Summer Snow And Quick Peek at Winter 2020

This Weekend

I am going to cut to the chase rather than make you wait. This weekend, actually beginning this evening, a very very slow moving front will move through the area, mostly to our north. The tail end of it should come through SW Colorado and the best thing I can compare it to is one of those NW flow storms in the early Winter that just misses us to the north. The Central and Northern mountains do well with these.

It is likely that the storm’s timing will result in a small amount of snow falling down to 10,000 feet on Saturday and if there is any moisture left on Sunday morning the snow level could approach 9,000 feet, that is a big if.

Here is what the Euro shows for snow this weekend. Check out the amounts in the Northern and Central mountains. ecmwf_tsnow_colorado_13

The main effects in other areas (lower elevations) will be slightly cooler weather and a chance of thunderstorms Saturday afternoon, especially south of Hermosa, but it appears the heaviest storms will fire near and south of the New Mexico border. I will follow up on this Saturday morning with another post after the morning high-resolution models come out.

The Next 6 Weeks

For those of you hoping for summer in the high country, the long term trend is not very encouraging.  Here is the 46-day temperature forecast.


So in other words 2-5 degree (f) below normal over the course of the 46 day period.

The more disturbing outlook is the 46-day precipitation anomaly which shows below average precipitation.

precip anomaly46

There is a ray of hope, if you break it down to 7 day periods, after about 30 days it shows precipitation tracking back to normal.  So the Az monsoon will continue to be delayed.  Here is a gif showing the dewpoint for the next 10 days, keep in mind that the Arizona monsoon is declared “official” when the dewpoint in Tucson reaches 55 degrees for 3 days in a row.

GFS 50-STATES USA Southwest US 2-m Dew Point.gif

So for the next month or so we will likely continue to see red flag warnings for our area. Even after the wet Winter, drier than normal conditions for most of July could lead to huge fire concerns. Our fire zone is 207 btw, sometimes the forecasts are done in zones instead of towns.

Next Winter

The question is will this be the last snow before September? The average first snow at 10,500 feet is usually late September. Keep in mind that there are only 163 days left until meteorological Winter starts! I am already tracking early indicators. Here is the model spread showing a good chance of another a weak to moderate El Nino (similar to last year).


The green line is mean.

The most reliable long term indicator I can look at now, 6 months out, is the JMA (Japanese model). It shows above average temps in the fall followed by below average temperatures for much of the nation next winter.

Fall jmaSON

This is difficult to see but you see the red indicates above average temps for September-November. Check out the flip for December-February. Our area is right on the cusp of some very cold air, it could go either way, but right now it favors slightly below normal temps.


And here is the precipitation anomaly showing above-average precipitation.


How does this translate to snow? Calculating this out, assuming it is correct, would lead to between 3 1/2 to 10 inches of snow above average per month for December through February! These are the types of things I am following at the moment

Tune back in tomorrow I will update around 10 am.

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