Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

7 am

I thought some of you may want to see how the surface maps evolved throughout the day and you can relate it what was going on with the weather where you were at the time.

The thing to remember is surface maps have a lot of information on them and the analysts that “draw” them can be wrong. Somebody challenged me on this one time saying, “you mean the guys who draw the maps for a living can be wrong?”Yes, certain things can be up for interpretation as you will see in a minute.

5 am Analyst number 1


This is a basic stand up cold front in Utah (blue arrows) heading east southeast. Ahead of it is a shortwave trough circled in red.

8 am New analyst, analyst number 2


The new guy doesn’t see the shortwave if there ever was one, but he found one in southeast Colorado. He also migrated the surface high pressure in Colorado southeast into New Mexico.

11 am Same analyst (number 2)


No real big surprise since it is the same analyst, the front old front is moving about a normal speed towards our area. It appears the shortwave trough is retrograding (going west) from southeast Colorado.

2 pm Same analyst (number 2)


Pretty typical, the cold front is approaching the border it is snowing pretty good everywhere, the shortwave is still moving west.


5pm New analyst, analyst number 3 (uh oh)


What a mess. This person broke the cold front away and took it into southeast Colorado   (circled in red). And has a new front developing (frontogenesis) roughly over Cortez (circled in black).

8 pm New analyst (probably a good idea)


As you can see a totally new look. Who was right? I think analyst number 2 had the best handle on it, and things went downhill as soon as analyst 3 got involved. Bad data in bad data out.

Hopefully, when the new radar is in place and functioning, our tracking ability will be unlike anything we have had in this area. Also, the new satellite for the western US will be up and running soon. The eastern satellite is great compared to what we were used to but we will have a better angle with the new one.

I had the dubious distinction of being wrong a couple of times yesterday, once when I thought the western portions of the county would be favored over the eastern areas (exactly the opposite happened) and once when I said things were done, they were only done west of 550. My forecast actually verified to the east and at Purgatory. We will try again next time. When is next time? Good question, I don’t know yet. Stay tuned.


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2 thoughts on “Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

  1. Thanks for the detailed analysis of yesterday’s action! I always thought that the NWS reports looked like day shift vs. night shift in a battle of the maps. So many moving parts and so much left to chance! Thank you for your fascinating insights…

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