The Steamboat Ski Area reported 20 inches of new snow since 12:30 p.m. Monday, and more snow is in the forecast.
Steamboat Springs remains under a winter weather advisory until midnight tonight, with snow accumulation of as many as 10 inches expected in town before the storm exits the region.
The departure of today's weather system won't mean an end to the snow. The National Weather Service forecasts snow Wednesday night through Friday, with significant accumulation possible Christmas night into Friday.
The snowpack was tender in the mountains surrounding Steamboat Springs even before heavy snow began falling at midday Monday.
Based on citizen reports and the gathering storm, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center upgraded the avalanche danger to "high" on some aspects above tree line.
"If snow totals pan out, your (avalanche) sense should be tingling when thinking about N-NE-E aspects at higher elevations," avalanche forecaster Simon Trautman wrote in a bulletin on the Avalanche Information Center's Web site. "Yesterday's natural avalanche cycle, and recent cold temperatures, tell us that these aspects are near or at a critical state."
Trautman had received reports of fresh slides in Routt County during the weekend, including slab avalanches on Saddle Mountain, in the Flat Tops, and along Oak Creek Canyon.