Snow returns to the forecast for Steamboat Springs

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— While Steamboat Ski Area does not anticipate opening any additional terrain this weekend, low temperatures will help with snowmaking operations.

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“Mother Nature is definitely on our side with the cold nighttime temperatures,” spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said Friday.

Mother Nature on Sunday and midweek also could help pave the way for additional trail openings.

With 63 trails and six lifts, the ski area currently has 26 percent of its terrain open for a total of 781 acres.

“We’ll keep opening as much terrain as we possibly can,” Kasten said.

On Thursday, the ski area opened the Bar-UE lift. Chutes 1, 2 and 3 also were opened, but skiers need to hike to the terrain because the Morningside lift is not running yet. The ski area Thursday afternoon also opened Heavenly Daze, eliminating the need to download the mountain using the gondola. The ski area is reporting a base depth of 26 inches.

Local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who runs www.snowalarm.com, as well as www.opensnow.com’s Joel Gratz are both calling for snow in the Steamboat area beginning Sunday morning.

“This wave is trending slightly stronger in the models, and I might expect three to six inches on the hill by Monday afternoon based upon this morning’s model runs,” Weissbluth wrote Friday.

The snow then is expected to start up again Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

“There are differences in how the storm to our west evolves, but cold, winter-like temperatures are expected,” Weissbluth said.

Gratz expected snow showers to continue sporadically throughout the weekend.

And Weissbluth agreed.

“There will be periods of moderate to heavy snow as energy ejects from the storm to our west along the frontal boundary until a Pacific wave rounds a building ridge in the Gulf of Alaska and kicks the main part of the storm over us around Friday,” Weissbluth said. “More snow and colder temperatures are expected then and into the weekend as additional waves of energy form to the north and move over the area in the very cold and unstable air mass.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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