Photo by Scott Franz
Bundled up with three layers on a frigid Sunday afternoon, Harry Niedl cross-country skis on the snow-covered ballfields at Howelsen Hill. Temperatures in Steamboat Springs are not expected to climb above freezing during the week.
Cold weather dangers
Frostbite: Symptoms include "loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately."
Hypothermia: Symptoms include "uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, nonalcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible."
—Federal Emergency Management Agency
Steamboat Springs The bitter cold that has settled over the Yampa Valley is going to stick around a while longer.
“There's a cold dome stuck over all the snow-covered valleys ... and nothing will change that anytime soon,” National Weather Service forecaster Dennis Phillips said Sunday.
As the lifts at Steamboat Ski Area started to run Sunday morning, the temperature at the Storm Peak Laboratory on the top of Mount Werner fell to 14 below zero.
In town, high temperatures aren't forecast to climb above freezing this week.
And Phillips said even the Weather Service's forecast of highs in the low 20s is an “optimistic” outlook.
Meteorologists continue to attribute the below normal temperatures in Northwest Colorado to a continued pattern of inversions created by all the snow that remains on the cold valley floor.
“Even when a new air mass comes in, it's hard to break the inversions,” Phillips said.
Skies are expected to stay mostly clear this week as low temperatures in Steamboat will continue dipping below zero degrees.
The Weather Service's local forecast also calls for wind chill factors “as low as 30” below zero on Monday.
With weather this cold, Phillips said local residents and visitors should prepare to bundle up
“You want to layer up and not have any exposed skin once you get temperatures this cold,” Phillips said. “You should also have a back up plan if you're traveling (and find yourself stranded), especially at night. The main thing is to bundle up and be prepared.”
The Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency maintain websites to help people prepare for extreme cold temperatures and winter storms.
FEMA's detailed information on the prevention and treatment of hypothermia and frostbite can be accessed here.
The Weather Service's weather safety page for all types of weather can be accessed here.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com