An inch or two of snow between now and Thursday, and then things get interesting.  A storm from the west looks to re-form a low over Colorado on Thursday, and then a low over northern New Mexico on Friday.  The details make an incredible difference, and so there’s still lots of uncertainty.  Here are the model forecasts (and the WRF is only through the end of the day Thursday) for Thursday to Saturday:

10” – WRF

5” – Icon Model

4” – American Model

3” – European and UK Met Models

2” – Canadian Model

Before you get too excited about the WRF prediction, don’t forget that it often overpredicts 3+ days out.  And don’t get too bummed about the Canadian solution either – while it is the most reliable model for our patrol zone over the long haul, recently this year it seems to be undershooting a lot of the storms.

Several models have come to the bizarre solution that there will be more snow both north in Rocky Mountain National Park and south (Echo, Pikes Peak, etc.), with little snow in our patrol zone.  There’s the infamous Dillon Donut (i.e., it snows everywhere but Dillon), but I’ve never heard of a Brainerd Lake Donut.  Hopefully they model solutions are wrong. 

Retrospective Discussion:

5” fell in round one of the recent snowfall, and 3” fell in round two.  As such, in round one the American, Icon, and European Models were all close.  The WRF Model was way too high, the UK Met Model was too low, and the Canadian Model was way too low.  In round two the European and UK Met Models were spot on, the Canadian Model was a bit low, the Icon Model was way too low, and the American Model was way too high.


-Jordan (Monday (3/4/24) evening)

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: 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.