Things are looking very exciting!  It looks like we may have a one-two punch later this week into early next week.  And, fingers’ crossed, the first punch could be a real doozy.  If you want the technical details, read the next two paragraphs.  If you don’t, just skip down a couple of paragraphs.

There’s a large closed low pressure currently over the Pacific Ocean to the west of Vancouver.  By Thursday, this low (centered over Tahoe) will assist a strong jet overhead which will likely start our snow.  By Saturday, the low will (hopefully) be centered just south of the Four Corners.  By Sunday, the low will be centered (per the American Model) heading northeast centered near southeast Colorado.  Per the other models the center of the low will be tracking more to the south than predicted by the American Model. 

So, what does this all mean?  First, it all looks very promising.  Second, however, these sorts of storms are less predictable as the exact location and speed of the low makes a tremendous difference.  That will be obvious reading the model predictions below, when one compares the American Model to the other ones.  Third, as we often see with upslopes, a lot will depend on the strength of the easterly winds – i.e., will our patrol zone or will the foothills get the most snow?

In sum, there’ll be a little snow on Tuesday/Wednesday, but snow becomes (potentially massive) starting on Thursday-ish when the easterly winds begin.  Here are the model predictions for our patrol zone for Thursday morning to Sunday night:

American Model: 50”

European Model: 16”

Canadian Model: 14”

UKMet Model: 6”

That’s right – the American Model is calling for 4+ feet, but this is likely way too optimistic as we rarely see this big snow in early March and the other models are all calling for less than 2 feet.  (Boy do I hope I’m wrong on this, the low tracks perfectly, and we get 4+ feet). 

As soon as round one is over, the next storm is moving in from the northwest on Monday and Tuesday.  Here are the model predictions for our patrol zone for Monday/Tuesday:

Canadian Model: 9”

European Model: 5”

American Model: 4”

Fingers crossed we get a ton of snow.  Cheers.

-Jordan (Monday 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.