Saturday (2/22): Increasing clouds, highs in the mid-30s, strong westerly winds in the morning, but low winds by the end of the day.

Sunday (2/23): Snow!  Highs in the mid-20s, northeasterly winds of 10 mph with gusts possible to 30 mph.


Increasing clouds and decreasing winds on Saturday as a strong system approaches from the southwest.  Upslope snow on Sunday.  Light snow on Monday through Thursday, and then perhaps a ridge of high pressure takes over on Friday into next weekend.

Forecast Discussion:

A powerful system is coming in from the southwest.  These systems tend to produce well for our backcountry patrol zone, but the devil is in two details: (i) the location of the low pressure as it passes south of our region and (ii) the strength of the winds.  Some models have a favorable location of the low, and others do not.  All predict favorable winds of some sort, with some (like the WRF Model) being more favorable than others.  Here are the predictions for Sunday snow totals:

  • 10” per WRF Model
  • 6.5” per the NAM Model
  • 4.5” per American Model and Canadian Model
  • 3” per the European Model

After the Sunday storm, our backcountry patrol region is back into the mode of picking up snow from the spillover effect.  The European and Canadian Models have light snow through the week, with a total of 3” between Monday and Thursday.  The American Model predicts a 1.5” total during that same period.  Expect higher totals closer to the divide, as is typical for snow coming from the west or northwest.  Starting Friday, unfortunately, as of now it looks like a ridge of high pressure looks to dominate the weather out into forecast fairyland.  Boo!

Retrospective Discussion:

Looking back, the Wednesday afternoon system resulted in 2” at Eldora, which was right in the center of the various models’ predictions.  No surprises from that snow storm.

Enjoy the Sunday snow!

-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.