My Schedule

2/6/22 Monday 3 pm

I have to go to Detroit, my wife’s brother died. We are leaving very early Tuesday and will be gone until next week. We are still in the middle of this boring patch of weather, so I don’t think I will miss much. I still expect a pattern change between the 15th and 20th but I will be back around then. I am taking my laptop and if there is anything to talk about I will post.

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Sunday Morning Update

2/5/23 Sunday 8:15 am

A weak system will move through in northwesterly flow overnight tonight into Monday morning. I expect little to no precipitation in the lower elevations. According to the models, 2 to 4 inches are possible at Telluride, Ouray, and Wolf Creek. 1 or 2 inches may fall at Purgatory and Silverton. We will see if Wolf Creek will once again prove the models wrong, it would be unusual to get a lot of snow with this particular storm track.

There may be one more chance of light snow Wednesday night into Thursday. If it does happen I expect it to be as weak (if not weaker) than tonight’s system.

I am still hoping for more active weather by mid-month. The Euro is showing a Valentine’s Day storm. The GFS is showing a few storms arriving between the 12th and the 16th. Hopefully, that will come together and we will have something to talk about.

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Wednesday Update

2/1/23 Wednesday 7 am

The snow event was as promised. Difficult at best to forecast, and unpredictable at best. The accumulations were odd. 6 inches at Coal Bank and Molas. Just 2 inches at Purgatory and Telluride. The storm tracked pretty far south, then the storm veered far enough north to feed Wolf Creek 14 inches of snow over 48 (or so) hours.

Our next chance of snow will be around the 6th (next Monday). I don’t have a lot of hope for that event either. When I look a little further into the future, the storm track looks a little more promising. We could be looking at a pattern change sometime between February 10th and 14th. Fingers crossed…

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Monday Update

1/30/23 Monday 12:10 pm

Things are going about as expected for this little snow event. By the time the final flakes have fallen (more than likely by Tuesday evening), I expect 0 to 2 inches in the lower elevations. 1 to 3 inches in the mid-elevations with 2 to 4 possible at or above 8,000 feet. 3 to 6 inches for Silverton, Purgatory, and Telluride. 6 to 10 inches will be possible at Wolf Creek (they have already gotten a couple of inches).

So no big deal as far as snow goes. Temperatures are going to stay cold, and get a little colder on Wednesday and Thursday. I think we are all pretty numb right now.

I think it could be after the first week in February before we see the storm train kick back on. The models are still all over the place, so it is just too early to know.

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Sunday Morning Update

1/29/23 Sunday 7:30 am

We might, may, potentially could, see a couple of days of snow beginning early Monday morning. The best possibility of accumulating snow will be in the higher elevation areas. If everything goes perfectly, a couple to a few inches of the fluffy white stuff will accumulate. Perhaps more, in isolated, mostly uninhabited areas. The lower and middle elevation areas have a much lower chance of anything accumulating.

I have a difficult time classifying this event as a storm. Technically, it will be a split storm with energy going to the north and south of us. The piece that goes to the north should boost the stalled front up north and send it to the south. That front has been in place in northern Colorado for a few days and has produced a ton of snow there. If you have been in the area very long, you know that what happens up north usually does not affect us as much.

It seems like it has been forever since I posted a precipitation map.

Here is the Euro, keep in mind, snow to liquid ratios will be 12 to 18 to 1. So it won’t take a lot to produce snow. These amounts are the totals through Wednesday morning at 5 am.

Given the boring pattern we have been in, that does not look too bad. Unfortunately, high-resolution models look much different.

Here is the NBM over the same time period.

Yikes! That is why for now, I don’t have a lot of faith in the forecast.

I have an early appointment tomorrow morning but I will post in the afternoon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Boring Weather Continues In SW Colorado

1/27/23 Friday  8:45 am

I don’t have a lot of news to share. The Northern and Central Mountains are going to get from 8 inches to over 3 feet of snow and it is going to be boring here. That is good news for some, but most of us are not completely done with winter yet. I have appreciated the break, with everything I have going on, but I will be ready when winter returns.

At the moment, it looks like a storm will try to move through next week. The latest models are not showing big totals. I do think a system will try to come through, but as I have said patterns repeat themselves so don’t be surprised if it is more impactful in Arizona and New Mexico than here.

I am going to hold off from taking the models at their word for a couple of more days. They are not only struggling in the short term, but the extended models are also in a state of flux.

This is more than likely due to the fact that La Nina is quickly decaying and we expect to reach neutral ENSO status within the next 60 days. I have said before that La Nina/El Nino are more contributing factors to our winters than dominant factors. Weak La Ninas, Enso neutral, and weak El Ninos have historically produced our snowiest winters.

As the Nino regions were warming up, we saw a dramatic increase in our storms from late December through January. Enso does not usually flip and stay flipped immediately, sometimes it fights back. I think La Nina is trying to fight back with an upwelling of cooler water and that temporarily has ended our stormy pattern.  Now the models are struggling trying to work through multiple solutions. It is my hope that a further decaying La Nina will change the atmosphere back to a stormy pattern that will last well into the spring and summer. Followed back a weak El Nino for next winter. We will see!

More than likely, I will post again on Sunday. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Wednesday Update

1/25/23 Wednesday 7 am

Everything went fine with the surgery, I needed a couple of days to rest and I got those Monday and Tuesday. There is not too much to talk about right now. A few snow showers are likely to develop over the higher terrain today, favoring the northern portions of the forecast area (550 passes and near Telluride).

Other than that, things look pretty boring until maybe Sunday. The only blip out there is the Canadian model which is trying to bring down another feature to the northern portions of the Forecast area Friday and Saturday. The primary story will be below-normal temperatures continuing over the next few days.

The models are struggling with what to do as we get ready to start next week. A number of solutions I have seen show a series of storms, but they seem to be following the path that takes them south… As I have said before, patterns tend to repeat themselves, so that would not be a huge surprise.

I will try to catch up on my emails today, thanks for your patience with that.

My next update will be on Friday. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Very Early Monday Update

1/23/23 Monday 2:45 am

I want to thank everyone for the huge outpouring of support out there. I get accused of sharing too much personal information at times. The reason I do this is that I have many surrogate “mothers” that follow me and have for years. If I do not explain why I am not posting they get concerned. I feel a lot better than I did before my dental procedure yesterday. I want to thank Dr. Nathan Robison for sacrificing valuable personal time away from his family yesterday afternoon to attend to my emergency.

I tried to periodically follow the models yesterday in an attempt to keep tabs on the storm. The trend has shown the storm diving south into Central Arizona and Southern New Mexico. The most recent model runs show that trend continuing so I would not be at all surprised if the models are lagging the progress of the storm and overproducing the amount of snow that will fall.

With that being said, the models still are not showing very much snow in the lower and mid-elevations but they are definitely targeting the Purgatory to Coal Bank area for the heaviest snow. It is already snowing at Purgatory, Wolf Creek, and Telluride @ ( 2 am).

The cold air and cold core of the storm will produce high ratio powder so I would equally not at all be surprised with the amounts that are predicted in the latest Winter Weather Advisory:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Grand Junction CO
249 AM MST Mon Jan 23 2023

COZ019-240000-
/O.CON.KGJT.WW.Y.0006.000000T0000Z-230124T0000Z/
Southwest San Juan Mountains-
Including the cities of Silverton, Rico, and Hesperus
249 AM MST Mon Jan 23 2023

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM MST THIS
AFTERNOON...

* WHAT...Snow. Accumulations of 5 to 10 inches with locally higher
  amounts.

* WHERE...Southwest San Juan Mountains.

* WHEN...Until 5 PM MST this afternoon.

* IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions.

 

I still have a nagging concern that more snow may fall across the southern portions of the forecast area. As has been the case for the last several weeks, this is not reflected in the models, we’ll see. If that is the case at least it will be “easy to handle” powder.

I can definitely say I will be able to update again on Wednesday morning, perhaps Tuesday afternoon. There may be some light snow showers Wednesday, especially in the northern portions of the forecast area. Other than that, I expect mostly cold and dry conditions for the next week or so before the pattern flips again as we begin February.

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Sunday Early Update–High Country Advisory

1/22/23 Sunday 3:15 am

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO  
232 AM MST SUN JAN 22 2023  
  
COZ019-222230-  
/O.NEW.KGJT.WW.Y.0006.230123T0600Z-230124T0000Z/  
SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-  
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS  
232 AM MST SUN JAN 22 2023  
  
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO  
5 PM MST MONDAY...  
  
* WHAT...SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8   
  INCHES.  
  
* WHERE...SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.  
  
* WHEN...FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO 5 PM MST MONDAY.  
  
* IMPACTS...PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. 

I am not sure where I stand on this. These small storms are always tricky. There are more models arguing for this advisory than against it. These amounts are a balance between the European model, which shows lower snow totals, and every other model I follow which show near Winter Storm Warning criteria.

The problem I have with this is the setup. Patterns tend to repeat themselves. The models are focusing on the higher elevation areas. This storm is going to want to dive south (again). That could lead to higher accumulations in the lower elevations (again). The models do not reflect that (again). How many times am I going to fall for it?

I would be very cautious, it looks like the snow is going to build in throughout the forecast area between 11 pm tonight and 2 am tomorrow. If this stays north, that will be one thing, if it dives south which is not in the forecast, it could get messy.

I have my other eye surgery early Monday morning (that alone argues for the storm diving south). So I am going to be out of commission until probably Tuesday afternoon. For travelers, this storm is not going to be as bad as we have seen, but it may be impactful over the passes, as well as northern Arizona and central New Mexico.

I can’t promise that I will be able to field a lot of emails before Tuesday afternoon, I have an emergency oral procedure that is going to be performed later today, then my eye surgery early tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

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Saturday Morning Update

1/21/23 Saturday 8 am

Yesterday’s storm was small and unpredictable, especially in the higher elevations. I went back and looked at the surface maps from yesterday, I believe there were errors calculating where the low pressure actually tracked.

The snow shut down right before it was supposed to be at its heaviest. I got several reports of 2-3 inches. Purgatory somehow only got an inch, Telluride ended up with 3 inches, and Wolf Creek pretty much ate the rest of the storm with 10 inches over the last 24 hours. Another small storm is headed this way, it should arrive late Sunday/early Monday. It is going to be equally difficult to forecast. The models are all different at this point. Some are showing a little, and others are showing quite a bit.

Hopefully, they will give me more to work with by tomorrow!

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