In the last 30 days we’ve had (by my count) 74” of snow at the Eldora snow stake, the last 13” of which fell in this last system. What an amazing mid-April to mid-May! But, all good things come to an end, and as I gaze out into forecast fairyland, there’s no more big snows of the sizes we’ve had recently on the horizon.
The weather this week progressively warms until Saturday. A smaller system comes in on Sunday / Monday, with some snow likely at higher elevations and rain at lower elevations – but doesn’t look as big as the systems we’ve been having. Then, the weather looks likely to warm up again around Tuesday May 18. Some rain and afternoon thundershowers look possible – so maybe we’ll see some thundersnow at high elevations. The American Model has the next real storm coming in around Wednesday May 26, but if you believe a forecast out that far, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’m looking to sell.
Please don’t forget about wet slab avalanche danger as temperatures warm. Often one of the biggest slide cycles of the year comes right when the total SWE at the Snotel sites starts rapidly decreasing – i.e., when the melt really starts in earnest.
The next post will likely be my last post of the ski season (unless something really interesting happens). In that post, I’ll summarize our interesting weather season for the patrol zone and provide my two cents on which models did the best and worst job this year in predicting snow in our patrol zone (quick teaser – the famed and beloved European Model did a really bad job).
Staring way too much at the Eldora Snow Stake Cam, here is my best estimate. Eldora picked up 5” from Sunday night to Monday mid-day. Another 4” fell on Monday night, and another 4” fell on Tuesday afternoon. 13” total is great, and a bit more than I would have expected. The American and Canadian Models did a pretty good job, just a bit low. The UK Met Model and the European Model, however, significantly underpredicted this storm.
Look forward to seeing folks at the patrol picnic and/or the patrol Mt. Russell ski day. Cheers.
-Jordan (Wednesday 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.