Saturday (12/21): Partly cloudy with a high in the mid-30s; westerly winds at 10 mph gusts to 30 mph.

Sunday (12/22): Partly cloudy with highs in the upper-30s; westerly winds at 10 mph gusts to 20 mph.

Forecast Discussion:

After a very exciting (snow-wise) past weekend, this upcoming weekend is looking dull.  If it’s any consolation, at least this weekend should be relatively mild and warm.  The next meaningful snowfall is likely not until around Christmas.  What a bummer. 

A weak cold front pushes through on Thursday, so our backcountry patrol area may get a dusting of snow on Thursday (or to be very optimistic, maybe an inch along the top of the Continental Divide).  This weekend should be pleasant – though American (GFS) and the Canadian (GDPS) still disagree on whether it might get above 40 on Sunday (Canadian says yes, American says no); and whether it will be sunny or cloudy (Canadian says sunny, American says cloudy).

Looking past the weekend, the Christmas Eve or Christmas day storm is too far out to predict anything terribly meaningful, including whether it will happen at all.  That said, the American (GFS) model has it coming in from a good direction for us for snow (from the southwest and then wrapping around with winds from the southeast), and with lingering snow through Friday of next week.

Looking back at this past weekend’s storm, Eldora picked up somewhere between 16-20” of snow.  What a great storm!  It was a right side up storm, which makes for better skiing and is better avy wise than an upside down storm. 

How did the various major weather models perform on this recent snowfall?  The CAIC WRF Model at the beginning of the storm called the storm dead-on, but once the storm was underway the CAIC WRF Model overpredicted the totals.  The American (GFS) and the NAM models underpredicted the storm throughout the process.  And the Canadian model?  Well, it thankfully wasn’t anywhere close – it underpredicted the storm nearly by a tenfold margin. 

In case it’s not obvious from reading these posts, I am far more obsessed with snowfall than anything else in a forecast (e.g., temperatures, winds, or sky conditions).  That said, with the kids at Eldora on Sunday, the predicted conditions were more-or-less spot on.  High of 19 degrees, little to no wind, and a mix of everything from sun to snow.

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

-Jordan (Tuesday morning)