A weak system is slowly on its way out of our patrol zone, with a dusting to 1” of snow or so through Wednesday and high winds on Wednesday. Then, there will be a weak ridge of high pressure over our zone on Thursday. On Friday a system comes in from the northwest and may linger through Saturday. It doesn’t look too promising. Here are the model forecasts for the Friday/Saturday system:
European Model: 3”
UKMet Model: 2”
Canadian and American Models: 1”
The next system is set to come in around next Wednesday (12/23), though it may miss us being a bit too far north. Canadian Model is calling for 2”, American ½” in that system. Here’s to hoping for more snow. Gazing into Forecast Fairyland, the American Model tentatively shows a ridge of high pressure (boo!) over us on Christmas Day. But, never trust a forecast ten days out.
Eldora picked up 1” by Friday morning and 1” on Sunday morning. That’s it (not counting the 1” by this morning). What happened? Well, it’s driving me nuts because I don’t have an answer.
The primary reasons why I write retrospective discussions are (i) to learn how to improve the forecasts, and (ii) to see how the models are each doing. Frankly, other than saying the NAM got it right and every other model got it wrong for our patrol zone, I have no idea what happened. Why did Winter Park get 13” (the most of any ski area in a 2 hour drive of Denver) and Eldora only get 2” over those three days – especially when the first event was an upslope (which should favor Eldora) and the second event was coming from nearly due west (which should favor other mountains like Loveland more than Winter Park)? I wish I could explain what happened, but I’m at a loss. It’s as if the southern portion of our patrol zone was in the proverbial snow donut. If anyone has any thoughts on this bizarre weather outcome, please send them to me. Thanks.
Fingers crossed for more snow.
-Jordan (Tuesday 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.