Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Ski Area could open to a powder day after all.
A pair of storm systems are making their way toward Northwest Colorado this week, according to the National Weather Service. Ken Ludington, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Grand Junction forecast office, said the ski mountain can expect up to a foot of snow before the end of the week.
The ski area pushed back its opening day from Nov. 21 to this Friday because of unseasonably warm and dry weather. Steamboat is one of several Colorado ski resorts that were forced to delay their openings for the 2007-08 ski season.
The first storm system to enter the Yampa Valley this week should arrive Tuesday night and persist into Wednesday, bringing "decent snowfall," Ludington said. The mountain can see between 5 and 12 inches of powder, with smaller accumulations in town.
"Hopefully, it'll be at the high end of that, but you never know," Ludington said.
Overnight lows are expected to hover around zero degrees Fahrenheit most of the week, which bodes well for artificial snowmaking at the ski area.
The second storm system should arrive Thursday or Friday, Ludington said. Its intensity will be difficult to gauge until later in the week, he added.
The Steamboat Ski Area reported a 15-inch base as of Sunday, according to its Web site. Parent company Intrawest's two other Colorado ski resorts opened earlier this month.
Friday is the traditional Scholarship Day at the ski area. All proceeds from the discounted lift tickets will go to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Season passes and value passes won't be honored until Saturday.
Winter Park has six runs open and 16 inches of snow at the summit and mid-mountain, and Copper Mountain reports an 18-inch base and has eight trails open. This weekend, Copper Mountain became the first resort in North America to open its superpipe for the season.