Forecasts call for week full of snow in Steamboat
February 20, 2012
Steamboat Springs — If local forecasts are to be believed, there is plenty of snow headed to Steamboat Springs this week.
A storm that started dumping several inches of snow on Steamboat at about 3 p.m. Sunday was expected to leave 6 to 12 inches of snow on the mountain before clearing up Monday morning. A second storm system forecast to arrive Tuesday night has a strong chance of producing snow in the Steamboat area through Friday.
"I hope to see 18 to 24 inches from that storm by Friday," forecaster Mike Weissbluth said. "And that is an optimistic forecast that is realistic."
Weissbluth, who runs http://www.snowalarm.com and forecasts the weather from his home near Steamboat Ski Area, said cold air moving from eastern to western Canada is breaking down a high-pressure ridge in the Gulf of Alaska, which had prevented snowstorms from making their way to the Yampa Valley for much of this winter.
Jim Daniels, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, said the greatest chance for snow in the mountains will be Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
"This looks like it's shaping up to be a northwesterly flow pattern and fairly moist the entire week," he said, adding that the pattern is favorable for snow in the mountains surrounding Steamboat.
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He cautioned that the storm also could bring gusty winds to the mountains Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Steamboat Ski Area offered more than one powder day last week during a nearly weeklong storm. The ski area reported more than 29 inches of snow at midmountain from that system.
"It's nice to have snow," said skier Ryan Henry, who was visiting Steamboat from Lubbock, Texas, during the busy Presidents Day weekend.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com