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  • Dylan Anderson

Thunderstorms possible in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday

Fog hangs over Steamboat Springs on Tuesday morning. Thunderstorms could be ahead later in the day. (Dylan Anderson/The Yampa Valley Bugle)

After yet another dose of snow overnight, the Yampa Valley could be in line for thunderstorms on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Steamboat Springs Meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who runs the forecasting website, said the thunderstorms form because of heat closer to the ground that wants to rise, developing vertically oriented clouds.

“The sun heats the surface and the warm air wants to rise,” Weissbluth said. “And then we still have cold air aloft because these storms are bringing in cold air in the column. The sun is able to modify the surface, but not aloft so you have an unstable atmosphere.”

“It’s a sure sign of spring arriving,” he continued.

While the flakes may fly at points through the day, the weather service says it likely won’t lead to much accumulation. The chance of showers and thunderstorms kicks up later Tuesday around 10 p.m., with precipitation chances near 50%.

“I expect we’ll probably be waking up with accumulating snow by Wednesday morning,” Weissbluth said, adding that it could be anywhere from trace amounts to a few inches in town.

But the unsettled weather continues, as there are chances for thunderstorms again on Wednesday and more snow is likely coming Thursday night into Friday. Weissbluth said there would likely be snow through the day on Wednesday on Mt. Werner, but probably not so much in downtown Steamboat.

The snow is bolstering the snowpack in the Yampa Valley after snow water equivalent started to decline earlier in April amid warm weather. That melt-off is what led to flooding in Hayden earlier in this month.

The snowpack in the Yampa and White river basins peaked at 30.1 inches on April 7 and April 8, according to snotel data from the National Water and Climate Center. (Natural Resources Conservation Center/Screenshot)

But there is still plenty of snow up there, with snow water equivalent for the Yampa and White river basins measuring at 28.2 inches, according to the National Water and Climate Center. The snowpack peaked on April 7 and April 8 with 30.1 inches, this is the highest on those days over the last 30 years.

Last year the basin’s snowpack peaked at 17.8 inches on April 18.


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