Weather may be frigid, but music will be sizzling
February 23, 2017
Steamboat Springs — The unseasonably mild and dry weather, which has persisted through most of February in Steamboat Springs, is in the process of flipping just in time for the biggest outdoor music festival Ski Town USA has seen in years.
Intellicast is forecasting temperatures will climb out of the single digits Saturday morning and be in the teens that evening when the Sam Bush Band hits the main stage at the base of Steamboat Ski Area at 6:30 p.m.
And when the Infamous Stringdusters take over the stage, it will be a couple of degrees colder. On the plus side, the music is expected to be sizzling, and the air is expected to be calm. You can cross out wind chill.
Of course, there will be large heaters on stage to bathe the musicians with warm air. But Steamboat Springs guitarist Tyler Peyman, who has played outdoor winter gigs in Massachusetts with an R&B band called Mizer, predicted that, in spite of the heaters on stage this weekend, the musicians will be working around the weather.
"Trying to kind of maintain facility is a huge challenge," Peyman said. "It's actually just really distracting, trying to keep yourself moving and hands warm to get the job done. Your ability to get from one place to another on the fretboard is pretty limited."
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Snow has also been largely missing from the Steamboat scene this month, but WinterWonderGrass fans who are able to rise early may be rewarded.
Steamboat Springs-based meteorologist Mike Weissbluth had expected as much as 4 to 8 inches of new snow to show up on the ski report Thursday morning, but that storm energy skipped north into Wyoming. However, Weissbluth, who operates the SnowAlarm blog, said Steamboat will get second and third chances for snow Friday and Saturday mornings.
The irony is that Steamboat's weather has been on pace for record or near-record warmth all month. According to the National Weather Service, the normal average daily high temperature in town through Feb. 22 is 31.4 degrees, but through that date in 2017, it was 44.2 degrees.
Adding an exclamation point to that statistic is the fact that the temperature reached 54 degrees Wednesday afternoon and only dipped to 30 degrees overnight. The high temperature recorded Wednesday wasn't the warmest of the month — the mercury reached 58 degrees Feb. 11.
And it's the daily low temperatures that have been recorded thus far in February that really stand out. The normal daily low this time of year is 5.5 degrees, and in 2017, it stands at an average of 21.2 degrees. There still has not been a sub-zero night in February, and the lowest low was the six degrees recorded Feb. 16.