Forecast summary:

Sunny and warm this week.  Beware of wet avalanches.  Colder weather may return in a week.

Forecast discussion:

Another short and boring forecast.  We’ll be under a ridge of high pressure to Friday.  And it will be warm.  Highs are forecasted per the American Model to reach the low 60s at 10,000’ by the end of the work week.  While there are a few nights that the low temperatures are not predicted to go below freezing – you should still expect that the surface of the snowpack will freeze every night, even if it’s only a light freeze. 

As this is our first big warm-up of the Spring, odds are that the biggest wet avalanche cycle of the year will hit our backcountry patrol zone this week.  So, if you are out in the backcountry, be very warry of steep terrain this week.

A system passes to our north around Friday or Saturday.  Perhaps we’ll ring a little moisture out of it, though it could possibly fall as rain as opposed to snow.  The American Model is calling for 0.3” of rain on Saturday.  The Canadian Model isn’t calling for any precipitation.

Sunday and perhaps Monday will remain very warm, but temperatures are supposed to drop early next week.  

Although out in forecast fairyland, all three major models are calling for a shift in weather patterns starting next Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo.  While out in forecast fairyland, if all three major models are in agreement there will be a change, we can have some confidence that there will be a change.  The question, of course, is how cold and how much snow. 

The European Model is the most pessimistic, with 1” of snow between next Tuesday and Thursday.  The Canadian Model is the most optimistic, calling for 13” of snow between next Tuesday and Thursday.  The American Model falls between them, but is leaning closer to the European Model, calling for 2.5” of snow next Tuesday and Wednesday.  I wouldn’t pay attention to the numbers this far out – just know there’s a good chance for a return to colder weather and some snow a week out.

Retrospective Discussion:

The Lake Eldora Snotel site recorded 0.2” of SWE (Snow Water Equivalent) on Saturday and 0.3” of SWE on Sunday.  So, for Saturday the WRF and HRRR models did the worst jobs predicting, while the Canadian, NAM, and RDPS Models called it spot-on.  As for Sunday, only the American model got it right, with the Canadian model being too pessimistic, and the NAM and RDPS models completely missing the snow.

K.B.O. everyone.

-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.