Serious Stuff

8:15 am

 

So that first wave went as planned, Purgatory pulled 5 inches out of it, most of us got the dusting to 3 inches or so. Now onto the serious stuff.

No matter if the lower elevations get 4 inches or 11 inches out of this storm one thing is for certain, the roads and travel are going to be impaired tomorrow. Now is the time to assess your plans for this evening and early Friday. I will be talking about this in my next update but I wanted to throw it out there early.

Everyone wants to know when “it” is going to start, here is my best answer at the moment. We could have mixed precipitation and snow at higher elevations pretty much throughout the day, snow should gradually pick up at or around 2 pm. The initial heavier waves will come through some locations around 4-6 pm. By 8 pm the heaviest waves should start rolling in everywhere. What about rain at lower elevations? If that happens it may switch over to rain after the heavier snow starts the event, with the arrival of the subtropical air around 10 pm, then it could continue raining or a mix back with snow, then the whole big ice rink freezes over.

Yesterday another “blanket advisory” was issued this time for lower elevations and it was to start last night and end on Friday with 2-4 inches with the possibility of 6 inches in higher terrain. I didn’t post it again (but I sure got a lot of questions about it). It was confusing because people were not sure when the 2-4 was supposed to fall. I knew the NWS would clean it up overnight and probably increase the amounts, which they did slightly. Don’t be surprised if this changes again, but it might be a “back door” upgrade.  A back door forecast or issuance is to upgrade the current forecast or advisory to comply with the current conditions seen on webcams or from reports they are getting on Social Media.  I named it “back door” because it is like having a forecast that says “It’s not going to snow”, then you look out the back door and see its snowing, so you change your forecast to “It’s going to snow”. Most of my followers know this as “Step 1” (look outside). When you read these upgrades it usually says something like “Based on reports of 7 inches in Durango we are upgrading the current advisory to a warning”. So back to what I was saying, you may be making plans based on an advisory, but don’t be surprised if while you are carrying out those plans they upgrade to a warning. I am by no means taking a poke at the good folks at NWS, they are doing as they are trained and if a situation changes they need to react.

Here is their latest

Low elevation advisory
COZ022-023-142230-
/O.EXT.KGJT.WW.Y.0012.190214T0955Z-190215T1900Z/
ANIMAS RIVER BASIN-SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF DURANGO, BAYFIELD, IGNACIO,
AND PAGOSA SPRINGS
255 AM MST THU FEB 14 2019

..WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON MST FRIDAY

* WHAT…SNOW, MIXED WITH RAIN AT TIMES TODAY. ADDITIONAL SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 5 INCHES WITH LOCALLY UP TO 8 INCHES IN
THE VICINITY OF PAGOSA SPRINGS.

* WHERE…SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN AND ANIMAS RIVER BASIN.

* WHEN…UNTIL NOON MST FRIDAY.

 

Here is the latest for higher elevations, I am not sure if they left themselves enough room for an upside surprise, we will see how this plays out during the day.

COZ018-019-142230-
/O.CON.KGJT.WS.W.0004.000000T0000Z-190215T1900Z/
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF TELLURIDE, OURAY, LAKE CITY, SILVERTON,
RICO, AND HESPERUS
255 AM MST THU FEB 14 2019

..WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON MST FRIDAY

* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW. ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 14
INCHES WITH THE HEAVIEST SNOW FALLING THIS AFTERNOON AND
EVENING. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 50 MPH.

* WHERE…SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS AND NORTHWEST SAN JUAN
MOUNTAINS.

* WHEN…UNTIL NOON MST FRIDAY.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO IMPOSSIBLE
ABOVE 8000 FEET. BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE
VISIBILITY. SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS THIS MORNING WILL INCREASE IN
COVERAGE THIS AFTERNOON WITH HEAVY SNOW LIKELY LATE THIS
AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

 

The WRF HiRes model I showed you yesterday that showed all snow on its morning run yesterday has been on again off again (slightly) trend. If you remember yesterday it showed 10 inches of snow in Durango with an inch of liquid.

Yesterday afternoon it went to this

Slight rain-snow mix

18zwrf.png

Yesterday evening it showed this (all snow again above 6,500 feet)

00zwrf

Then overnight it went to this heavy-rain snow mix

06zwrf

 

This morning we have come full circle and are back to this all snow solution

12zwrf.png

I think the answer is in this model, but I will be looking at other factors throughout the day. I will do another update around 11 am, and likely a couple others before dark.

 

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One thought on “Serious Stuff

  1. Jim Hunt

    Love the updates as always as well as the in depth analysis. Would you consider doing a simple table of your latest snow total guesses? Maybe even add a poll where readers could guess storm totals?

    This is weather. It’s not certain. That’s what makes it fun. It’s impossible to predict completely accurately and we humans need that uncertainty in some situations. I think MOST of us get that. You’re just a much better (and educated) guesser than most of us. Let’s keep it fun!

    Thanks again,
    Jim

    Like

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