Snow creates hazardous driving conditions on Rabbit Ears Pass
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — While Saturday’s snow tapered off, another storm was taking aim at the Steamboat Springs area.
The storm Friday night and Saturday created conditions on U.S. Highway 40 going over Rabbit Ears that prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to implement a chain law for commercial vehicles.
A traction law was also in place. Passenger vehicles were required to have mud or snow tires, use traction devices or have four-wheel drive.
Colorado State Patrol trooper Nathan Tyree spent part of his Saturday afternoon helping a stuck semi driver on the west side of Rabbit Ears.
“This is pretty standard when it snows,” Tyree said.
Several other semis had spun out.
The storm dropped about 6 inches of snow mid-mountain at Steamboat Resort by the middle of Saturday afternoon.
Joel Gratz, who runs the website opensnow.com, was looking ahead to the next storm, which was expected to roll into the Steamboat area Sunday morning or midday.
“This storm has always looked like the strongest in the series, and it continues to look that way,” Gratz wrote in his Saturday morning update.
He said the most intense snow should fall from Sunday evening through Monday morning.
“The track of this system will be farther south than the previous two storms, so I expect nearly all mountains to get healthy snow with the exception being the very southern mountains that won’t be favored by the wind from the west or northwest,” Gratz wrote.
Winds from the northwest are favorable for Steamboat’s mountains.
Gratz was predicting 5 to 10 inches of snow would fall, and some locations might see a foot of snow accumulation by the middle of Monday.
Gratz said the next storm could arrive sometime between Nov. 10 to Nov. 15, but there was a lot of uncertainty in the forecast.
“To set expectations appropriately, this period is so far out and the model forecasts are so different that I am not getting excited about a certain scenario,” Gratz wrote. “We could miss any storm that does form, and our weather would be dry.”
Steamboat Resort continues to make snow when temperatures cooperate to supplement the natural snowfall.
The ski area will open Nov. 21.
Construction of a new terminal at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport has been delayed at least until next year.