December logs first 100

Ski area hits mark with snow falling 22 of 31 days


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— The Steamboat Ski Area clocked exactly 100 inches of snowfall in December, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokesman Mike Lane said Thursday.

During Steamboat's record-breaking 489-inch 2007-08 winter season, more than 100 inches of snow fell three months in a row - in December, January and February.

In December 2008, the Steamboat Ski Area recorded 22 days of snowfall, with 4 or more inches falling 15 of those days, Lane said.

Seasonal snowfall was at 140 inches Thursday and is poised to increase through the weekend. A winter weather advisory went into effect for the mountains near Steamboat Springs on Thursday morning and will expire at 6 a.m. today, but not before bringing as many as 5 inches of snow overnight, National Weather Service forecaster Jim Pringle said.

Snow will take a brief hiatus today with seasonably mild temperatures climbing into the high 30s, but a new cold front is due to roll into the Yampa Valley tonight, Pringle said.

"It'll bring colder temperatures and a better chance of snow," Pringle said.

The cold front will drop into the valley Saturday, bringing 5 to 10 inches of snowfall to high elevations including Rabbit Ears Pass and Steamboat Ski Area, with less accumulation in town, Pringle said.

The cold front also will make for a breezy day on the slopes today, and gusts are expected to cause blowing and drifting snow on Rabbit Ears Pass on Saturday.

Pringle encouraged drivers to keep an eye on the weather forecast through the weekend and to check the Colorado Department of Transportation's Web site for updated conditions and closures before hitting the road.

"Some areas may not get a lot of snow. Some may get enough to cause problems," Pringle said.


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