STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The opportunity to make snow during an expected drop in temperatures this week was something officials at Steamboat Resort could not ignore. A news release issued late Wednesday afternoon confirmed that the ski area now plans to make snow as temperatures in the Yampa Valley fall.
“We do think that we can make some snow that will help prepare us for the season, but it’s not the beginning of snowmaking,” said Loryn Duke, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. director of communications. “We recognize that the temperatures warm up next week, and we don’t think that is the start of continuous snowmaking. This is just too good of a storm not to take advantage of.”
Duke said ski area officials have been working with on-mountain crews and local forecasters over the past two days and decided Wednesday to start making snow early Thursday morning. The snowmaking will continue through Friday as cold temperatures allow.
“This is Steamboat taking advantage of prime snowmaking temperatures and working out the kinks in our snowmaking systems,” Duke said in a news release. “When we get sustained cold temperatures, we’ll officially begin snowmaking for the season. These cold temperatures and the snow forecast are certainly signs that winter is on the way.”
A cold front is expected to start moving through the area Wednesday night into Thursday morning, and temperatures are predicted to drop 20 to 25 degrees below average with highs expected in the upper 30s or low 40s, according to a forecast by snowalarm.com meteorologist Mike Weissbluth.
A secondary front will pass through the area later Thursday dropping temperatures even further and bringing some of the coldest temperatures that have been seen since last winter.
Weissbluth expects the storms to drop 3 to 6 inches of snow in town and up to 12 inches at the top of Mount Werner.