Photo by Brian Ray
A wall of icicles shrouds the Interiors with Altitude building in Steamboat Springs on Thursday afternoon. With heavy snow forecast for the area this weekend, the Steamboat Ski Area stands poised to break the annual ski season snowfall record.
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How epic has the winter of 2007-08 really been? Submit your memories from this ski season for a record-snow story package in an upcoming edition of the Steamboat Today - possibly as soon as Saturday, weather permitting. E-mail editor Brent Boyer at editor@steamboatp... with your favorite anecdote or memory from the season. Photos also will be accepted. Please include your full name and contact information.
Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Ski Area's all-time single-season snowfall record could soon be toppled. Perhaps it already has been.
A strong Pacific storm blew into town Thursday afternoon, and as the powder piled up Thursday evening, it appeared increasingly likely the winter of 2007-08 will be remembered as the most prolific snow year in Mount Werner's recorded history.
"It looks good, if you really want to break that record," National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Ludington said Thursday afternoon from his Grand Junction forecast office. The weather service issued a heavy snow warning in effect from 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. today, forecasting snowfall totals of 10 to 14 inches in the city of Steamboat Springs. With a chance of snow in the forecast through Tuesday, the totals could easily exceed the 1-foot mark.
The Steamboat Ski Area entered Thursday needing only 10 inches to eclipse the mark set during the winter of 1996-97.
"The total we have that we're sitting at right now is 438 inches, and our biggest year was 1996-97, which was 447.75 (inches). So, we're about 10 inches away from breaking that record - less than a foot," said Heidi Thomsen, a spokeswoman for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., shortly before noon Thursday.
This season represents only the sixth time the ski area has surpassed the 400-inch mark since it began recording record snow totals 29 years ago. Totals prior to 1994 include snowfall recorded only during the ski season. Since that year, the ski area has included snow that falls in October and November - before the mountain opens.
This year's count started Oct. 18, and there are 24 days remaining in the ski season for record-worthy snow to fall.
Along with the heavy snow warning, the weather service issued a travel advisory: "Severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must (travel), keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle."