Spring-breakers miss late April suffer fest in Steamboat
Snow piles up on pass in late April
May 1, 2017
Steamboat Springs — Welcome home from spring break.
Those of us who were stuck in Steamboat Springs April 21 through 29 sincerely hope you suffered mild sunburn. Yes, the weather here last week was that bad. You may have noticed there’s more snow on the Heavenly Daze ski trail this week than there was the last week of ski season. It's not an illusion.
The depth of the snow at the West Summit of Rabbit Ears Pass grew from 30 inches April 19 to 48 inches April 29, before condensing to 44 inches May 1, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The water stored in the snow also increased by 14 inches in that time period.
Snow is good, and so is moisture on the heels of a relatively dry March. But it's also been cold in the Yampa Valley while you were away.
Actually, April's temperatures were close to normal; it's just that April 2017 followed an abnormally mild March.
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There were 29 days in April 2017 during which the overnight low was 32 degrees or colder. The average daily low was 26.8 degrees, a bit warmer than the average low for the month of 26. The average daily high was 55.9 degrees, compared to the average of 53.5.
Was March 2017 milder than April? Not technically, but in seasonal terms, March stood out. The average daily low in March was 22 degrees, colder than April nights, on average. But the average daily high of 52.2 in March was 10 degrees warmer than the normal average high for month, 42.5. There were 11 days in March when the high temperature reached 60 degrees or warmer, and March 19, the mercury touched 70.
Coincidentally, there were also 11 days in April that reached 60 or warmer, and the high temperature for the month was 74 on April 14. For those of us left behind in Steamboat last week, the persistent snow and cold rain at the end of the month was just hard to take.
Spring-breakers, your timing could not have been better; after bizarre weather May 2, with a mixture of scattered rain and snow, topped off with thunderstorms, spring is set to return in a colorful way, with sunny skies and high temperatures rising from 56 degrees May 3 to 66 May 4, and possibly reaching all the way to 74 degrees Friday. That suggests those persistent April showers will keep their promise and bring May flowers.
Intellicast suggests high temperatures will remain in the 60s through May 9, followed by new, but cooler, precipitation May 10.