Snow was falling, but not sticking, in downtown Steamboat midday Wednesday, and the National Weather Service in Grand Junction was calling for 3 to 5 inches of snow to accumulate Wednesday afternoon.
Wet weather will continue through most of the week in the region, with snowfall levels dropping as low as 10,000 feet later Monday, according to a forecast from the National Weather Service.
After a week filled with sunshine and warm weather, rain is expected to return to the Steamboat Springs area Friday afternoon.
In the midst of a 12-day run of rain that ended August, it was the .52 inches and .78 inches that fell back-to-back on Aug. 27 and 28 that rallied Steamboat past the five-inch threshold.
City dwellers are saying “Enough already!” But the real pain is being felt by farmers and ranchers who depend upon the valley’s grass hay crop to make their world go around.
Steamboat Springs-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth said Steamboat’s relationship with El Nino is complex and varies with the longitudinal ocation of a ridge of high pressure that typically sets up in the eastern Pacific during El Nino years.
A weather change arrives Saturday night when a fall-like storm will bring dropping temperatures and heavy rain, possibly mixed with snow at high elevation as the main front moves through the area.
Weather forecaster Chris Cuoco confirmed that the official rainfall total for the 24 hours preceding 7 a.m. Wednesday was 0.98 inches, well short of the record of 1.29 inches set in July 1996.
Very heavy rainfall and thunderstorms could be the norm in Western Colorado for the first half of the week, according to the forecast.
Steamboat Springs weather monitors reported receiving between .48 inches and .18 inches of rain during last night's storm.
The last measurable precipitation here was the .27 inches that was recorded the morning of June 28.
The official weather observer for Steamboat Springs reports just a half-inch of rain in June compared to the average for the entire month of 1.77 inches.
Residents hoping for a hearty tomato crop this summer might want to cover their plants Wednesday night.
Meteorologist in Charge Ben Moyer said Art Judson is known among his staff for his willingness to call in a report of a notable weather phenomenon at all hours of the night.
Steamboat weather observer Art Judson’s station between the downtown and the mountain recorded a third of an inch of precipitation through Sunday and another 0.19 inches by 7 a.m. Monday.
The wind was strong enough at 10:30 a.m. Sunday to bring down a pair of mature aspens that fell, one on each side, of a duplex on Fish Creek Falls Road.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a drought summary Friday showing that the mountain ranges that wrap around Steamboat Springs and Craig are among a few pockets in the West enjoying above-average moisture.
Steamboat-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth said Tuesday afternoon that mild weather will prevail Thursday and Friday, but more cold moisture is on the way for the weekend.
The recorded high temperatures in Steamboat last week included: April 8, 59 degrees; April 9, 63 degrees; April 10, 57 degrees; April 11, 65 degrees and April 12, 63.
Steamboat Ski Area is reporting 8 inches of new snow at the summit in the past 24 hours.