YVRA returning to normal

Front Range snow storm continues to affect local airport

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— Unlike last week's massive storm that brought Denver to a standstill and affected hundreds of travel plans to Steamboat Springs, this week's Front Range snowstorm hasn't halted delivery service or shut down one of the nation's busiest airports.

Of course, this storm hasn't brought any snow to Routt County, either.

"The characteristic of this one is the precipitation stayed on the east side (of the front) and did not have the wrap-around moisture," said Jim Daniels, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Grand Junction forecast office. "It has brought light snow to the west but not the heavy snow."

And while the heavy snow in Denver and Eastern Colorado delayed many flights out of Denver International Airport on Friday, most of them arrived as scheduled at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden. Two Friday flights from Denver to YVRA were canceled, but local airport officials reported minimal problems with flights from other airports across the country.

The major exception was the YVRA flight to Dallas, where heavy rain and severe thunderstorms caused significant delays and come cancellations. Friday's American Airlines flight due to depart Hayden at 2 p.m. was delayed until after 5 p.m., when it finally was canceled. Travelers were in the plane on the YVRA runway for more than two hours before the flight was canceled and they were allowed to de-plane and look for another night's accommodations in Steamboat or Craig.

"It's not as bad as the other one," said Ann Copeland, YVRA terminal manager, comparing this week's snowstorm to last week's. "Everyone took a more proactive approach to this one. It's definitely flowing a lot better."

Copeland did not know what implications the storm would have on flights today or Sunday. Regardless, YVRA will remain busy through the weekend.

Nearly 14,000 people are expected to be in Steamboat on vacation tonight.

"We have a huge weekend ahead of us," Copeland said. "What I've heard is (the weather) is supposed to be getting better and better."

Daniels said the Denver area could continue to experience periods of heavy snow through today. The skies over Steamboat should remain clear through he weekend, he said.

Another system from the Pacific Ocean is forecast to move into the area Monday or Tuesday, but Daniels expects it to weaken by the time it reaches Colorado.

"There's a chance of snow early next week and another chance of snow maybe next weekend," he said.

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