Snow shovels were fully stocked at Ace at the Curve hardware store in Steamboat Springs on Thursday. A strong storm system is headed to the region this weekend.

Photo by John F. Russell

Snow shovels were fully stocked at Ace at the Curve hardware store in Steamboat Springs on Thursday. A strong storm system is headed to the region this weekend.

Significant storm headed toward Steamboat

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— A foot or more of snow is expected on the slopes of Mount Werner and at high elevations in the Yampa Valley this weekend.

A strong storm system will begin moving through the area today, though the wind, cold and snowfall expected to intensify Saturday, with most of the storm's accumulation to take place Saturday evening and early Sunday, said meteorologist Norv Larson, of the National Weather Service's Grand Junction Forecast Office.

Overnight lows are poised to dip as low as 12 degrees Saturday night, with wind gusts up to 25 mph.

"This is a nice cold front - we're going to have a lot of wind with it," Larson said.

Drivers can expect limited visibility on the roads Saturday night with blowing snow expected, including on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Steamboat Springs residents can expect less accumulation in town. Between 4 and 8 inches is likely, Larson said. Light snow is probable early next week, with the next decent storm system likely to hit the Yampa Valley midweek, Larson said.

"We are definitely into a more active pattern," Larson said.

The Steamboat Ski Area reported a 26-inch base at mid-mountain Thursday and has recorded 66 inches of total snowfall so far this season. The Preview, Christie Peak Express, Storm Peak Express and Burgess Creek chairlifts and gondola were open Thursday, ferrying skiers and riders to 70 open trails.

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