Series of moderate storm fronts heads for the Yampa Valley |

Series of moderate storm fronts heads for the Yampa Valley


Storm clouds hover as a horse grazes on a ridgeline along Routt County Road 33 south of Steamboat Springs. The weather in Steamboat Springs is expected to change in the next few days as a series of storm fronts moves through the area.
John F. Russell

— The weather in Steamboat Springs and northern Colorado is due for an abrupt change Wednesday night, but how much snow a series of low-pressure systems expected between now and Sunday delivers is up in the air.

A relatively weak front is expected to pass through Northwest Colorado on Wednesday night bringing a slight chance of snow, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. But there are at least two more low-pressure systems headed this way, and after a day off Thursday, the chance the storm will be a snow producer is expected to ramp up with the payoff perhaps coming Sunday.

Meteorologist Joel Gratz, of the snow forecasting Web page, 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.

Weather Service senior forecaster Norvan Larson in Grand Junction wrote Wednesday morning that the weather pattern will bring “a stronger system in this weekend with little or no break between the weekend storm” and the front leaving the area Friday night. ”Precipitation is likely to increase Saturday afternoon as the system deepens over the western Great Basin. The trough axis slowly sweeps eastward across Utah and Western Colorado Saturday night into midday Sunday.”

Larson wrote that the period from Saturday night into Sunday morning will be the most active of the week in terms of precipitation.

Weather watchers at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center are seeing a similar trend. They foresee that Wednesday night’s pulse could produce 1 to 2 inches of snow in the peaks of the Park Range that bracket Steamboat.

“Thursday will be dry and cool,” avalanche forecaster Spencer Logan wrote Wednesday morning. “Clouds are back on Friday as a series of low-pressure troughs line up for the weekend. It is still a ways out, but it looks like a good shot of snow Friday and Friday night and a stronger disturbance Saturday into Sunday.”

After a forecast high of 55 degrees Wednesday, temperatures were not expected to get out of the 40s on Thursday. The Weather Service expects Friday’s high to be about 42 degrees with winds of 5 to 15 mph. The overnight low Saturday into Sunday is expected to dip to 24 degrees, and the temperature might not get out of the mid-30s on Sunday.

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

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