area throughout the next several days, he said.

"It's definitely cool enough to support snow, the problem is it looks like Steamboat Springs is on the losing end of this thing (compared to other areas of the state)," Larson said.

The wintry weather will be a stark contrast to last week's weather, when temperatures surged into the upper 50s and lower 60s under sunny skies.

The snow is sure to be welcomed with open arms at the ski area, where spring conditions prevailed over the last several days.

As of Sunday, the resort's mid-mountain snow base was 60 inches, with a base of 81 inches reported at the summit. The ski area has not reported new snow in more than a week.

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