Although our patrol season is over, to the extent that there’s interesting weather (to me that means snow), I’ll keep posting for a bit more.  Then, at some point I’ll do my usual season wrap up in which I discuss the snow season as a whole, and compare models’ performance.  I haven’t done any math yet (if you charitably call it math), but my hunch is that for the first time, the WRF Model wasn’t the best model this year for predicting snow in my snow zone.  I’ll be curious to see if this gut reaction is correct.

Anyhow, let’s discuss the next snowfall. 

A powerful closed low is currently off the Oregon/Washington coast, and it will swing across and to the north of Colorado by Saturday.  It’ll cross Wyoming and on to the Black Hills of South Dakota, when it’s fringes are most likely to impact our patrol zone.  Although this isn’t a great system for a location perspective for our patrol zone, the size of the system should mean some snow for our patrol zone.  The system may start as rain at the lower elevations. 

Snow looks to start Friday evening and be finished by Sunday afternoon.  During this time, our patrol zone will see westerly winds – stronger on Saturday than Sunday.  Here are the various model snow forecasts:

8” – UK Met Model

5” – Canadian Model

4” – European and WRF Models

1” – American Model

Dull and warm weather after that for a while.

Retrospective Discussion:

Retrospective discussions get much more difficult towards the end of the season for two reasons.  First, in a 24 hour period it may snow four inches, that melts down to one inch, and then it snows four more inches.  So, is that an 8 inch storm or a 5 inch storm?  The second problem is that Eldora just finished the season, and I rely heavily upon their snowstake webcam in reporting how much snow we received. 

So, with the caveats above, last week’s midweek storm produced 5” or so, so the Canadian and UK Met Models were spot-on, the American model was low, and the WRF model was high.  Happily, it snowed again on Sunday/Monday in our patrol zone.  I’m guessing 4-8”, but that’s just a guess.


-Jordan (Thursday (4/21) morning)