A change of plans


Sitting out the last 24-hour model cycle was the right call, the models have developed a plan they all agree with, but there are still some details to work out.

What they agree on is timing. Late Wednesday a piece of the main storm that split away will make its way into our area. Light snow may start north of Rockwood tomorrow afternoon, making its way over the rest of the forecast area by the overnight hours.

Detail #1 How much snow will fall with that first piece. Hopefully, we can narrow that down tomorrow, but generally less than 6 inches in the highest elevations with an inch at the lowest elevations. Not a big deal for either place. Sure it could change, but the main takeaway is the main system will arrive on Thursday.

Detail #2 Snow levels. The models are all over the place on this, but what is very interesting is when you look at the snow accumulation between 5pm and 11 pm Thursday. The GFS, Euro, NAM and CMC models all agree on significant snowfall in Durango during that time period:  The CMC shows 5 inches; the NAM shows 4 inches; the GFS shows 5 inches and the new Euro shows 7 inches.

Here is what that looks like on the GFS.

Snow accumulation through Thursday 5pm. Basically 0 in Durango.


Snow accumulation as of 11 pm Thursday, now 5 inches in Durango.


Detail # 3 Which piggybacks on detail #2, how much precipitation will fall as liquid versus frozen? The lowest projection for total liquid from this system is 1.1″ for the low elevations and much higher for elevations above 8,000 feet. The lowest snowfall projection for the lower elevations is 6 inches, keep in mind if it takes 1.1 inches of liquid to make 6 inches of snow it won’t necessarily be measurable. Also, keep in mind that was on the low end for snow and some other models showed nearly all snow at the lower elevations which would indicate up to a foot. As you go up in elevation especially to the ski areas it is a safe bet that 12-18 inches will fall with more possible at Wolf Creek.

Detail #4 The next storm or two. At this point, there is no reason to even speculate what is coming next because the models diverge so much. Depending on which model you look at there could be 1 or more storms beginning Friday, Saturday or Sunday or some combination of those days.

I am happy with the progress in the last 24 hours, however, given how long it has taken to get to this point I am still not overly confident with the models for this storm let alone the next one(s).

On a different note, I have that “Click here to contact me” link there if someone has a question or a comment or a good suggestion and I enjoy hearing from people and attempt to get back to people in a timely manner. But, there always has to be a bad apple in the bunch and yesterday I received a very rude note from someone. If you don’t like what I do here, you can go somewhere else don’t waste your time and effort attacking me.

To the other 99.9% of you thanks for following!


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