Heavenly Daze run, Steamboat Gondola, Thunderhead Express lift set to open for the season today.
Keep the snow dances going.
After a sluggish start to the winter season, Steamboat Resort is in line for its first big dump this weekend, with Sunday lining up as the season’s first potential powder day.
In his latest weather narrative on Thursday, local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth said storm totals could exceed a foot in town and more than two feet on Mount Werner by the end of the day Monday. Weissbluth, who runs the forecasting website SnowAlarm.com, predicted the Sunday morning snow report could have anywhere between 5 and 10 inches of new snow.
When reached by The Yampa Valley Bugle Thursday evening, Weissbluth remained bullish on the storm.
“It’s the remnants of a decaying atmospheric river that’s really going to bring the good snow from Saturday night through Sunday,” Weissbluth said.
Steamboat Resort will open two more lifts on Friday, with both the Thunderhead Express Lift and Steamboat Gondola opening for the season, according to the Friday morning snow report. Mid-mountain has 2.5 inches of new snow as of 5 a.m., which puts the mid-mountain base at 12 inches of snow.
With the new lift openings and the opening of Heavenly Daze there are now 12 runs open covering about 74 acres of terrain. The surface is described by the resort as “packed powder and machine-made snow.”
Weissbluth said the storm would likely produce another 1-3 inches of snow through the day Friday, with a stronger waving moving through the area Friday night into Saturday afternoon. That wave should produce anywhere from 4 to 8 inches, with much of that coming by Saturday morning’s report.
The strongest part of the storm arrives Saturday afternoon and will last through much of the day on Sunday, Weissbluth said. After a Sunday morning report of 5 to 10 inches, Weissbluth expects another 4 to 8 inches through the day.
“Snowfall rates as high as an inch per hour at pass level will combine with increasing winds to make travel difficult or even impossible at times, especially from Saturday night through Sunday afternoon,” Weissbluth wrote in his weather narrative.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction is also raising awareness of how difficult travel may be this weekend, warning drivers to be prepared for winter driving conditions, especially over mountain passes where roads may become snow-packed and icy.
Top Photo Caption: Skiers and riders celebrate the opening of Steamboat Resort on Nov. 22. (Shannon Lukens/Courtesy)