Cold, snow in the forecast this weekend | SteamboatToday.com

Cold, snow in the forecast this weekend

Zach Fridell

Manmade snow helped Steamboat Ski Area open last month, but skiers and riders are hoping for a big helping of natural snow with the next storm cycle.

Two storm systems expected to hit Steamboat Springs this weekend could blanket Mount Werner with more than a foot of snow by Tuesday afternoon.

According to forecasts from the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, the first storm is expected to impact the Steamboat area beginning tonight.

Meteorologist Ellen Hef­fernan said the first blast could drop 4 to 8 inches on Steamboat Ski Area and 3 to 5 inches in town. The second blast will be larger and stronger but will be based mostly in the southern mountains of Colorado. He­f­fernan said the second storm should be large enough to spill plenty of snow in the Yampa Valley.

"Because it's stronger, we do expect widespread snow over the whole state, or at least the western side," she said. "You can expect significant snowfall."

Heffernan said that second system could bring as much as a foot of snow Monday night and early Tuesday. And although there are two storms, don't expect any significant lulls in the winter weather.

Temperatures Thursday night dropped to as low as 13 degrees below zero, according to local spotters. Heffernan said that although the snow will warm up the area slightly, temperatures won't get above zero by much.

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"We're still looking at lows in the single digits," she said. "Monday night will be the warmest as the storm is right overhead, and you might have temperatures in the low teens … to single digits."

On Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for Steamboat Springs for 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday because of potentially heavy snowfall.

Heffernan said meteorologists are watching the storm and also may issue more warnings or advisories as the systems approach.

Steamboat Ski & Resort Co­rp. spokeswoman Loryn Ka­s­ten said the ski area will wait until after the storms have passed to make any decisions about opening additional terrain.

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