Low overnight temperatures in Steamboat should aid snowmaking | SteamboatToday.com

Low overnight temperatures in Steamboat should aid snowmaking

Ducks dive for food Sunday at West Lincoln Park in Steamboat Springs.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Chilly overnight temperatures that have left layers of morning frost in the Yampa Valley have allowed both Steamboat Ski Area and Howelsen Hill to ramp up snowmaking operations.

Below-freezing temperatures are expected to continue as Steamboat Ski Area prepares to open in a week and a half.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction is calling for high daytime temperatures in the 50s through the week before cooling down Thursday.

The change in temperature will most likely be accompanied by some snow.

Steamboat Springs Mike Weissbluth, who runs the website snowalarm.com, said precipitation will move into the area late Thursday or early Friday.

Rain is expected at first before turning to snow.

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There also may be some high-elevation snow Tuesday afternoon or evening.

"But, the system looks similar to the mostly dry one that just passed this last Saturday," Weissbluth said.

On Thursday night or Friday morning, Weissbluth predicts winds will shift to the northwest and bring snow that could be heavy at times.

A cold front will accompany the storm, and Weissbluth is calling for much colder temperatures Friday as the snow dissipates during the day or evening.

"Six to 12 inches of snow at the higher elevations is possible, along with a few inches at the lower elevations during the cold part of the storm," Weissbluth said.

The weather will then get a little warmer.

"If skies clear Friday night behind the storm, Saturday will start quite cold but with plenty of sun during the day to help warm temperatures," Weissbluth said. "As was the case this past weekend, the best warming will wait until the following day on Sunday as the cold air mass takes longer to warm with shorter days and lower sun angles."

There is more good weather news as opening day approaches.

"Another storm drops into the Gulf of Alaska late next weekend, and this storm is currently forecast to split as it approaches the West Coast early in the next work week," Weissbluth said. "There is uncertainty regarding how much energy stays with the eastward propagating part of the storm and how much is left behind off the coast of California, but currently, it looks like some sort of storm will travel through the Steamboat Springs area just before opening day" at Steamboat Ski Area.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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