Last Minute Model Mayhem


There are still differences in timing and precipitation amounts, as well as snow levels. There are two phases to this storm, the first phase starts overnight, the heaviest precip should be around or shortly after sunrise, there will be a lull for 9-12 hours starting Wednesday afternoon, wherein some areas lighter precip will fall, in others, it may come to a complete stop. Between midnight and 5 am Thursday the precipitation rates will increase as the colder phase of the storm comes in. While this happening the snow levels could lower to 7,000 feet or below. The models diverge right after this happens, which has an effect on the precipitation totals. I have very little confidence in what happens after this. This does not mean I am pessimistic, it means that I can make a case for a small piece of energy being left behind and snow continuing (leftovers), just as I can make a case for the storm ending early Thursday.

Snow levels should start off high late tonight around 9,500′. By Wednesday morning if the models are correct snow levels should drop to between 8,000′-8,500′. and stay there throughout the day. They should not rise throughout the day. Between Midnight and Thursday morning the snow levels should fall to 7,000′ or below.

Now for totals, and I am being pretty conservative-Purgatory and Telluride 8-14″, Wolf Creek 12-18″. I am using the most recent model data and there are a few things could have a big influence on this storm. The biggest factor is how long it takes the second phase to wrap up and move out of the area. Also, will there be leftovers? The models cannot predict that scenario with any degree of accuracy this early. Will the storm stall out and join the two phases? All of these things have happened with regularity in our area so nothing would surprise me.

Here are the latest model runs from the big three.

First up, the Euro, it seems to be changing a little with every run.





GFS Precipitation


GFS snow


Canadian precip


Canadian snow


After the forecast discussion comes out and they update the Winter Storm Warning I will post again, it should be around 4:30pm at the latest

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