Photo by Scott Franz
The sun breaks through clouds Sunday as a pair of skiers ride a lift up Mount Werner from the base area. A winter storm is expected to bring more snow to the area Monday and further guarantee a white Christmas.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Steamboat Springs Christmas Day in Steamboat Springs is shaping up to be a powder day.
A fresh round of winter weather is expected to hit the city and surrounding mountains Monday morning with the arrival of a storm from the Pacific.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Steamboat Springs and surrounding areas from 6 a.m. Monday to 3 a.m. Tuesday.
Travis Booth, a forecaster with the National Weather Service's forecast office in Grand Junction, said the Monday storm has the potential to leave behind 4 to 6 inches of additional snowfall in town, with 8 to 10 inches possible in the mountains.
He said the snow should let up in the early hours of Christmas Day.
“Then, (the storms) just keep on coming,” Booth said. “There are certainly some unsettled conditions on the way to Steamboat.”
He said Steamboat's forecast calls for another winter storm to arrive Wednesday. Although snowfall is expected to be fairly widespread across the region in the middle of the week, significant accumulation isn't expected.
High temperatures through the weekend are expected to be in the 20s, with lows in the teens.
The return of snow after a brief hiatus last week also is expected to make driving conditions, especially on Rabbit Ears Pass, trickier.
Local law enforcement agencies continued helping drivers free their vehicles from snowbanks over the weekend when roads remained icy and snow-packed.
A period of snowfall Sunday afternoon also greatly reduced visibility.
At the Steamboat Ski Area, Sunday's unexpected snowfall delighted skiers and riders who made turns on 148 trails accessed by 15 lifts.
Bolstered by several feet of new snow, the ski area continued expanding its terrain Sunday with the opening of the Pony Express lift serving trails in the Pioneer Ridge area.
“It's much more festive now,” skier Harper Baddley said, gesturing to the thick snowflakes falling at the base area Sunday.
Baddley traveled to Steamboat from Nesbit, Miss., with his wife and two daughters.
“It's the extra added bonus on our vacation,” he said about the snow.