Cattle graze on a wet field along the Elk River on Saturday north of Steamboat Springs. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for the Yampa Valley on Monday and Wednesday.

Photo by Scott Franz

Cattle graze on a wet field along the Elk River on Saturday north of Steamboat Springs. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for the Yampa Valley on Monday and Wednesday.

Rain back in forecast for Steamboat area

Water release from Stagecoach helps revive tubing season in dry August

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— Thunderstorms in the forecast for Monday and Wednesday could help to clear out the wildfire smoke that has lingered over Routt County, a forecaster with the National Weather Service said Sunday.

Tom Renwick, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, said the haze that has reduced visibility in town is originating from wildfires in Idaho and Nevada. He added that there's a good chance the mountains around Steamboat will see some showers and thunderstorms starting at about noon Monday and that a change in wind flow also could help to clear the haze.

The precipitation could make its way into town, but after Wednesday, a drier pattern returns to the forecast.

Monday's high temperature is forecast to be a cooler 78 degrees. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid 80s throughout the week.

Tubing season back on

Following one of the wettest Julys in Steamboat history, the city has logged only 0.3 inches of precipitation this month.

But an additional release of water that started Friday from Stagecoach Reservoir at the request of Tri-State Generation, operator of the power plant in Craig, has helped revive Steamboat's tubing season, which was dormant for about 10 days this month.

Backdoor Sports owner Pete Van De Carr said he resumed his tube rentals on the Yampa River on Saturday and rented out about 140 tubes through Sunday.

“I hope we'll be able to go until Labor Day,” he said. “The problem for our business is that when we're closed down for a few days, it's hard to get word out that we're still open.”

The Yampa was flowing at 95 cubic feet per second Sunday afternoon under the Fifth Street Bridge in downtown Steamboat.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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