Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Steamboat Springs There doesn’t appear to be a major overnight powder dump in Steamboat’s immediate future, just the potential for continuous snow in every 12-hour period between Wednesday night and Sunday night.
By the time it’s all over, Steamboat Ski Area could accumulate anywhere from 20 to nearly 40 inches of snow, much of that coming in increments of 2 to 4 inches at a time, Joel Gratz, of www.opensnow.com, wrote Wednesday morning.
With the main energy of the latest storm headed south to the San Juan Mountains, the heaviest snow locally could fall Saturday night, with 6 to 10 inches possible, according to Gratz.
There will be “a bit of a break Friday night and the first half of Saturday, then — boom — looks like a big storm Saturday night into Sunday with a Sunday powder day,” he wrote.
Gratz hedged his bets by pointing out that Sunday still is five days away and the forecast could change.
However, Steamboat-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, of www.snowalarm.com, agrees with Gratz and even thinks there is a good chance for back-to-back powder days at the ski area with the likelihood of another 6 to 12 inches of fresh snow again Monday morning.
“A well-defined cold front should pass through the area sometime in the early afternoon Saturday accompanied with a burst of snowfall,” Weissbluth wrote in his Wednesday morning report. “Moderate to heavy snow should continue behind the front in very favorable cold and moist northwest flow — probably 6 to 12 inches by Sunday morning with moderate to heavy snow showers continuing through Sunday and Sunday night. Likely another 6 to 12 inches by Monday morning as the showers taper off during the day Monday.”
The latest zone forecast for the Park Range and Elkhead Mountains by the National Weather Service in Grand Junction verifies Gratz's forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday, calling for 2 to 4 inches of new snow overnight backed up with another 2 to 4 inches during the day Thursday.
The Weather Service sees the chance of snow at 50 percent Thursday night before tapering to 40 percent Friday and 20 percent Friday night. The likelihood of snow builds to 50 percent Saturday night and Sunday.
The Weather Service expects the daytime temperatures in the mountains to range from 15 to 25 degrees during the storm period.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com