Saturday (2/29): Partly cloudy, high in the low-30s, westerly winds of 10-15 mph, gusts to 30 mph.
Sunday (3/1): Partly cloudy, light snow possible, high around 30, westerly winds of 10-15 mph, gusts to 30 mph.
There’s lots of snow in the forecast, but no big snowfalls. Snow is possible today (Tuesday), Thursday, Sunday, and much of next week.
Snow-showers should continue today, with the Canadian and NAM Models calling for 1.5”, and the American, WRF, and European Models calling for 1”.
On Thursday, a weak system coming from the northwest looks to brush our backcountry patrol zone, though its predominant effects will be to the northeast of our zone. The WRF Model is calling for 2.5”, Canadian Model is calling for 1.5”, the NAM Model calling for 1”, and the American Model is calling for 1/2″.
A ridge of high pressure will dominate on Friday and Saturday. (Ridges are bad, they bring pleasant and sunny weather.)
Then, a large trough of low pressure appears to affect all of Colorado’s mountains from Monday through Thursday. (Troughs are good, they bring snowy and unsettled weather.) At this point, it looks snowy but not a ton of snow. Each model has slightly different timing and amounts of the snowfalls, but no huge disagreements. The Canadian Model is calling for 1.5” on Sunday evening / Monday, and another 2” on Wednesday / Thursday. The European Model is calling for 3” on Sunday evening / Monday, and another 2” on Wednesday / Thursday. The American Model is calling for 1/2” on Sunday, 1.5” on Tuesday, and 1.5” on Wednesday.
Looking back, sadly the Sunday system was a bust. Per the snow stake camera, Eldora got a mere inch. The low ended up tracking further south than expected, and the jet stream was no help for our patrol region (though other parts of Colorado received good snow). The European Model did the least worst (how is that for faint praise?) having predicted 3”. The American and Canadian were worse at 4.5” prediction, NAM’s 6.5” was really bad, but sadly the WRF Model takes the cake for the worst model forecast, having initially predicted 10”, ten times the actual snowfall.
Eldora reported 2” of snow on Monday, which was generally in-line with the Canadian and European Model forecasts, but significantly above the American Model forecast.
I hope you’re enjoying the end of this wonderfully snowy February!
-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.