Never Say Never OR “Unlikely”

A little over an hour after I finished my post yesterday, the NAM suite of models came out with their 11 am model runs. The NAM model is the North American Meso Scale model and it comes in a couple of flavors one is high resolution and one is a little lower resolution. Those came out around 2:00 and they went crazy with snow for the first storm. Do you remember that “highly unlikely scenario” I mentioned on Saturday where the trough had to drop in either further west and/or much deeper? Well, it did for that model run especially. Since then that model has backed off on the intensity, but some of the models have picked up on an increase in westerlies and some southwesterlies rather than just northwest flow. One of the reasons we use mesoscale models is to pick up the finite details, sometimes this is good, sometimes it over exaggerates. The cold weather accompanying this first storm is going to go a long way to make up for any imperfections such as wind direction. This storm will have a lot going for it, and as was said in forecast discussion yesterday afternoon, the first storm should be able to ring out every little bit of available moisture.

The wind profiles in the overnight runs were showing a west to slight southwesterly flow, finishing with northwesterly on Tuesday during the day.

The models are not terribly different from yesterday, but in my experience with this setup, Montezuma and Dolores Counties do pretty well. So does the western side of La Plata and also areas below 160. Wolf Creek also does very well with this scenario. Usually, when NWS issues an advisory or warning for Hesperus, I have to put an asterisk next to it, because locals have different interpretations of what it means to live in Hesperus. Anyway, that may not be the case this time.

It is likely I will be adjusting my forecast totals for this first storm, more dramatically for the areas I already mentioned. In the meantime, the NWS issued an advisory this first storm. Here it is.

SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS
256 AM MST MON NOV 25 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO
5 PM MST TUESDAY…

* WHAT…SNOW…MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES…DEVELOPING THIS
EVENING. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES WITH LOCALLY
HIGH AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 40 MPH ABOVE
9500 FEET.
* WHERE…SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.

* WHEN…FROM 8 PM TODAY TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY.

NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF RIDGWAY, GLADE PARK, TELLURIDE, OURAY,
AND LAKE CITY
256 AM MST MON NOV 25 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS
EVENING TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY…

* WHAT…SNOW…MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES…DEVELOPING THIS EVENING.
TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 9 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGH
AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 40 MPH ABOVE 9500
FEET.

* WHERE…UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE AND NORTHWEST
SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.

* WHEN…FROM 8 PM TODAY TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY.

I will be posting later today with more details, it will probably be after 4 pm.

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