Storm should bring fresh snow to Steamboat for Winter Carnival weekend

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— The weather systems moving through the Steamboat Springs area this weekend should be strong enough to add a touch of fresh snow to the 100th Winter Carnival.

Starting Friday night with a chance for some light snowfall, two storms will move across Colorado before Monday night.

Most of the snow accumulation will occur in the San Juan Mountains and southern Colorado, but the Park Range can expect 4 to 7 inches of snow throughout the weekend, according to Travis Booth, of the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

Steamboat meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, of www.snowalarm.com, wrote in an email Thursday that the area should expect about 1 to 4 inches of snow by Saturday morning.

As the southwest flow veers to a more northwesterly direction, which benefits Mount Werner, the snowfall should intensify as Saturday goes on, according to Booth and Weissbluth.

“A strong cold front moves across the area Saturday morning likely associated with a burst of heavy snowfall,” Weissbluth wrote.

That cold air will continue to move through the area and chill the valley as overnight low temperatures will dip below zero Sunday and Monday nights, according to the National Weather Service.

The track of the second storm remains unsettled, Booth said, but if it moves closer to Northwest Colorado, the Yampa Valley could expect another few inches of snow.

Weissbluth wrote Thursday that the cold temperatures could last through Tuesday with more light snowfall.

“Inversion will likely form in the valleys as mountain slopes warm on Wednesday,” he wrote. “Another storm may produce showers by Wednesday night into Thursday as it appears the Gulf of Alaska ridge rebuilds and forces a northwest oriented storm track over the Rocky Mountains through next weekend.”

Meteorologist Joel Gratz, with www.opensnow.com, has written about the potential for a snowy end to February for Colorado.

In his daily snow report for the state, Gratz writes that forecast models show a trough with a west or northwest flow after Presidents Day.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com

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