Saturday (11/30):           Cold (highs around 5-10 degrees), snowy, with strong westerly winds (20-40 mph with gusts in the 50s and higher).

Sunday (12/1):                Warmer (highs around 15-20 degrees), with skies slowly clearing, and decreasing westerly winds (around 10 mph with gusts in the 20s in the morning).

Forecast Discussion:

There’s a quick moving storm approaching from the west, that’ll bring very high winds on Saturday and provide some decent snow for the Continental Divide.  (For example, the CAIC WRF Hi-Res is calling for 10-15” of snow at the continental divide in Boulder County and 7-9” of snow at the continental divide in Gilpin County.)  The question is how far this will spillover to many of our regular patrol areas – Caribou, Brainerd Lake, etc. – and it’s not exactly clear.  The CAIC WRF is calling for 8” at Eldora, and most of the other models are in the 4-7” range for the grids over our patrol area.  Here’s my best guess.  Most of our patrol area will be in the 4 to 10” inch range, with the highest amounts closer to the divide and in Boulder County as opposed to Gilpin County. 

That said, the winds are so strong, the snow totals probably don’t matter much as most of the snow will be blown to Kansas anyhow.  (Okay, that’s not technically correct as the snow is sublimating and not blowing straight to Kansas, but it’s a fun saying). 

The storm blows out of our area overnight so by Sunday the winds will be lowering and the clouds will be clearing for a much more pleasant day.

Looking back, the Tuesday storm ended up a bit further south than the models had predicted (with the low running over the Colorado / New Mexico border as opposed to just south of Denver), so the mountains above Boulder / Golden were in the cross-hairs.  My house in Golden got 17”, Eldora picked up 11”, and the Continental Divide only got an inch or less. 

Looking forward, there will be a series of storms over the next week that look like they’ll only brush our patrol area – the first to our north around Tuesday and the second to our south around Thursday.  We might get a few inches out of each, or we may just get a dusting.  Regardless, it’s nice to be back in the snowier pattern.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and as always, I’d love to hear your observations and feedback.

-Jordan (Friday morning)