Storm could produce big snowfall

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— Skiers, snowboarders and the Steamboat Ski Area could be in for a treat early next week.

Jim Pringle, the National Weather Service's warning coordination meteorologist, said a storm system moving into the region Monday and Tuesday has the potential to dump a foot or more of snow on Steamboat.

"There's a cold upper trough of low pressure where a big storm will probably start moving in with precipitation on Monday night," Pringle said Thursday from the National Weather Service's Grand Junction forecast office.

With colder air lagging behind the leading edge of moisture, the brunt of the storm system should hit Steamboat late Monday evening and throughout the day Tuesday. The moisture could linger into Wednesday, Pringle said.

Pringle said computer models support a storm that could produce 24 hours of significant snowfall and 12 inches of snow at all elevations across Northwest Colorado.

The storm's potential impact will become clearer as Tuesday approaches, Pringle added. For current forecast information, Pringle urged residents to visit www.weather.gov/gjt or call (970) 243-7007.

Leading up to that storm, Pringle forecast a chance of light snow showers today through Sunday.

Tuesday's storm is a sign of the strengthening El Niño weather cycle that is developing for the winter months, Pringle said. Although the cycle may result in an increase in average daily temperatures, precipitation should remain at or above historical norms.

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