Saturday (2/1): Clearing skies, highs in the mid-30s, with westerly winds of 10 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

Sunday (2/2): Sunny, highs in the low-40s (you read that right), with westerly winds of 10 mph with gusts to 20 mph. 

Forecast Discussion:

Overall, snow this week (unclear how much), very pleasant and warm weekend, and snow again early next week.  If you wish there was more snow right now (as I do), just remember that based upon long term climate averages our backcountry patrol zone sees the most snow in the spring (March, April, and May), and often has a lull in January and February.

For the last several days, the models have been all over the map on when and how much it will snow this week.  And they continue to be internally and externally inconsistent.  So, take the rest of this week’s forecast (until this weekend) with a very large grain of salt.  It’ll snow, but I struggle to predict anything more than that.

Currently, the WRF model is calling for 4” on Wednesday with winds coming from the northeast.  The Canadian model is calling for an inch on Wednesday with westerly winds.  The American model is calling for an inch on Monday with no winds.  Then, the American Model is calling for no more snow for the rest of the week, but the Canadian Model is calling for another 1 1/2” on Thursday and Friday, with the European Model and the WRF model closer to the Canadian Model than the American Model.  Highest snow totals per the European Model would be in the Rock Creek area of our patrol zone (with 5”), while the WRF Model is putting the most snow along the Divide (up to 10” in spots).  Your guess of what happens is as good as mine.

Once we get to the weekend, the models are more in alignment with Colorado sitting under a ridge of high pressure.  Maybe clouds Saturday morning, but sunny by Saturday afternoon.  By Groundhog Day (Sunday) it’ll be sunny and unseasonably mild.  Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Snow starts again on Monday, with the American Model calling for 4” Monday and Tuesday, and the Canadian model calling for 2 ½” Monday and Tuesday.  Both models have favorable easterly winds for the storm.  The European Model is calling for 4-6” during that time.  Let’s keep our eyes on this one as it gets closer.

Looking back at my last forecast, Eldora reported 1” of snow from Friday night, which fits in line with what the models predicted.  Sunday at the summit of Bryan Mountain the forecast of 40 mph gusts seemed about right, and it was definitely partly cloudy.  The high at 10,000’ probably was about 35 degrees (37 degrees at the Eldora parking lot at 2 pm), so the temperature was warmer than predicted. 

If you’re interested in joining me for an Eldora Sidecountry patrol day this Sunday, please reach out to me directly.

-Jordan (Tuesday morning)

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all forecasts are for 10,000’ in exposed areas.  References to American Model are the American (GFS) Model.  References to the Canadian Model are the Canadian (GDPS) Model.  References to the WRF Model are the CAIC WRF Hi-Res Model.  References to the European Model are the European (ECMWF) Model.