A low pressure system currently over San Diego is headed our way.  Like most low pressure systems, it loses strength over the Rocky Mountains and then regains strength as soon as it gets to the plains.  (Think of a spinning figure skater rotating slower as she’s crunched down over the mountains, but spinning faster when she returns to full height once the mountains are no longer pushing her feet up.)  As always, the exact position and shape of the low pressure will make a tremendous difference in how much snow we get.

Like most low pressure systems, we’re in for an upslope storm.  It looks to peak Saturday afternoon into the early morning hours of Sunday, meaning the best powder will be Christmas Eve morning.  It also means that we won’t have the usual gale force winds in our patrol zone this weekend.

Here are the various model snow forecasts:

10” – Canadian and RDPS Models

8” – UK Met Model

6” – NAM Model

5” – American Model

3” – European Model

2” – WRF Model

The next system, which appears for now to be weak, looks to come in around Friday December 29, with the Canadian Model calling for 2” and the American Model calling for 1”.  Happy Holidays!

-Jordan (Friday (12/22/23) morning)

Geeky Notes:

References to the American Model are to the American (GFS) Model grid including Brainerd Lake with an average elevation of 9,439’.  References to the Canadian Model are the Canadian (GDPS) Model grid including Brainerd Lake with an average elevation of 10,253’.  References to the WRF Model are the CAIC WRF Hi-Res Model point forecast for Eldora Ski Area with an elevation of 9,189’.  References to the European Model are to the European (ECMWF) Model on a point with my cursor at my best estimate of Eldora Ski Area.  For big picture overviews, I tend to rely on the American Model, not because I think it is the most accurate, but because (i) it is free and (ii) I like its interface. 

If you want more details on these forecasts, feel free to buy my Hunting Powder book at Hunting Powder: A Skier’s Guide to Finding Colorado’s Best Snow: Lipp, Jordan, Gratz, Joel: 9780578838533: Amazon.com: Books.  How is that for an absolutely shameless plug?  Or, the next time you see me at a patrol function, just ask me any questions on how I put together these non-professional forecasts.  Cheers.