Photo by Scott Franz
Traffic moves down a wet Lincoln Avenue on Saturday night. A lingering storm dropped a quarter of an inch of rain Saturday on Steamboat, and more precipitation is forecast for the Yampa Valley this week.
Steamboat Springs A storm that lingered over Steamboat Springs on Saturday night left behind one-quarter inch of rain and helped to revive the tubing season on the Yampa River.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Pringle said Sunday afternoon that it looks like more moisture is on the way.
Saturday’s precipitation total easily made it the second wettest day of the month behind a record 1.78 inches of rain that fell July 6 and 7.
Through Saturday, the city has received 2.33 inches of rain in July, which already is above the month’s historical average of 1.61 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Pringle said the Yampa Valley has a good chance to see more rain Monday and Tuesday before a dry pattern returns Wednesday and Thursday.
But he added another round of monsoon storms, which are created this time of year from the subtropical moisture drawn into Colorado, could arrive in time for the weekend.
He said Dry Lake appeared to receive the brunt of Saturday’s rainfall. A station there measured one-half inch of rain. A station one mile northwest of Clark received only 0.13 inches of rain, and a station three miles southeast of Steamboat posted 0.32 inches.
Although the Yampa River on Friday fell below the 85 cubic feet per second threshold required for commercial tubing by the Yampa River Management Plan, the river was hovering above 90 cfs Sunday afternoon, spurring all three commercial tubing outfits in Steamboat to resume operations on what was expected to be one of Steamboat’s busiest weekends of the summer.
Backdoor Sports owner Pete Van De Carr said the tubing season is now a day-to-day assessment.
Holding their breath
While the shots of rain are helping to sustain the river, they are not doing much to alleviate the area’s high fire danger.
A lightning strike was blamed for a small fire that started Saturday in North Routt. North Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bob Reilly said Sunday that U.S. Forest Service crews were en route to the fire Reilly estimated was burning less than one-half acre near Sand Mountain.
Reilly added that the fire was not putting up any smoke Sunday afternoon.
“I don’t think we’re anywhere close to being out of serious concern for fires,” Reilly said. “We get a reprieve while it’s raining, but when there’s a significant amount of lightning associated with it, we hold our breath for a few days after the storm because there could be a holdover.”
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com