The arctic air that has kept the Yampa Valley and the rest of the state bone-chillingly cold in recent days will hang around here for a little while longer. But the good news is that after several days with highs in just the single digits and teens, temperatures could reach the low 30s by Wednesday.
Brisk winds across the Steamboat and Flat Tops area were expected to create shallow, easterly wind slabs, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, but the real danger in the backcountry remains slabs sitting on surface or deep hoar.
Jack Frost’s time in Northwest Colorado may not be over yet, but the chill of the season should be a little less extreme for the coming week.
The automated forecast for Storm Peak at the top of the ski area expects between 15 and 23 inches to fall overnight and during the day Wednesday.
Snowfall first started blanketing Craig and Moffat County Tuesday afternoon, and the region looks to be tucked in through Wednesday at least. Estimated measures from the National Weather Service ranged from four to eight inches for Craig by Wednesday morning, with the likelihood of the county seeing up to one foot or more of snow near the Flat Tops.
The wind direction at and above mountain top is from a westerly direction, which means all mountains can see good snow because this wind gets lifted up by the mountains and rising air creates snow.
Craig and Moffat County are due some snow, and by the middle of the week they’ll almost certainly be seeing it. A partly sunny but gusty Monday with highs in the 40s will herald the arrival of a rush of coldness later that night.
The National Weather Service predicts mild weather for Northwest Colorado this week, a trend that will take place over most of the state. The past weekend saw a great deal of heavy winter activity across New Mexico, reaching into southwestern and parts of central Colorado.
A smattering of recent snow may have residents of Northwest Colorado wondering if a big winter storm is on the way, and though early indications look doubtful, the weather will indeed be on the chilly side.
Meteorologist Joel Gratz, of the snow forecasting Web page www.opensnow.com, said the evolving forecast was trending toward a more active storm system with the possibility of 6 inches of snow or more by Sunday afternoon.
The warm weekend temperatures will continue today and part of Tuesday, as Craig experiences a brief rise in the mercury. According to the National Weather Service, the expected highs early this week in the mid-to-high 50s are about 10 to 15 degrees above the average for the first half of November.
According to the National Weather Service, there will be a 50 percent chance of snow starting Monday afternoon, with the likelihood of the cold precipitation increasing to 60 percent by nightfall.
The National Weather Service’s forecast calls for some windy and possibly wet weather in store for Craig early in the week. Gusts could reach 40 miles per hour Monday, with a 20 percent chance of showers.
After weeks of climate that has changed from day to day, it looks like Northwest Colorado will have a steady week coming up.
The residents of Northwest Colorado will be feeling the briskness of the autumn season in their bones this week.
In what’s becoming a consistent recurrence, the weather for the region this week will go through a cycle shifting from pleasant to dreary to pleasant again.
The reason that so many broken tree branches are littering streets from Steamboat to Craig has more to do with leaves than snow.
Snow hit Craig hard Thursday night, tearing into trees that pulled down power lines and caused power outages on the west side of town. Yampa Valley Electric Association reported that since 8 p.m. Thursday, there had been about 1,000 customers who experienced power outages in the region, said Melissa Watson, manager of consumer accounts for YVEA, in a press release. Families and groups of homes scattered from Yampa to Baggs, Wyo., lost power because of heavy snowfall that caused branches and trees to fall on power lines.
As of Friday afternoon, Steamboat weather observer Art Judson had measured 12.8 inches of new snow for the storm at his site between downtown and the mountain.
By all indications, last week’s pattern of a couple of days of sun followed by dreary skies before leading into a nice weekend is one we’ll see again this week.