2018 to start off with sunny skies — snow possible for the coming weekend in the Yampa Valley | SteamboatToday.com

2018 to start off with sunny skies — snow possible for the coming weekend in the Yampa Valley

The Stone family of Steamboat Springs finishes up a day of skiing during Howelsen Hill’s Ski Free Sunday. Skiing is free on Sundays through March 11.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Ski Area saw plenty of powder during the Christmas holiday and closed out 2017 with sunny skies.

In December, the ski area saw 45.5 inches of snow at mid-mountain.

Around Christmas, the ski area saw a whopping 32 inches of snow during a five-day period.

Over the past 20 years, the ski area on average received 71.64 inches during the month of December.

December is typically the snowiest month followed closely by January, which on average sees 70.13 inches of snow.

According to Steamboat Springs meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who runs snowalarm.com, snow will likely not make an appearance again in the Yampa Valley until possibly this coming weekend.

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He said the United States is currently seeing cold air over the eastern two thirds of the country, and there is a ridge of high pressure over the West Coast.

In order for snow to return to the western United States, the cold weather in the east needs to move on.

"There are indications that this pattern may change around next weekend as incoming Pacific energy battles the West Coast ridge," Weissbluth said.

Skiers this week throughout Colorado can expect mostly sunny skies and dry weather.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction is calling for high daytime temperatures this week in the 30s.

The mornings will be chilly with temperatures in the single digits.

Last week, Weissbluth said there was a chance for a weak storm around the New Year’s holiday.

He said that storm slowed down and dried up.

The best chance for accumulating snow looks to be during the middle of the coming weekend.

Weissbluth said the forecast will likely evolve during the week, and he will be monitoring it.

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