Thursday, January 31, 2008
Steamboat Springs It appears February will pick up where December and January left off.
Today's sunny, blue skies will be replaced with snow Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Craig are under a snow and blowing snow advisory from midnight tonight until midnight Friday.
The advisory forecasts snow developing late tonight and gradually increasing in intensity and coverage. Steamboat Springs could see between 4 and 8 inches of new snow by dawn Saturday, with Craig receiving between 3 and 6 inches.
Strong winds are expected to accompany the storm system, with westerly winds blowing between 20 and 30 mph. Stronger gusts are likely, according to the weather service.
Tonight's low is forecast at 2 degrees below zero, with Friday's high reaching 30 degrees.
A snow and blowing snow advisory also was in effect Tuesday, when whiteout conditions forced the temporary closure of U.S. Highway 40 from the Utah border east to Rabbit Ears Pass. Hundreds of motorists were stranded between Steamboat and Craig until the high winds subsided and officials reopened the highway. Colorado Highway 131 from Steamboat south to Yampa also proved treacherous, with dozens more motorists forced to wait out the wind. No injuries were reported despite numerous cars and trucks sliding off roadways.
Friday marks the first day of February, typically the third-snowiest month of winter at the Steamboat Ski Area. The ski area reported more than 100 inches of snow falling on the slopes of Mount Werner in both December and January - just the third time in resort history that's happened.
The ski area reports receiving 295 inches of snow since late fall. There have been only five 400-inch ski seasons in Steamboat Ski Area history: 1983-84, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97 and 2005-06.
Local weather observer Art Judson reported 59.5 inches of snow falling in the city of Steamboat Springs this January. That total represents the 11th-highest January snowfall total since 1908.