Steamboat Springs Skiers and riders may have to make do with a 400-inch winter because it’s increasingly unlikely that Mother Nature will allow the 489-inch record of three seasons ago to fall.
Springlike weather is in store for Steamboat in the coming week, beginning with today’s forecast of sunny skies and a daytime high of 50. Saturday gets even better, with partly sunny skies and a high of 60 degrees.
From there, the National Weather Service forecasts a predictably up and down weather week for Routt County. There’s a chance of rain Saturday night and Sunday, and a cold front is forecast to cool things off for the end of the weekend. Sunday’s high is forecast at 46 degrees. It will be cold enough for snow Sunday night and into Monday, but the precipitation is expected to disappear by Monday evening.
Gradual warming is expected Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs climbing back into the 50s.
Closing Day at Steamboat Ski Area is April 10. Including October and November snowfall, the ski area reports 415 inches of snow having fallen at mid-mountain this season. A record 489 inches fell during the winter of 2007-08. It would take a forecast-defying week of snow to topple that mark. But another couple of inches would move this season to the No. 6 spot in terms of snowiest seasons at the ski area since 1980.
The snowpack remains strong in the high country, with Snotel sites operated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service reporting gains in total snow depth and snow-water equivalent at measuring stations across Routt County this week.
The Dry Lake site, at 8,400 feet on Buffalo Pass, has an 84-inch snow depth with 30.9 inches of snow-water equivalent. The Tower site, at 10,500 feet on Buffalo Pass, reports a depth of 150 inches. That snow holds the equivalent of 56 inches of water, an increase of 4.5 inches since March 24.
On Rabbit Ears Pass, the Snotel site measures 101 inches of snow holding the equivalent of 40.5 inches of water; and the Lynx Pass site has 54 inches of snow holding 16.9 inches of water.
To reach Brent Boyer, call 970-871-4221 or email bboyer@SteamboatToday.com