The sun rose behind a small mountain of snow in a parking lot near the Steamboat Ski Area on Thursday morning. Several weather forecasters predict Steamboat will see varying amounts of new snow beginning after midnight and continuing through Friday night. Estimates range from 8 to 16 inches of new snow on the ski trails by Saturday morning.

Photo by Tom Ross

The sun rose behind a small mountain of snow in a parking lot near the Steamboat Ski Area on Thursday morning. Several weather forecasters predict Steamboat will see varying amounts of new snow beginning after midnight and continuing through Friday night. Estimates range from 8 to 16 inches of new snow on the ski trails by Saturday morning.

Cold snowstorm bearing down on Steamboat on Thursday night

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- For weather information from the National Weather Service, including storm warnings and advisories, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/

- The Colorado Department of Transportation provides road conditions, closures and traffic cameras at www.cotrip.org. For travel information by phone, call 511 from anywhere in Colorado or dial 303-639-1111.

- Find information about avalanche danger and conditions at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center website: www.avalanche.state.co.us.

- For flight information, visit www.flightview.com/ TravelTools/. By phone, call Delta Airlines at (800) 241-4141; United Airlines at (800) 864-8331; and American Airlines at (800) 433-7300

— Snow, wind and frigid temperatures are on the way for Steamboat Springs, but what that might portend for your driveway and your favorite powder run varies with the forecaster you follow.

Steamboat-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth is bullish on the storm. He expects it to arrive in earnest sometime Friday morning. By Saturday morning, he says, Steamboat Ski Area could be blanketed with 8 to 16 inches of fresh snow.

“The frigid air continues to pour in throughout the weekend, and the snow (will continue) in the very cold and moist northwest flow,” Weissbluth wrote in an email Wednesday. Steamboat will “probably see another 6 to 12 inches or more by Sunday morning, and the snow will begin to taper off by noon on Sunday with another 1 to 4 inches.”

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction predicted early Thursday morning that snow would begin after midnight in the Yampa Valley with 1 to 2 inches possible. It foresees an 80 percent chance of snow Friday with a high temperature of 21 degrees and west winds from 15 to 20 miles per hour. As much as 4 inches of snow could accumulate in town during the day Friday. The chance of snow is rated 70 percent Friday night with an inch of accumulation likely.

At the peak of the storm Friday night, the National Weather Service foresees 3 to 7 inches falling above 9,700 feet on the Steamboat Ski Area.

On Saturday, the chance of snow is 50 percent, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist Joel Gratz, of www.opensnow.com, expects Steamboat Ski Area to pick up 1 to 3 inches of snow Thursday night, another 4 to 8 inches Friday and a final 1 to 2 inches Friday night. Accumulations Saturday and Saturday night likely will be less than an inch, Gratz predicts.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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