Steamboat forecast predicts 2 feet in mountains; more snow on the way for Christmas | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat forecast predicts 2 feet in mountains; more snow on the way for Christmas

— A winter storm moving through the area is expected to bring 8 to 16 inches of new snow to Steamboat Springs by Monday evening, with about 2 feet of accumulation expected in the mountains.

A National Weather Service winter storm warming was issued at 8 a.m. Sunday and remains in effect until 6 p.m. Monday.

"We have a moist, northwestern flow coming in and bringing a lot of moisture," said Matthew Aleska, meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Grand Junction office.

Aleska said new storm systems moving through the area from the northwest are more significant than recent systems coming from a more southerly direction.

The storm is expected to bring winds of about 10 to 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 35 miles per hour to Steamboat.

Accumulating snow is expected to lead to icy and snow-packed roads and highways, according to the winter storm warning.

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Visibility will be below 1 mile at times, the warning said.

"This will make travel very hazardous or impossible," the warning stated.

The storm could be characterized as at atmospheric river, according to local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who puts out a regular forecast for http://www.snowalarm.com.

"This is simply a relatively narrow and long fetch of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere," Weissbluth said in his most recent forecast. "Snowfall from Sunday through Monday will likely be heavy."

The current system is expected to taper off sometime Monday night, making way for a cold and dry Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Aleska.

A new system is expected to come through on Christmas Day, bringing additional snow, Aleska said.

"It definitely looks like you'll see some snow on Christmas Day," he said.

The Christmas storm system is expected to move through by midnight on Christmas Day, Aleska added.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow