Saturday (2/15): Partly cloudy, dusting of snow possible, highs in the mid-20s, west winds around 20 mph with gusts to 40 mph.

Sunday (2/16): Light snow, highs around 30, southwest winds 10-20 mph with gusts to 40 mph.

Forecast Discussion:

After a relatively dry January, it’s nice that we’ve been in a snowy cycle.  The snow stake visible from Highway 40 near the summit of Berthoud Pass shows a total snow depth of 6 ½ feet, which is great for this time of year.  And, snow will continue over the next week, even if not in the same amount as the start of February.

On Saturday, a system passes our patrol zone to the north which may mean some clouds and perhaps a dusting of snow later in the day. 

From Sunday to Tuesday, a weak system hits us from the west, with winds from the southwest.  This is not a good pattern for our patrol zone, so don’t expect too much snow.  The American Model has the snow starting on Sunday at noon, going until Monday at midnight, with a total of 2”.  The Canadian Model is calling for two waves of snow, one on Sunday (4”) and another one on Monday night (6”), for a total of 10”.  The European Model has the storm starting a bit earlier on Sunday, with a total of 5”.  Regardless, the deepest totals in our patrol zone will likely be in the inaccessible St. Vrain Glaciers area.  Probably the highest totals in accessible areas will be near the divide in the East Portal area. 

(I’d normally add what the WRF Model is saying, but it looks like the CAIC WRF servers are currently down.  With the servers located in Keystone, this happens occasionally.  I miss being able to look at my favorite model and get its opinion.)

Looking forward, the American Model (but not the European or Canadian Model) has the next system coming in next Sunday (2/23) which per the American Model looks favorable for our patrol zone.  But, this is so far out in forecast fairyland, I won’t give it much thought until Tuesday’s forecast.

Looking back, roughly 4” fell at Eldora in the Wednesday / Thursday system.  The WRF Model called this one nicely, while the European Model had a rather poor showing calling for a measly inch.

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

-Jordan (Friday 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.