Well, the NWS forecaster who wrote about the retrograde was wrong. It never made it further west than a few miles west of Pagosa then it sprinted to the east. But overall it was a great storm. I was delighted to see Purgatory end up with 22″ and Wolf Creek 34″. The WRF model had Wolf Creek with 30+ on every run.
The models are a mess right now. I haven’t talked about the MJO for a while, but it is time to talk about it again. Some of you remember the MJO post 5 weeks ago. If you want to brush up on it after reading this here is a link to that post. Just remember that the temperature and precip phase charts I referenced then change every 6 weeks or so what I wrote then applied to late November and Early to mid-December not now. Snow Lovers School
Here are the most recent forecasts for MJO from the long-term Global Weather Models. Follow the thick green line each dot is a day and notice that from model to model once you get past 3-4 days all of the models diverge on a separate solution.
You might ask, why does the Japanese model only forecast 8 days out and the other models go much longer? Answer: Because they are smart!
The take away of this post is only to show you how inconclusive the picture is for the first half of January. What is interesting, and I mentioned this before is this is the type of situation where the models will be inconsistent with themselves. For example, the GFS (pick any model here) may have its MJO forecast in an amplified phase 8 indicating cold for much of the Country in January. While its operational model shows warmth. When I mention that a model is having problems, that is usually what I am referring to.
Yesterday I mentioned a potentially active storm pattern. Here is what that looks like. This is what it should look like in the Pacific by Friday.
There may or may not be interaction, good or bad between the 1006mb subtropical low west of Baja and the 986mb monster storm coming onshore in California. The interaction I speak of is who wins the battle to reach us this weekend. That is going to have forecasters and models tied up in knots all week. There are a dozen scenarios that could play out, and we will be looking for consistency in the models to guide us. At the moment, I am not expecting anything too extreme like the models were showing a few days ago. I also don’t expect the storm to be a monster by the time it reaches us, but you never know what will spin out of it.