Through the end of Thursday, the storm could drop up to two inches in Steamboat, up to a foot on Rabbit Ears Pass and 16 inches at top of Steamboat Resort.
A storm headed to the Yampa Valley on Wednesday is forecasted to bring the first snow of the season, with the potential to drop more than a foot of snow at the top of Steamboat Resort and cause traffic impacts on Rabbit Ears Pass.
Snowfall could start around Wednesday afternoon, said Mike Weissbluth, a local meteorologist who runs the forecasting website SnowAlarm.com. Weissbluth mentioned the potential for snow in his Sunday weather narrative and said models have evolved to predict and even stronger storm.
“Rain showers down here as early as noon on Wednesday, with snow showers at the mountaintop,” Weissbluth said. “Could be snowing pretty good in the morning (on Thursday), with most snow turning to a rain-snow mix by noon and mostly rain by Thursday afternoon.”
“After the gorgeous fall weather that ended Tuesday, Thursday will be a wintry shock,” he continued.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction warned that the first significant snow of the season would likely lead to winter driving conditions in the northern and central mountains. Predicted snow accumulation maps have increased the amount of snowfall expected through the week. A graphic the Weather Service posted on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday morning showed the potential for more than 18 inches of snow at high elevations around Steamboat.
Weissbluth said Thursday would likely see the most significant driving impacts.
“The first snow seems to catch even the locals a little off guard,” Weissbluth said. “Town will probably be okay… but as soon as you go up in elevation you’re going to have snow on the road.”
Snow probably won’t accumulate on road in Steamboat and it probably won’t stick around too long either, Weissbluth said. He expected highs in the low 40s on Thursday, upper 40s on Friday, low 50s on Saturday and upper 50s by Sunday.
“The coldest will be probably Saturday morning, and we could be into the teens in town,” Weissbluth said.
Top Photo Caption; This Graphic from the National Weather Service in Grand Junction shows predicted snowfall ahead of Wednesday's storm. (National Weather Service in Grand Junction/Courtesy)