Headlights and streetlights are reflected on Lincoln Avenue on Wednesday morning. More rain showers are in the forecast this week.

Photo by Scott Franz

Headlights and streetlights are reflected on Lincoln Avenue on Wednesday morning. More rain showers are in the forecast this week.

Cold air, possibly snow, to return to Steamboat on Sunday

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— The rain storm that blustered into Steamboat Springs in the wee hours of Wednesday brought nearly three-tenths of an inch of moisture to several weather stations across town, and there is more on the way this weekend, according to weather forecasters.

Steamboat-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth wrote Tuesday afternoon that mild weather will prevail Thursday and Friday, but more cold moisture is on the way for the weekend.

“The next colder, moister and generally far more impressive storm makes landfall on the west coast on Friday,” Weissbluth wrote. “Our area will be affected from Saturday through early next week as clouds and winds increase ahead of the storm on Saturday. A strong cold front brings sharply colder temperatures and precipitation by late Saturday afternoon or evening.”

Weissbluth, who maintains the website www.snowalarm.com, expects the weekend storm to pick up new energy with the influx of cold air Monday from the Hudson Bay Vortex, which refuses to go away.

“There is model uncertainty to how much cold air is dragged into the system and this will determine how long the storm will be in our proximity and whether we see snow in the valleys,” Weissbluth wrote. “Mountain elevations, however, are likely to see significant snows.”

There is room for hope in Weissbluth’s long-term forecast that spring will return during the middle of next week. He foresees rapid warming and drying by mid-day April 30.

Rainfall totals in the Steamboat vicinity for the 24 hours preceding 7 a.m. Wednesday ranged from 0.1 inches at a weather station about 2 miles southeast of the city to 0.29 inches for a couple of stations located about a mile north of town. Both stations are part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) managed by Colorado State University.

Other Routt County weather stations in the CoCoRaHS network suggest the early morning rain was focused almost exclusively on Steamboat. A station outside of Clark in North Routt recorded no precipitation and stations in Yampa and Oak Creek saw 0.03 and 0.04 inches, respectively.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction confirms that Thursday and Friday will be the days for Steamboat residents to go for a bicycle ride, with partly sunny skies and highs of 54 and 62 degrees, respectively.

There also is some sunshine in the forecast for Saturday blended with a 20 percent chance of showers and a high approaching 60 degrees. However, Sunday is expected to be cloudy with a high of 46.

The forecast for the Storm Peak weather lab at 10,531 feet on Mount Werner suggests the Park Range will be losing some high-elevation snowpack Thursday and Friday with breezy conditions and high temperatures of 43 and 51 degrees, respectively. However, the low temperature Saturday night will dip to 26 degrees and snow is likely in the high country Sunday with a high of 34 degrees.

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

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