Monica McNeilly shovels snow out of her neighbor’s driveway in Old Town Steamboat Springs on Tuesday morning. Residents woke up to more snow as another winter storm passes through the area. A winter storm warning is in effect until noon Wednesday.
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Steamboat Springs It is almost as if Mother Nature knew she had some catching up to do.
From noon Sunday to noon Tuesday, Steamboat Ski Area had measured 40 inches of snow at midmountain and broke the 24-hour snowfall record Monday with 27 inches. This was all just days after the ski area measured 31.5 inches of snow throughout eight days.
“It’s getting better every day,” Steamboat snowboarder Brandon Rose said after coming down the mountain Tuesday. “It’s finally like Steamboat.”
Just a couple of weeks ago, skiers still were navigating hazards like rocks and trees that typically are long covered by snow. The Pony Express lift did not start running until Feb. 13 because of a lack of natural snow. Many locals were finding other ways to recreate off the slopes.
“It wasn’t too tempting most of the winter,” Steamboat skier Chris Kipfer said.
Kipfer took advantage of Monday’s record snowfall and enjoyed skiing even more Tuesday because there were fewer people after the busy holiday weekend.
“I hope the people that came in for Presidents Day weekend go home and say, ‘That’s what Steamboat is always like,’” Kipfer said.
His sense of relief brought by the recent snow was shared by other local skiers Tuesday. Mark Elliott and his wife, Lori, now are able to compare powder days from the season.
“Yesterday was a lot better, I’m sorry to say,” Lori Elliott said. “We’re spoiled. It’s nice to be winter.”
Mark Elliott was looking forward to excellent ski conditions for the remainder of the week.
“Take the January snow in February, pretty much,” he said.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction on Tuesday issued a winter storm warning for the Steamboat area through noon Wednesday. Forecasters were calling for as much as 8 inches of snow overnight Tuesday at lower elevations and as much as 2 more inches Wednesday. Snow is expected to continue through Thursday night.
Joel Gratz, creator of the ski area snow forecasting website www.opensnow.com, was calling for 7 to 11 inches Tuesday night, 1 to 2 inches Wednesday and another 3 to 6 inches Wednesday night on the mountain.
“Tomorrow could be extremely good,” Gratz said Tuesday. “I might be there.”
Gratz stopped short of calling for another “Steamboat surprise,” which resulted in Monday’s record snowfall.
“What a couple days,” Gratz said. “It’s hard to believe.”
At lower elevations, local weather observer Art Judson measured 10.3 inches of snow Monday morning at his recording site on Anglers Drive between downtown and the mountain. On Tuesday morning, there was 6.1 inches of new snow. During the day Tuesday, he measured another 5.8 inches of snow.
As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the ski area had received 70 inches of new snow at midmountain from the past two storm systems, bringing the season total to 177 inches.