Snow forecast for Steamboat to bolster above average snowpack
January 8, 2014
Steamboat Springs — The National Weather Service issued a couple of advisories Wednesday morning that bring with them promises of more snow for Steamboat.
It's not just one storm on the horizon, either. The snow that is forecast to start Wednesday should last into Thursday morning, and another storm should blow in Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.
Steamboat meteorologist Mike Weissbluth wrote on Tuesday that four waves should move through the area this week, "with snow in the forecast through next Monday."
"The first push of energy and moisture moved through on Tuesday night with about 1- 2 inches accumulating at most northern mountains," Joel Gratz, of http://www.opensnow.com, wrote in Wednesday's Colorado snow report.
Gratz's website predicted 2 to 4 inches of snow would fall Wednesday night, with 4 to 7 inches coming Thursday night and 4 to 8 inches on Sunday.
Weissbluth wrote that he expects between 6 to 12 inches of new snow when the Sunday and Monday reports are added.
The National Weather Service warned that driving over mountain passes such as Rabbit Ears Pass could be hazardous through the weekend.
The accumulation this week will help boost the Yampa River Basin snowpack, which has been hovering just above average so far this year. As of Jan. 2, the snowpack for the Yampa/White river basins was 104 percent of average and 133 percent of last year to date.
Statewide, the snowpack is in similar shape at 103 percent of average.
Natural Resources Conservation Service hydrologist Mage Hultstrand said she's encouraged by having such a good snowpack early in the season.
It's hard to make that up later, she said, but "we receive the bulk of our snowpack in January through March."
Across the state, Hultstrand said, conditions are near normal levels. And while some southern areas have dried up a little since early December, she said, the northern basins are still looking good. The Yampa/White river basins in particular received some good storms in late December, she said.
Hultstrand said she's cautiously optimistic for the rest of the year.
"It's still early to make strong predictions," she said. "Hopefully, these weather patterns keep up."