Storm pattern headed Steamboat's way is 'perfect for heavy snow'

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— For anyone with some sick days left in 2013, Wednesday promises to be a good day to come down with a case of the white flu.

The meteorologists who focus closely on Colorado ski country say Steamboat could be in for snow accumulations of 13 to 22 inches. Snow could begin to fall on the slopes of Mount Werner Tuesday afternoon, intensify overnight and continue into Wednesday morning.

Forecasters say several factors are coming together to produce ideal orographic lift that causes storms to give everything they have to give when they slam straight into a mountain range.

Meteorologist Julie Malingowski with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction said an Arctic front that is heading for Northern Colorado is coming all the way down from the interior of Alaska. And it could drive a snowy pattern that will persist, with some breaks in the action, for the next week and a half, she added.

“This is the big whammy,” Malingowski said late Monday afternoon. “We have this front coming down with really, really cold air that will be a good snow producer, and on Tuesday, we’ll have the ideal wind regime with the northwesterly flow.”

Joel Gratz of Open Snow concurred.

“The upcoming weather pattern is absolutely perfect for heavy snow, and here's why,” Gratz wrote Monday morning. “First, we'll have plenty of moisture in the atmosphere to create snow. Second, the wind direction at and above mountain top is from a west-ish direction, which means all mountains can see good snow because this wind gets lifted up by the mountains and rising air creates snow.”

Mike Weissbluth of the SnowAlarm blog said Steamboat should receive 8 to 16 inches on its slopes by Wednesday morning.

“A storm currently situated to our northwest will affect our area perhaps as early as Monday night with light showers and very windy conditions,” Weissbluth wrote early Monday afternoon. “The cold front that will bring the very cold winter-like temperatures southward is now projected to move across the area a bit faster than earlier forecasted, perhaps as early as Tuesday morning. Good snows Tuesday should produce 8 to 16 inches on the hill by Wednesday morning.”

Gratz said he’s not certain the heaviest snow will fall in the north, but he is confident that most mountain locations in Colorado will see heavy snow with accumulations in the range of 10 to 18 inches before the storm winds down Wednesday. And his individualized forecast for the Steamboat Ski Area anticipated the appetizer on Monday night would bring 1 to 3 inches of snow followed by 3 to 6 inches during the day on Tuesday, another 8 inches to a foot overnight and perhaps 2 to 4 inches fairly early on Wednesday.

There are multiple dynamics contributing to the lift this storm could generate, according to Gratz.

“The atmosphere will lift the air in two additional ways,” he said." One way will be a cold front that stalls over northern and central Colorado. The front is like a wedge, forcing air to rise up and over the front. The second way is the jet stream, which will stay over Colorado for 36-plus hours. The fast moving air of the jet stream at 35,000 feet helps lift the air below it, and since rising air makes snow, this is also working in our favor.”

As the first bout of snow weakens, the Weather Service expects Wednesday’s high temperature to be just 16 degrees followed by a dip to 2 degrees below zero overnight. The high won’t get out of the teens Thursday followed by 11 below Thursday night and a frigid high of 12 degrees Friday.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

Comments

rhys jones 9 months, 3 weeks ago

13-22 eh? Time to dust off the un-jinxer: More Sun!! More Sun!!

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rhys jones 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I am SO SICK of "two feet tonight" I guess 11" in two days ain't bad -- but really, please watch what you say, the un-jinxer works overtime.

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jerry carlton 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Rhys The Nuggets seem to have found themselves. What little I have seen of them, they still look like George's run and gun bunch. The road to the Superbowl leads thru Denver, unless they stumble to any of the last four teams who all have losing records!

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john bailey 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Rhys , hows the screen play coming? and you are correct Jerry it goes thru our house this year again and no screwing around.HA

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rhys jones 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Jerry -- I'm really happy with Brian Shaw and where he's taking the Nuggets; maybe they found the right guy to work with their running offense already -- ALL of their off-season acquisitions are great, that team is deep -- and Brian does seem to be more participatory during games than George was, they seem to enjoy playing for him. Winning a lot lately, fun to watch. In Boston tomorrow, fortunately on ESPN, my stupid Comcast doesn't get Altitude2.

It would appear the road to the Super Bowl also goes through Seattle; they looked awesome Monday night. So after we whoop New England or Indianopolis or Carolina or whoever the East produces, this Super Bowl could be quite a game!! Assuming we get there.

Now to return this thread to somewhat of its original subject: Is everybody praying for more Sun, like good anti-jinxers??

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rhys jones 9 months, 2 weeks ago

John -- I'm so confused... which screenplay is that? Routt County Law? Interest faded quickly on that one, once the flambuoyant Rusty departed, sweethearts backed out, and now we've got this wild car chase in the can, the most excitement Milner ever saw, and nowhere to go with it. Maybe you'd like to get in on the action; next we're going to Aruba. We're thinking about digging up the ex-pub for that one, for ratings purposes, we know he's not cheap. Also casting female ADA's and production assistants for the Aruba scenes; inquire within.

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john bailey 9 months, 2 weeks ago

throw the RCL out , i'm going with Aruba . when do we leave? Brrrrrrr. hum my reply goes to an error code 403m for bidden , are the mods pizzed? , whats that mean?

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rhys jones 9 months, 2 weeks ago

That happened to me too, they're catching on to us... (back-arrow to your forbidden comment, ctrl-c copy it, then ctrl-v paste it as a new comment, saves typing and fools their buggy software)

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john bailey 9 months, 2 weeks ago

got it, guess I should refrain from typing out my nuclear fuel recipe?~;0) uses old tires. hey HULA...

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Dan Kuechenmeister 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Rhys, Maybe Routt County Law could take a spin through the Milner garbage dump. Seems to be some controversy there these days. Just make sure the load is covered. PS: Aruba sounds pretty good but going to be on the mountain Friday. Hope the sun is out.

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rhys jones 9 months, 2 weeks ago

This is great!! Love the response. I've been running the numbers, and as long as John is on board, we can do Aruba, babes -- er, PA's, and all, though ex-pub might have to spring for his own airfare. He can stay with us in our ashram. If this takes off like I think it will, we're already planning a spinoff: What Happens In Milner...

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john bailey 9 months, 2 weeks ago

airfare ? I chartered a slow boat to china .. er , ah Aruba hitting all the island chains along the way. see ya in , oh , about 3 years. I have the cameras so ya'll have to wait. ~'0)

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rhys jones 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh I get it -- the Golden Rule: He who got de gold, make de rules. Fine.

No worries, actually -- with Final Cut Pro and a satellite uplink, I can cut the next episode on the water, and there is a certain appeal to being free of any territorial jurisdictions, as in: NO LAWS!! WOO HOO!! We don't need no stinking laws, right?

I can just see old Bill now, deprived of his implied necessity, yanking on the oars of his dinghy, keeping up with the party, chanting "ARUBA ARUBA" as the ADA waves encouragement...

We're gonna redefine Hula!!

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rhys jones 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Psst John -- If ya got any pesky, pot-eating dogs, bring 'em along!! We've got a feast planned, as soon as we're six miles out. I can't wait to try a new recipe: Filet O' Fido.

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rhys jones 9 months, 2 weeks ago

[I hope and trust that I only offend a few, and that the average or above reader can recognize it for what it is -- humor, no more, no less. I find it the best response to the ignorant, sanctimonious, self-righteous (expletive deleted)'s who will use any flimsy excuse they can find to rail against something they don't understand, so it scares them. Get over it.]

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