Mother’s Day storm blows away any picnic plans
May 12, 2014
Steamboat Springs — Residents of Steamboat Springs who lost sleep over the 50-mph-plus wind gusts that roared off the Park Range late Sunday afternoon and through the night may not take solace in the knowledge that the city was one of the windiest places in Central and Northern Colorado on Mother's Day.
Wind gusts of 51 mph were recorded at both Steamboat Springs Airport and at the U.S. 40/Mount Werner Road highway interchange during a bruising storm that added snow to high elevation locations but left little on the valley floor. The wind was strong enough to uproot a large evergreen that fell across the swimming pool at the Herbage townhomes on Walton Creek Road and Après Ski Way.
It was also brisk enough at 10:30 a.m. Sunday to bring down a pair of mature aspens that fell, one on each side, at a duplex on Fish Creek Falls Road.
"My son was asleep when one of them fell on the roof above his bedroom," resident Anne Cropper said. "He came flying out of that bedroom."
There was no apparent structural damage to the roof of either unit. But, had the second tree been shorter, it might have hit a second-story sliding glass door.
Another evergreen was down at Walton Creek condominiums, and the wind tore some sheet metal off townhomes not far away. There were also aspens down in the Eagleridge subdivision near the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
According to wind-event reports aggregated by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the highest wind gust at the Storm Peak lab during the period was 45 mph, and not far away, the ski area's anemometer recorded a gust of 40 mph.
Steamboat Lake State Park saw a gust of 32 mph, and to the east, across North Park, the highest wind gust reported on Cameron Pass was 34 mph.
One location that did record stiffer winds was Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, with a gust of 61 mph.
All of the wind in the Park Range had to redistribute the snow that fell Sunday, making snow measurement reports suspect. However, the Tower snotel site on Buffalo Pass recorded 5 inches of new snow Saturday and 10 inches of additional accumulation Sunday, boosting the standing snow depth to 143 inches.
Steamboat did receive 0.36 inches of rain in the 24 hours preceding 7 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
The NWS is predicting that temperatures in Steamboat won't get out of the 40s Tuesday despite partly sunny skies. But a gradual warmup will follow with a high of 55 degrees Wednesday and a high of 60 on Thursday.
Full-fledged spring weather returns Friday with mostly sunny skies and a high of 65 degrees. Temperatures are expected to push 70 Sunday.