Warm until Friday; snow on Friday and Saturday; cold and dry after Saturday.


Due to my schedule, I’m writing this a day early.  Things look to stay calm-ish and relatively warm from now until Friday morning. 

Then, a trough of low pressure brings snow to us from mid-day Friday to late Saturday.  Here are the various model forecasts for the Friday/Saturday snow:

American Model: 15.5”

UKMet: 14”

Canadian Model: 6.5”

European Model: 6”

The Friday / Saturday storm is hard to pin down.  For example, looking at the most recent American Model run, it looks like it’s largely forming over Colorado – which is a tad different than our Colorado lows that tend to re-form over Colorado.  For another example, the models are all over the map (no pun intended), with the UKMet Model predicting the highest snowfall totals to run from roughly Allenspark to Red Feathers Lake, while the European Model has the highest snowfall totals around Crested Butte.  Huh?  And, the predicted snowfall totals tend to match a major upslope event, yet most of the models aren’t predicting the winds necessary for a major upslope event. 

In case you haven’t been able to read between the lines of the above paragraph, let me spell it out for you.  I’m confused, and you should have low confidence in any forecast.  Let’s hope this makes more sense when we get closer, and let’s hope the higher snowfall predictions turn out to be the accurate ones.

Calm but colder temperatures return on Sunday through early next week.

Retrospective Discussion:

With the wind this past Saturday, it’s a bit tough to say exactly how much snow fell on the Eldora snow stake, but best guess is 6” (though it could have been as low as 5” or as high as 9”).  So, the system overperformed compared to most models’ predictions, which is always nice.  The Canadian Model did a terrific job forecasting the storm both further out and in closer.  The WRF model also did decently well.  The American Model was a disaster, predicting 1.5 inches on Tuesday morning for Saturday’s storm, and predicting 1 inch  on Thursday afternoon for Saturday’s storm.

Regardless, the base is starting to build where I’ve been skiing (Loveland Pass backcountry, A-Basin, and Keystone), and hopefully is in our patrol zone (which I haven’t skied at yet this year).

Cheers everyone.

-Jordan (Monday afternoon)

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.