Another round of tropical storm-fueled rain hits Steamboat on Wednesday

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This screenshot of the Steamboat Powdercam Ski Resort taken at 8:40 a.m. on Friday September 16 shows that the summit of Mount Werner in the upper left of the image may have seen its first snowfall last week. Powdercam screenshots taken between 8:20 a.m. and 9 a.m. show that the snow appears to be melting.
Mike Weissbluth/Screenshot courtesy

After the remnants of a Pacific Ocean hurricane brought an inch of rain to parts of Steamboat Springs last week, more moisture from the tropical storm is expected to hit the Yampa Valley this week.

It might even bring a light dusting of snow to Mount Werner.

“It’s another awesome burst of humidity,” said local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who writes weather updates at Snowalarm.com. “It’s going to bring a healthy good push – maybe a record for the time of year – to our region on Wednesday.”



Last week’s rainfall appeared to be heavier closer to the mountain. While downtown measurements near Steamboat Springs High School showed about 0.7 inches, Weissbluth measured about 1.2 inches on his rain gauge closer to the base area.

There may even have been some snow on Friday September 16th, with Powdercam footage from Steamboat Ski Resort showing a limited amount of melting snow as the morning progressed.



This moisture plume is from Hurricane Kay, which made landfall in Mexico about 10 days ago. Lucas Boyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said the next batch of rain headed for Steamboat was also fueled by tropical humidity.

“Getting two in a row will be a bit unique,” Boyer said. “This tropical storm humidity, these are outliers because they give a lot more fuel to a normal system that is swinging.”

Between Tuesday, Sept. 20 and Thursday, Sept. 22, Boyer said models show Steamboat could see more than an inch of rain, though the heaviest precipitation is likely to occur in southwestern Colorado.

Weissbluth said this storm resembles the monsoon because it’s tropical moisture from the southwest. Boyer said the main difference for him is that while this humidity is of tropical origin, it is a dynamic system supported by the jet stream.

“If it can retain its moisture, that will allow it to be much more productive than a monsoon system would be,” Boyer said.

Monday September 19th is expected to look a lot like Sunday September 18th with high temperatures approaching the 80s. Tuesday is also expected to start with a beautiful sunny day with high temperatures close to 77 degrees before the rain moves into the after -midday.

Wednesday is expected to be the wettest day of the week, before the humidity drops Thursday, Weissbluth said. There is another chance for showers early Friday which could add some early morning dust on Storm Peak.

“It can be cold enough to see snow at higher elevations,” Weissbluth said, adding that current modeling shows snow up to about 11,000 feet, about 500 feet higher than the mountain. “I think there is still a possibility of snow even on Mount Werner on Friday morning, and more likely on the higher peaks.”

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