A system from the north northwest brings snow to our patrol zone on Friday. There may be a small upslope component to this storm. The models are still all over the map in the predicted amounts. Here are the various model forecasts:
8” – American Model
7” – WRF Model
6” – European Model
4” – UK Met Model
3” – RDPS and NAM Models
2” – Canadian Model
After that, a large ridge of high pressure (i.e., pleasant weather) builds for a while. The American Model isn’t forecasting any snow for a long time, while the Canadian Model is predicting the next shots of snow on May 3 and May 5. The European Model looks more like the Canadian Model on snow mid to late next week.
The Lake Eldora Snotel reported .5” of SWE from this last storm, which looking at other Snotel reports with ski areas with working snow stake cams, should translate to getting 5-7” of snow. (Can you tell I miss having the Eldora Snowstake Webcam running?) 5-7” is disappointing compared to the forecasts. What happened? Well, the low pressure system tracked further south than the majority of models (other than the European and UK Met models had predicted), which accounts for some of the disappointing results. But still we usually do well even with that more southerly track. So what happened? Let’s look to someone who really understands Colorado snow – the great Joel Gratz. He thinks the Front Range thunderstorm disrupted the flow of upslope moisture. That makes perfect sense, and something my feeble mind would never have thought of. In any event, the European Model was a bit low and the UK Met Model was a bit high, but at least they were both in the ballpark. The other models did awful. The RDPS and Canadian Models predicted twice as much snow as fell. And the American, NAM, and WRF Models predicted three times as much snow as fell. What a bummer.
-Jordan (Wednesday (4/26/23) afternoon)