It looks to be relatively warm and very sunny from now until forecast fairyland.  We’ll be under a ridge of high pressure until Friday December 3. 

Then, and this is at the boundary of forecast fairyland already, more interesting stuff starts to happen with a low pressure coming up from the southwest, and then maybe a quick shot of moisture from the north on Saturday December 4.  But who knows that far out.  The American Model is calling for a half inch on Friday night, while the European and Canadian Models aren’t predicting any snow in the next ten days. 

Sadly, while two weeks ago we were having an average season snowfall wise, the relative lack of snow in the last two weeks means we’re at only 76% of average per the Lake Eldora Snotel.  And, that’s likely to get worse over the next week.  Don’t lose all hope, I’ve never noticed a correlation between early season snowfall and midwinter snowfall, so it’s way too early to claim we’re having a bad snow year.  We’re just having a bad beginning of the snow year.

And, to look on the positive side, from an avalanche perspective having another warm and sunny week may at least mean that for many more southerly aspects and non-shady locations we’ll either have an isothermic snowpack or no snowpack as our base when it finally does start snowing again. 

Retrospective Discussion:

The models and my previous forecast were happily really wrong on Wednesday.  While all models I checked on Tuesday were calling only for a dusting on Wednesday, the Eldora snowstake showed 3.5” by early afternoon on Wednesday.  If I’m going to be wrong, it’s great to get a lot more snow than predicted.  I spent a little time (wish I had more) to try to figure out why the snow over-performed expectations by so much, but I’m not sure exactly what happened other than to say the northwest portion of the system may have come in stronger than expected, the southern portion may have come more northerly than expected, and the temperatures were in a good snow producing range.  But, this is just speculation.


-Jordan (Saturday 11/27 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.