Photo by John F. Russell
Kathy Dennis, who was visiting from Kentucky, walks through the snow falling Thursday in downtown Steamboat Springs. The snowstorm, which was heavy for a brief period of time, moved through the area quickly and was over early in the afternoon.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Steamboat Springs The inch of snow that fell on Mount Werner early Thursday might not seem like much, but you won’t hear many complaints during a December that has brought little of the natural white stuff to Steamboat Springs or any other mountain resort in the central and northern Rockies.
Sunny skies will return to Steamboat today with a high temperature that will reach into the mid-40s. A chance of snow returns to the area Saturday, when another inch or so could fall on Mount Werner.
“Just a little dose of snow,” National Weather Service senior meteorologist Chris Cuoco said Thursday afternoon from his Grand Junction forecast office. “These are just glancing blows.”
The weather pattern that has frustrated most ski towns throughout Colorado early this winter is expected to continue into the new year, Cuoco said. He described a lingering pattern that is sending short waves of moisture north of Colorado. The systems are just barely clipping the northern part of the state and then being replaced by mounting high pressure, which typically brings dry conditions.
Even Southwest Colorado, which has enjoyed the best snow in the state so far this season, will soon find itself “high and dry,” Cuoco said.
Steamboat Ski Area is reporting a mid-mountain base of 24 inches and a summit base of 22 inches. The ski area is offering 1,992 acres of skiing and riding on 122 trails served by 15 lifts.
Despite the lack of snow, Steamboat has a deeper mid-mountain snow base and more open terrain than Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Winter Park, Snowmass, Aspen, Copper Mountain and Crested Butte.