Cloudy weather Tuesday seen from a CDOT camera on U.S. Highway 40 near Milner.

Cloudy weather Tuesday seen from a CDOT camera on U.S. Highway 40 near Milner.

Forecasters predict return to winter conditions

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— On Tuesday morning, Joel Gratz's daily blog post was titled "There goes the sun."

"Looking ahead, the theme for the next seven to 10 days will be clouds," the meteorologist wrote at his website opensnow.com. "I cannot guarantee that all mountains in Colorado will experience heavy snow from these clouds, but multiple storms moving from the Pacific into the western U.S. should push clouds over the state each day."

On Tuesday morning, Steamboat Ski Area reported 1.5 inches of new snow at mid-mountain.

Gratz said there will be some periods of sun the next few days, but the full, bluebird sky days are not in the foreseeable future.

Gratz was calling for chances of a couple inches of snow Wednesday and possibly flurries Thursday and Friday.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction is predicting a return to more winter-like weather next week. This is due to the projected shift or breakdown of a ridge of high pressure that sat over the Great Basin for most of February. The ridge has deflected the storm track to the north of the region.

"The persistent ridge is expected to breakdown or shift east late this weekend, opening the door for a series of wet Pacific storms to pass through the western states," the National Weather Service wrote on its website.

Gratz said that on Sunday night and Monday, a significant storm will impact the West Coast.

"The brunt of this storm will likely track well south of Colorado through the middle of next week, but that doesn’t mean we will miss all the snow," Gratz said.

Gratz is calling for the heaviest snow to fall in the southern Colorado mountains, but all Colorado mountains should see some snow next Monday and Tuesday.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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