Question: For each month, at what max/min daily temperature is Steamboat Springs more likely to get snow?

(source NCDC – NOAA – daily temperature data)

Ever wonder about the ‘optimal’ temperature for snow? Ever hear — It’s too cold to snow?  Obviously, when the temperature is above freezing, it is too warm to snow.  By graphing the daily weather data for Steamboat Springs over the past century, we can get a feel for the ‘just right’ temperature.  Does it vary from December to April?  Let’s compare the data and make some observations.

 

November (11) and December (12)

 


November (dark blue) and December (light blue) minimum and maximum temperature (°F) as compared to Snow fall (inches).  In general, if a front/storm passes through, the optimal minimum and maximum temperature is between (0 and 30 °F) and (20 and 35°F), respectively.

Notice that December minimum and maximum temperatures are a bit lower than November minimum and maximum temperatures.

 

January (1) and February (2)

January (dark green)February (light green)  minimum and maximum temperature (°F) as compared to Snow fall (inches).  In general, if a front/storm passes through, the optimal minimum and maximum temperature is between(0 and 30 °F) and (20 and 35°F), respectively.

 

March (3) and April (4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March (orange) and April (yellow)  minimum and maximum temperature (°F) as compared to Snow fall (inches).  In general, if a front/storm passes through, the optimal minimum and maximum temperature is between(10 and 32 °F) and (30 and 50°F), respectively.

The March and April temperatures for optimal snowfall are warmer than the November to December temperatures. Note the April minimum daily temperatures are noticeably warmer than March minimum daily temperatures.

 

 

 

Data from NCDC (National Climate Data Centers)

Monthly average temperature and precipitation (snow/rain)

In March, the average daily maximum (high) temperature is 40°F whereas the average daily minimum (low) temperature is 17°F.  But over the past century, March high temperatures have ranged from 10°F to 69°F.  See the link on this page for a range of highs and lows for each month as well as average precipitation (rain/snow and snow) throughout the year.

Average monthly maximum and minimum temperature for Steamboat Springs

 

Steamboat Springs monthly precipitation data (blue = precipitation, inches; purple = snow, inches)

Steamboat Springs Monthly Climate Average Data

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Author: KT Milliken

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2017