Snow possible for Closing Day in Steamboat

Wednesday’s high temperature breaks record

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— A record-high temperature of 74 degrees Wednesday is being followed by a hodgepodge of weather much more typical of April in Steamboat Springs.

The previous record-high temperature for April 11 in Steamboat Springs was 71 degrees set in 1934, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. A late-afternoon thunderstorm Wednesday that carried into the night brought 0.14 inches of rain, according to Art Judson, Steamboat’s official weather observer. Lightning was abundant in the valley, and Judson said he measured a wind gust of 44 miles per hour at 10:10 p.m.

Thursday’s weather included scattered rain, hail and snow showers.

Additional moisture is expected through Monday, the most significant of which is expected to fall between noon Saturday and Sunday night.

Meteorologist Tom Renwick said a storm could bring 3 to 4 inches of snow to Steamboat Ski Area in time for Sunday’s Closing Day.

“This is a good one,” Renwick said about the approaching weather system.

On Thursday afternoon, the ski area reported a half inch of new snow at midmountain. Only 6 inches of snow has fallen on Mount Werner since March 6, and a total of only 21 inches fell at the ski area in all of March, the lowest March snow total since 1980.

March was the second driest on record in the city of Steamboat with a total of 0.68 inches of precipitation.

High temperatures in Steamboat are expected to be in the low 50s through Monday, with the exception of Sunday, when a high of 46 is predicted. Overnight lows are expected to be in the 20s.

Routt County Emergency Management Director Bob Struble called the recent moisture a “temporary fix” to the dry conditions in the area, especially if warm and dry weather returns as predicted next week.

“Within three or four days we’ll lose anything that we’ve gained,” Struble said.

In response to the dry conditions and numerous wildfires in recent weeks, local officials have recommended fire restrictions be put in place. The Routt County Board of Commissioners will consider implementing the restrictions at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

“It would take a significant amount of moisture to really make it safe out there,” Struble said.

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