• Moisture continues to funnel from the northwest to the northern Colorado mountains.  The models seriously disagree on the extent of snow we’ll get over the next four day period.  Every time I check another model, the less clear the picture becomes.  Best odds for the most snow are to either (i) go as far north as you can in our patrol zone, or (ii) get as close to the Divide as you can in our patrol zone.  Here are the various model forecasts from Thursday evening through Monday: 10” – WRF Model 9” – European Model 5” – Canadian, UK Met, and American Models 3” – RDPS Model 2” – NAM Model My tongue-in-cheek title to this post is probably not enough, as figure there’s still a real chance the NAM and RDPS Models are slightly overpredicting or the WRF and European Models are slightly underpredicting, so perhaps I should have written 1-12” of snow on tap.  That said, while I hope the WRF and European Models are right, I think the odds are a bit better that the Canadian and American solutions are correct as they (especially the Canadian Model) tend to be the most reliable, but who knows.  Regardless, highs look to be in the upper teens or low twenties both days this weekend. After that, weather looks to be dull for much of next week as a closed low passes too far south to have any impact on our patrol zone. Retrospective Discussion: Sadly, while the cold portion of the forecast really panned out, the small but steady snows this week did not so far.  Eldora has reported 1” this week, so assuming we don’t get more snow tomorrow, the UK Met Model was the closest with the American and European Model being too optimistic, and the Canadian Model even more improperly optimistic. Cheers. -Jordan (Thursday (1/26/23) 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. 

  • While a powerful closed low passes far to our south (i.e., through southern New Mexico) over the next few days, moisture gets pulled into our patrol zone from the northwest resulting in small amounts of snow being predicted periodically from today through Saturday.  Temperatures look to stay cold, with highs unlikely to break 20 degrees on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.   Here are the forecasts for total snow from Monday to Saturday: 4” – Canadian Model 3” – American and European Models 2” – UK Met Model Then a more powerful system comes in from the northwest late this weekend (probably, but not for certain as we’re looking at over five days out).  The Sunday to next Wednesday snow forecasts for our patrol zone are as follows: 10” – Canadian Model 8” – European Model 3” – American Model Let’s hope this system performs well. Retrospective Discussion: Eldora’s snow stake cam showed 3-4” out of this most recent system, so five days out the American Model called this spot on, and did the best job three days out as well, with the European Model a little low and the Canadian Model a little high.  Regardless, conditions are good in our patrol zone right now with lots of snow. -Jordan (Monday (1/23/23) 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. 

  • We’re currently under a ridge of high pressure, which means pleasant weather, but it won’t last long.  Unfortunately, both weekend days look to bring wind and light snow – perhaps a trace to an inch (though the WRF Model, unlike the others, is predicting a bit of real snow, i.e., 3”).  Then, in a rather odd pattern, a low pressure system currently at the border of Idaho, Nevada, and Utah moves southwest, and then northwest to impact our patrol zone, predominantly on Sunday into Monday.  Here are the model forecasts for the storm: 5” – Canadian Model 4” – American Model 2” – European Model Quickly on its heels is a system from the northwest, which looks to hit our patrol zone around Tuesday, with another system on Wednesday/Thursday also from the west northwest.  But my description suggests the global models actually have an idea of what’s going to happen, which they don’t agree upon at all.  Model predictions for snowfall totals from these two systems are: 5” – European Model 1” –  Canadian Model Trace – American Model C’mon snow! Retrospective Discussion: We are having a good season so far.  The three Snotels in our patrol zone are reporting that as of today, we’re at 135%, 134%, and 106% of average, respectively.  The most recent storm is yet more proof of the good season.  The Eldora Snow Stake Cam showed 9” from the most recent storm, so two days out, although all models underpredicted the storm.  The WRF did the best job and was very close, the Canadian Model did the second best, and the NAM and UK Met Models did the worst.  Looking at the model forecasts five days out, all the global models bungled the type of storm and how it would move through, but the Canadian Model predicted the total snowfall quite accurately, while the European Model predicted half the storm, and the American Model predicted one third of the storm.  The moral from last year and this year so far is that if you’re going to check only one model for our patrol zone in predicting snow, check the Canadian Model. -Jordan (Thursday 1/29/23 evening) 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. 

  • A powerful system from the west southwest passes through our patrol zone on Tuesday night into Wednesday, with some potential upslope.  However, the location of the low pressure as well as the speed of the system is a bit unclear.  The models are fairly consistent with a 4-8” forecast for our system, here are each of the model forecasts: 8” – WRF Model 7” – Canadian Model 6” – RDPS Model 5” – American and European Models 4” – NAM and UK Met Models A smaller system from the northwest looks to hit our patrol zone around Friday, with between a trace to one inch depending on the model.  The next system perhaps comes in around Sunday/Monday, with the American Model calling for 3” and the Canadian Model calling for 2”.  Between Saturday and Sunday this upcoming weekend, Saturday looks to have more pleasant weather. Retrospective Discussion: Eldora received 2” of snow in the last system, which means that most models were right on the money when the storm was close (i.e., Canadian, UK Met, and European), while the WRF was too high and the American too low.  Of the global models ability to predict this system almost a week out, the European Model was too optimistic, the American Model was too pessimistic, but the Canadian Model was (almost) just right. Cheers. -Jordan (Monday (1/16/23) evening) 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. 

  • Today and Saturday should be pleasant.  Then, the first of three systems, the first two (and possibly the third) of which look like they’ll produce fast moving low pressure systems to our south, will pass by on Sunday.  The first system on Sunday, generally from the west, looks to produce some minor snowfall in our patrol zone but without much of an upslope component.  Here are the model forecasts: 4” – WRF Model 2” – Canadian, UK Met, and European Models 1” – American Model The next system goes by on Tuesday, also generally from the west, with perhaps a bit more of an upslope component.  Here are the model snow forecasts: 3” – Canadian Model 2” – UK Met Model 1” – American and European Models Then, on Thursday to Saturday, a system from the northwest looks to move into our patrol zone, with the slight possibility of an upslope as well.  Here are the model snow forecasts. 6” – Canadian Model 4” – European Model 2” – American Model Retrospective Discussion: Tough to call how much snow fell in our patrol zone, so hard to assess the accuracy of the past forecast.  My best guess from looking at the Eldora Snowstake Webcam was 4”, but it was difficult to tell.  Eldora reported 2” of snow.  So the American Model was low, but otherwise, can’t judge the other models. Cheers. -Jordan (Friday (1/13) Morning) 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.