As the storm winds down and we all dig out, the closed low pressure to our west southwest that caused all this wonderful snow will slowly weaken over the next few days.  It will fuel more snow for the southern mountains but probably not any more (or much more) for us. 

Saturday looks to be partly sunny and Sunday looks to mostly cloudy with probably an inch of snow (both the American and Canadian Models reach the same solution).  The low pressure system to our west southwest means that there will be little winds – less than ten miles per hour from the east.  Tons of new snow and little winds?  Sounds like an amazing weekend in our patrol zone, and if I wasn’t out-of-town, I would love to ski our patrol zone this weekend.

Weather and wind patterns return to normal around Tuesday to Wednesday, and we may see a small shot of snow around Tuesday / Wednesday (2” per the American Model and 1” per the Canadian Model).  Then, we may see snow again next weekend (5” per the Canadian Model and 2” per the American Model).

Retrospective Discussion:

What a storm!  Looks like somewhere between 46-48” of snow fell (I’m relying upon other people’s estimates as the Eldora Webcam was completely buried).  This was similar in size, but shorter in duration, than our MLK storm earlier this year.  These two storms are some of our biggest storms since the legendary March 2003 monster storm.  The Eldora Snotel cite just jumped from slightly below average to 123% of average.  Finally we can say we’re having a well above average year!

I won’t bore folks with too much analysis on how the models did, but in short, the American Model did the best in foreshadowing the monster storm, and when it got close, the WRF Model did the best predicting just how big it would be.  The Canadian Model, surprisingly, did the worst, consistently predicting less than a foot.


-Jordan (Friday 3/15/24 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: 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.