Putting 2018 behind us

4:30 am

So this whole experiment I tried with letting people see the changes in the modeling over the last few days missed its mark. My intent was to show how much things fluctuate before a system arrives. In doing that I seem to have created panic and widespread depression with every bad model run. So I am going to go back to the way I have always done it, with commentary until the models achieve some degree of a conclusion, which if we are lucky is before the storm arrives.


This brings me to another topic, the word “Storm” as it relates to winter. Different people and organizations and industries define the word differently. In the Skiing world, from what I have ascertained in the last 20 years,  any time it snows its a “Storm”. I tend to have a different opinion on that. It gets difficult because everyone interprets it differently and it becomes difficult to properly communicate what to expect. Now we’re in the age of naming and thus commercializing storms so it becomes even more complicated.  For example, we should get some snow Thursday late and Friday. Is there a storm? Yes. Will the “Storm” hit us? Yes, I mean no. I mean it will but it won’t (more on this later today). It’s like the monsoon or a Hurricane that hits Louisiana and the remnants track into Minnesota. Does that mean Minnesota got hit by a Hurricane? No, unless you watch The Weather Channel. I used to like the Weather Channel, I think I watched the first airing in the early ’80s.

What is a Winter Storm

A Winter Storm varies based on your location in the United States. In our area, the National Weather Service has two sets of rules (though they bend those rules around the Holidays and shoulder seasons). Above roughly 8,500′ a Winter Storm Warning is issued when more than 12″ of snow is expected. If  6-12″ is expected a Winter Weather Advisory is issued.  Below 8,500′ if greater than 6″ is expected a Winter Storm Warning will be issued. If  3-6″ is expected a Winter Weather Advisory will be issued. Did you ever wonder why they forecast 2-5 inches so often? There you go.

This Winter

I am very encouraged with what has happened so far, and with what I believe lies ahead. I do think that these below normal temps can only last so long. I see a scenario with a brief warm-up (relative to average, not a blowtorch), it may still be this month, before settling into a cold stormy pattern with Winter lasting late into Spring. We are just getting started and by the comments, some people have already given up. I know the reason. It has been a very difficult year, the fire took its toll and everyone is so used to no precipitation, every time a “Storm” comes in, they think that is literally our only chance to get precipitation, so if it is a little off, they completely give up. Don’t give up, Winter is just getting started, give it a chance.


10 thoughts on “Putting 2018 behind us

  1. cdowns111

    Good morning,

    Thank you for this article. It really does a good job of explaining the weather to a layman such as myself. I personally enjoyed seeing all the models, keep up the good work that you have so selflessly been doing .


    Have a wonderful day!


    1. Rose

      I would like to echo Charlie’s comments and add that your latest postings helped me to see the complexity and changeability of weather forecasting! It’s daunting. Thank you!

  2. John M Angst

    You’re right on with you thinking about the models. Most people only have a very basic understanding of weather maps with H’s and L’s and fronts. They don’t have the time or training to get into models. The same can be said about the NWS “Forecast Discussion”. Just having you say that in your opinion based on what you see in the models with your training, a chance for snow or a very good chance for snow or you think we won’t get much snow is probably enough to satisfy most people. Then if it’s a bust, you can say that what you thought at the time didn’t happen because …. You can’t please everyone Jeff. Thanks for your efforts!

  3. Love this – thank you! The models are cool too, and I don’t think you should be afraid to show them. People are anxious, but that’s not your fault. You are doing plenty to calm us down with good information.

  4. Thanks for doing what you do! I’m gone from Durango but still follow the news and the Purgatory happenings. My brother is a Purg staff member so I feel ‘vested’ in the success. Anyway, I appreciate your work and honesty. It is too bad people have put a sour taste in your mouth about sharing more. I was really enjoying the education about weather and forecasting. Keep on keeping on!

  5. Brian

    Thanks for all of your hard work. I like being able to compare the model runs too. It is unfortunate that people are so emotionally attached to a forecast that they allow themselves to get depressed. Keep up the good work.

  6. Jennifer

    You are amazing Jeff! Please keep doing what you do – we all appreciate you and my husband and I have put more faith into your info than any weather channel/app! 🙂

  7. George Knight

    Thanks for the postings. Very interesting and educational. Look forward to future postings.


    On Wed, Dec 5, 2018, 5:56 AM Durango Weather Guy durangoweatherguy posted: “4:30 am So this whole experiment I tried with > letting people see the changes in the modeling over the last few days > missed its mark. My intent was to show how much things fluctuate before a > system arrives. In doing that I seem to have created panic and w” >

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