Steamboat Springs The Yampa River reached a low level for the week Saturday afternoon, but it is expected to rise slightly during the next few days along with temperatures, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
The Yampa was measured at about 5.5 feet Saturday, with flood stage occurring at 7.5 feet.
Forecasters expect the river to rise to about 6.6 feet by Wednesday as temperatures rise to about 5 degrees above the seasonal norm.
Temperatures are forecast in the mid- to high 70s for the early part of the week as a weak cold front from the weekend disappears, Weather Service forecaster Tom Renwick said.
That cold front is what slowed snowmelt and local rivers Friday and Saturday.
“We got some clouds, and the temperatures dropped, and if we’re talking up in the mountains, a few degrees is pretty significant,” Renwick said.
The Elk River, which was measured at 7.3 feet deep near Milner on Saturday afternoon, is forecast to rise into flood stage once again starting Saturday afternoon.
Forecasters expect the rising temperatures to cause the Elk to reach a level of more than 8 feet. Flood stage occurs at 7.5 feet, and moderate stage occurs at 8.5 feet.
The Elk has hovered around flood stage for about 10 days, and Renwick said that even if temperatures remain at the seasonal norm, there is still a lot of snow left to melt in the high country.
“For now it’s just going to keep going,” Renwick said.