Lots to talk about, but in sum, the models are all conflicting and it’s hard to say what’s in store for us snowfall-wise for the next ten days. 

As the current storm exits the region, hot on its heels is another closed low.  The American model has it tracking too far north for us to get a real wallop of snow, though the European and Canadian Models are more optimistic of it being far enough south for some real snowfall.  Snow looks to start Tuesday evening and go through Wednesday evening.  The models are all over the map on how much snow we’ll get.  Hard to make any predictions.  Here are the various model forecasts:

13” – European Model

9” – Canadian Model

6” – UK Met Model

2” – American Model

½” – WRF Model

Then, we’ll have a ridge of high pressure on Friday and Saturday, before a potentially large system starting on Sunday (5/8).  The American Model is bullish.  Decent sized trough, and the definite possibility that it will not just be a closed low but a cut-off low, which if true and if it’s in the right spot, could be fantastic.  (A cut-off low is a low pressure that gets cut-off from the main west to east track and meanders around and snows for a while).  However, the Canadian Model is not bullish at all, and predicting little more than a dusting.  Here are the Sunday to Wednesday forecasts:

19” – American Model

8” – European Model

2” – Canadian Model

If the Canadian Model is right on the first storm and the American Model is right on the second storm, we’re in for a doozy!  And if the American Model is right on the first storm and the Canadian Model is right on the second storm, we’re going to get skunked. 

To put the unpredictability into context, although the University of Utah doesn’t downscale their ensemble model for our patrol zone, they do for my beloved Berthoud Pass, which isn’t too far away.  Four of the ensemble runs are predicting over 40” in the next week, while three of the ensemble runs are predicting less than 10”.  We’re not talking about one or two outliers, but the ensembles are all over the map.  (I never tire of that pun.)

Fingers’ and toes’ crossed.

-Jordan (Monday 5/2 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.