Warm and sunny Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Sunday will be a transition day with a touch of snow as a system approaches from the northwest.  That system will bring another spring snowstorm to our patrol zone late Sunday to Tuesday.  The best morning for powder should be Tuesday morning, but it’ll be heavy powder.

My gut is that this system doesn’t look quite as promising as many of the previous storms this spring, both from a storm location standpoint and wind strength standpoint, but let’s hope I’m wrong.  One potential upside is that a jet streak may assist on Tuesday, which are notoriously unpredictable.  Here are the various model snow forecasts for our patrol zone from Sunday to Tuesday:

10” – Canadian and American Models

7” – UK Met Model

6” – European Model

Weather looks to warm back up Starting on Wednesday.  Due to sun and heat, we may start to see a big wet avalanche cycle by next weekend (5/15-5/16), but that’s practically in forecast fairyland.

Retrospective Discussion:

The storm came in three waves, and Eldora’s snow-cam shows a total of 13” from the storm (8” in the first wave, 3” in the second wave, and 2” in the third wave).  So, the American Model (and for all intents and purposes the RDPS Model) were spot-on for the total snow, with the WRF Model being a little high, the European and Canadian Models being a little low, with the UK Met and NAM Models even lower.  Interestingly, while the first two waves felt like Pacific Northwest style heavy snow, the third wave was assisted by the jet streak and had a much more powdery feel to it.


FYI, I may not update this forecast until after this upcoming storm.  Depending on how things look then, I may try to wrap up the season’s forecasts after that with a winter retrospective discussion.  Fingers crossed the storms keep coming, so I keep doing the forecasts for a bit more, as we’d all love more snow.

-Jordan (Thursday 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.