September precipitation total one of wettest on record for Steamboat

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— It wasn’t September 1961, when Steamboat Springs saw a saturating 8.5 inches of precipitation, but the past month’s total of 4.78 inches was enough to be one of the wettest on record in the city limits.

Steamboat weather observer Art Judson measured more than trace amounts of rain on 13 days in September at his station between downtown and the mountain.

Judson also measured 0.1 inches of snow in September.

The average precipitation for September in the period of record is 1.79 inches, according to the Western Regional Climate Center.

September saw an average high temperature of 73.3 degrees and an average low of 42.3 degrees, according to Judson.

To start October, Steamboat will see dry, sunny weather, with highs in the 70s and lows in the upper 30s through Wednesday.

The jet stream shifting across the Northern Rockies will keep cold air along the British Columbia coast, according to Jim Daniels, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

But on Wednesday, Daniels said, the pattern will change and the low pressure system will start to move southeast and eventually sweep across western Colorado.

“As that comes through, it’s pushing a pretty good cold front with it,” Daniels said. “Right now, the timing is about Thursday afternoon or evening.”

That cold air will converge with forced air lifting and the northwest flow favorable for orographic lift to create the special conditions for Steamboat snow.

“Those three things will work in concert to produce the snow,” Daniels said.

The forecasted low temperature of 32 degrees for Thursday night and the high of 50 degrees for Friday should be just right for some light snow accumulations across the Yampa Valley by sunrise Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

“Right now, the indications are that it will be cold enough that it will bring some snow to the valley,” Daniels said.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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