After a warm Monday, a powerful system comes in from the northwest Tuesday to Wednesday morning, with some wrap-around moisture, that should give our patrol zone a shot of heavy springtime snow.  Here are the various model snow forecasts for our patrol zone:

18” – UK Met Model

15” – NAM Model

13” – American Model

10” – European and RDPS Model

8” – Canadian Model

4” – WRF Model

Three quick thoughts on this system.  First, the system looks to be pretty warm, which means there’s a good chance these numbers are inflated from a snow depth perspective, but not a water perspective.  Second, the wind direction is favorable, but like many of these systems, the real questions are (i) whether the favorable winds will be strong enough to really push all the moisture to hit our patrol zone, and (ii) the exact location of the center of the low and how long it hangs around us before taking off to the east.  Third, it’s unusual to see the model that’s often the most accurate, and one of the most optimistic, the WRF Model, predicting the least amount of snow.  That makes me at least a bit worried many of the other models are too optimistic.  Hopefully, I’m wrong on that thought and the more optimistic models are the more accurate ones.  I’m really hoping the Brits are calling this one right.

Thursday to Sunday should be warm as we sit under a strong ridge of high pressure. 

Out at the edge of forecast fairyland, another system looks to hit us around Monday May 3 and/or Tuesday May 4.  Here are the various model snow forecasts for our patrol zone:

9” – Canadian Model

3” – American Model

1” – European Model

Retrospective Discussion:

The total for the week was 22”, within (but happily on the high range) of my week long (one to two foot) forecast.  On the individual storms, however, there were lots of surprises.  I already discussed Monday’s system in my last retrospective. 

Sadly, Eldora only picked up 2” of snow on Wednesday / Wednesday night, less than most models (and I) would have predicted.  Both the European and NAM Models, which have recently underpredicted so much, called this one right, while the American, WRF, and RDPS models were high to way too high, with the Canadian Model laughably too high predicting 10 inches of snow.

However, on Thursday / Thursday night Eldora picked up 5” of snow, above expectations.  The American and European Models did a decent job, with the WRF Model too low, the Canadian Model way too low, and both the NAM and RDPS comically calling for a dusting or nothing, respectively. 

Put another way, the models were all over the map, no pun intended.  In a few weeks, it’ll be interesting to do a season recap and look at how the various models did predicting our patrol zone throughout this winter.  

-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.