Weekend Forecast (12/7-12/8):

Saturday (12/7): Partly cloudy with a high in the low to mid-30s.  Windy.

Sunday (12/8): Light snow, probably starting in the afternoon with a high in the upper 20s or low-30s.  Winds decreasing.

Forecast Discussion:

Saturday will be warm, pleasant, but windy.  A small system will bring snow by Sunday afternoon.  Likely snowfall totals by Monday are in the 1-6” range.  Here is what each model is saying: the CAIC WRF Hi-Res model is calling for 5” of snow, the Canadian (GDPS) model is calling for 3” of snow, the American (GFS) is calling for 1-3” of snow, and the NAM is calling for 1-2”.  So, not a big storm, but we should pick up something.

As for the winds, the CAIC WRF Hi-Res is calling for westerly winds on Saturday as high as in the 30s, with gusts as high as in the 70s, with decreasing winds on Sunday.  The American (GFS) and Canadian (GDPS) models are calling for much less wind on Saturday.  For example, the Canadian (GDPS) model is calling for winds in the 10-20 mph range with gusts at 40 mph and below.  The NAM is splitting the difference between the two. 

Looking back, Eldora reported 2-3” from the Thursday storm (so the model average from the Tuesday forecast was spot-on).  Looking forward, the next shot of snow will likely be in the next Friday/Saturday time frame.  Although a storm a week away is almost into forecast fairyland, as of now it doesn’t look like a big storm for our patrol region.

Although not really on topic, a quick side note on avalanche conditions.  Two-and-a-half weeks ago avalanche conditions were so safe that I skied the Bethel Slide Path.  Since then, we’ve seen multiple snowfalls and wind events, all on top of a base that in some places was dirt, in some places was facets, and in some places was consolidated.  The avalanche conditions are so complex right now, for a twilight tour at Berthoud last night, I wasn’t even comfortable skiing the skier’s left entrance to Sasha’s.  Bear in mind the complexity of avalanche conditions as you head out.  Just my two cents.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, feedback, and observations.

-Jordan (Friday morning)