What a great spring season so far!  Roughly four feet of snow in our patrol zone in the last 2½ weeks, and lots more snow in the forecast!  This not only means powder now and water to combat the drought later, but it also means that we’ll likely see a good summer ski season.  Spring snowfall has a large impact on summer permanent snowfield / glacier size, while winter snowfall does not.   Link here, if you’re curious to read more about the key study on this done just north of our patrol zone: a46A282 349..354 (pdx.edu).

Back to the details. Friday and Saturday will be really warm and sunny. 

The next system descends from the northwest around Sunday afternoon or evening, and looks to pack a one-two punch for our patrol zone.  Here are the Sunday to Wednesday model snow forecasts for our patrol zone.

30” – American Model

16” – European Model

14” – Canadian Model

9” – UK Met Model

Wind direction looks good, but perhaps a bit weak.  And, temperatures look warm, which means that these numbers are probably a bit high from a snow total amount, but not from a moisture amount.  In any event – it looks like this could be another big system following up on all the great ones we’ve had.  And, while the American Model has often been too bullish this spring, I do love seeing 30” of predicted snow by a major model, even if I highly doubt we’ll get that much.

A ridge of high pressure returns on Thursday, but there may be more snow after that (maybe May 10 ish?).  Fingers’ crossed.

Retrospective Discussion:

Eldora picked up 8” of snow out of Tuesday’s storm, so the Canadian Model predicted this one perfectly and the European and RDPS Models did a pretty good job.  The WRF Model was way too low, the American Model was too high, and the NAM and UK Met Models were way too high.  

On the bigger picture, to repeat where I started this post, we’ve been having an awesome few weeks.  In the last 2 ½ weeks, we’ve had 48” of snow in our patrol zone (based on the Eldora snow-stake, with likely more to the northern end of our patrol zone).  This is great for the drought, great for water in the front range, and most importantly, great for our upcoming spring and summer ski season! 

-Jordan (Thursday 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.