Steamboat hasn’t seen a February day that hasn’t risen above the freezing mark | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat hasn’t seen a February day that hasn’t risen above the freezing mark

Patrick Hamilton plays the guitar in downtown Steamboat Springs Thursday afternoon. Hamilton said he was passing through town and was hoping to get enough in tips to buy lunch before resuming his journey.

— After the first 13 days of February, Steamboat Springs is on pace to set some all-time mild temperature records, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

Meteorologist Dennis Phillips said Thursday the average daily low temperature of 24.1 degrees here through Feb. 13 compares to the historic average minimum for this month of 6.5 degrees.

"You guys have pretty much blown that out of the water," Phillips said.

The figures are based on the period of record that began in 1893. High and low temperatures for Feb. 14 and 15 had yet to be submitted. Grand Junction, with an afternoon temperature of 58 degrees on Thursday, is on pace for its warmest February, Phillip added.

Phillips said when you calculate the average daily temperatures (daily high plus daily low divided by 2) for the first 13 days of February, those metrics are also on record pace. However, the average daily high temperature this month of 43.9 degrees ranks fourth all time.

Steamboat has not seen a daily high temperature thus far this month that wasn't higher than freezing nor has a sub-zero temperature been recorded.

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Phillips said it's typical for the coldest day of the year here to be recorded in late January or early February. Although February 2016 was also noticeably mild, Phillips said the average low temperatures in February 2015 rank second on the list of the mildest ever.

The coldest low temperature this month of 9 degrees was recorded on Feb. 1, and the high was the 58-degree scorcher recorded Feb. 11. The Weather Service is forecasting a chance of snow showers late on Friday.

Looking out a little further, Intellicast foresees an 80 percent chance of snow Feb. 19, with accumulations of 1 to 3 inches in Steamboat. However, daily high temperatures in the 40s will persist through Wednesday, Feb. 22 before snow showers and cooler temperatures return Feb. 23 and 24.

The heaviest snowfall on the valley floor so far in February was the 8.1 inches that fell on Feb. 3. The most recent snowfall in town was 2.4 inches, which fell Feb. 12.

Phillips said it's not atypical for a La Nina winter to be mild in the heart of winter followed by significant precipitation in March.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1