Winter Doesn’t Recognize Spring

9 am

Short Term, Through Saturday

The short-term models are trying to develop some light snow Thursday night in connection with a disturbance to the north.  I do not expect anything impactful but I am keeping an eye on it. I will have my best look at tomorrow morning.

The Weekend Storm

Finally this morning, the GFS model is coming around to more closely resemble what the Euro has been leaning towards. An extended period of wet weather. Not just this weekend, but perhaps another event or two over the next couple of weeks as moist air makes its way in from the Pacific. Looking at the very long term models out of the Euro family of models this looks to continue at least through March and maybe longer. More on this later.

Here is what the GFS now has for the total liquid equivalent for this first event Saturday through Tuesday. Don’t worry about snow ratios right at the moment, I will tackle that on Friday.


The Euro is juicing things up a bit more with its latest run this morning. It is showing the system coming in a little faster on Saturday. Stopping on Sunday and trying to pull through another small piece on Monday.


Here is how it translates the precipitation to snow


So this is the snow with the first storm (above) but I wanted to look ahead for the later part of next week. The Euro clearly shows another storm coming in for the Wednesday-Thursday timeframe.


This is the additional snow (above) that the Euro sees for storm two Wait, not done yet, as the second storm departs look at what is behind it.


That was fun, but let’s keep looking to the future.


Long Term (2-6 weeks)

Here is a detailed look at the snowpack.



It is pretty self-explanatory the inches are in water equivalent or what will melt into the rivers etc. I think the last three columns are the most important. They are the average date that the snowpack peaks. The season to date total and the percentage of the peak total so far. If you look at the chart you’ll see that Vallecito usually peaks on April 7th, season to date they are at 123% of average and 103% of the average peak. You can break out the other numbers if you want, 16 inches of liquid is the average peak, so to get to 200% of average (which is what has been projected by some is necessary to completely fill the lake). So 15.5 inches of liquid equivalent is what would be necessary. Sounds like a lot but, it may not be as difficult to get close as you think.

Below is the 46-day outlook for precipitation out of the Euro family of models.

Screenshot 2019-02-27 at 10.37.45 AM     Screenshot 2019-02-27 at 9.38.52 AM

Obviously, no guarantees on this but the Euro does pretty well with patterns. This would be a heck of a pattern.

Here is what it has for snow over the same 46 day period.

Screenshot 2019-02-27 at 9.48.03 AM  Screenshot 2019-02-27 at 9.48.58 AM.png

The numbers do not go high enough on here to properly display the snow amount shown here but it exceeds 7 feet in the highest mountains. This seems a bit crazy, but if someone would have told me that I would have gotten the amount of snow I have in the last two weeks I would have thought that was crazy also. This is basically just saying March will be a repeat of February.

Breaking it down further, here is what the Euro EPS shows just over the next 15 days for liquid.




One of the reasons I don’t rely too heavily on the multi-model forecasts like the Euro EPS is the resolution is lower than the normal Euro so it samples a larger area and spreads the heavier precipitation over a larger area. The good thing about them is they use a consensus of all of the model members, in this case, 50 models.

There are other factors that Euro might be seeing, like one or more tropical storms or typhoons developing. Typhoon Wutip is already showing signs of recurving on the Euro.

Friday is the first day of Meteorological Spring, it looks like it could be a sloppy one!



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