A system passes to our north on Friday.  We may get a touch of snow.  Here are the current model snow forecasts for this system for our patrol zone:

1” – Canadian, European, and UK Met Models

½” – American and WRF Models

This weekend looks to be sunny or at least only partly cloudy, with highs struggling to get above freezing.  The American and Canadian models predict lower winds than normal for our patrol zone, while the WRF Model is predicting the usual wind craziness.

The next system comes in from the southwest around next Wednesday (12/22) or Thursday (12/23).  Here are the current model snow forecasts for this system for our patrol zone:

1” – European Model

½” – Canadian and American Models

Then, a more powerful system may come in from the northwest on Christmas (Saturday 12/25).  Here are the current model snow forecasts for this system for our patrol zone (but the model forecasts each end on 5 am on Sunday 12/26 and more snow after that is certainly possible):

7” – European Model

5” – Canadian Model

3” – American Model

With the caveat that a forecast out nine days is in forecast fairyland, the models are currently only predicting a dusting on Christmas Day Golden/Boulder.  Also, sorry to be writing the forecast today as opposed to tomorrow, but schedule wise today is better for me.

Retrospective Discussion:

With Wednesday’s winds, it’s unclear how much snow fell in our patrol zone.  I usually use either the Eldora snow cam and/or the Eldora snow report as my number of what fell in the patrol zone for the retrospective discussion.  But for this past system, those numbers disagreed significantly.  The snow cam showed roughly 3”.  The snow report ironically said 1”.  Even more ironic, the Eldora Snotel saw a 0.2” SWE decrease from Wednesday’s storm, so assuming the monitors are properly working, the winds must have stripped more snow than snow fell from at the Snotel.  In any event, with such conflicting information, it seems unfair to judge the model’s performance in my last forecast.

By the way, our snowpack is sadly at 43% of average (using the Lake Eldora Snotel) for this time of year.  The Lake Eldora Snotel has been taking data for 43 years (so it’s not much younger than me), and only 5 years were drier at this point of the last 43. 

Do your snow dances!  We need it.

-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.