October precipitation in Steamboat Springs already exceeds the norm

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— It’s still unofficial, but for the second straight month, Steamboat Springs has topped normal precipitation amounts with more than two weeks remaining to add to the total.

Weather observer Art Judson confirmed Monday morning that October precipitation at his gauge above the valley floor between downtown and the mountain had reached 2.34 inches with .45 inches falling overnight. Normal October precipitation in Steamboat Springs is 2.17 inches, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

By 10 a.m. Monday, rain had morphed into a heavy snowfall.

The snow, which accumulated above 9,000 feet in the past few days combined with mild daytime conditions on the valley floor, presented residents and visitors the option of playing 18 holes at Haymaker Golf Course or cross-country skiing on Rabbit Ears Pass.

The latest bout of rain and snow followed closely on the heels of the .25 inches to .43 inches that fell at various locations across town in the 24 hours preceding 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

Judson reported the accumulated snow depth above 10,000 feet on Buffalo Pass was 15 inches.

September was the wettest month of the year here so far, with 4.44 inches of precipitation. That compares to the September average of 2.19 inches. Steamboat blew past normal September moisture levels with seven straight days of rain that ended Sept. 16.

The National Weather Service expects the mix of rain and snow to moderate Monday but continue into Tuesday night with a 20 percent chance, before another day of sunshine on Wednesday. The wintry mix is expected to return Thursday night.

Weather Service meteorologist Tom Renwick wrote Monday morning that the trough of low pressure will favor snow in the northern mountains Thursday night. But looking further out, he sees a return to sunshine and normal temperatures for the weekend.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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