Winter storm could bring a foot of snow

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— A winter storm is expected to dump snow over Steamboat Springs beginning tonight and persisting into the weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm could leave as much as a foot of snow in downtown Steamboat Springs by Sunday. The flakes are expected to begin falling from the sky tonight. The best chance for significant accumulation will be from Thursday to Saturday morning.

Daytime high temperatures are forecast to hover around freezing, with overnight lows dipping into the low 20s. Saturday night's low temperature could drop to 8 degrees, and the high temperature Sunday is forecast at 28 degrees.

As is often the case, the National Weather Service is forecasting higher snow totals for higher elevations. Rabbit Ears Pass, at 9,500 feet, could see as much as a foot of snow by Friday morning.

A winter storm watch and snow advisory are in effect for the Gore and Elk mountains and the cities of Aspen, Vail, Snowmass and others. Steamboat Springs is not included in the watch or advisory area.

According to the advisories, between 1 and 2 feet of snow are expected at higher elevations by noon Saturday.

Any new snow will be a blessing to skiers and riders. The Steamboat Ski Area is reporting an 18-inch base. There currently are six lifts accessing a total of 32 trails. The gondola and Four Points lifts opened Wednesday.

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