The models were a little too fast with the system coming into the area, yesterday, when I wrote the update I noted that I was surprised that we had not seen the models pick up on the slower movement that we typically see as the storm approaches. Overnight we did get some brief enhancement from the jet which led to some showers and then light snow above 7,000 feet. Around an inch or two is the most I have seen but it continues to snow at Wolf Creek. Update Wolf Creek is reporting 3 inches of as of 6:30 am
By the way, speaking of Wolf Creek, I think it is about time the folks there invested in a snow stake cam, I am sure it would be a big hit, can you imagine like a 36-inch stake? It seems like if your tagline is “The most snow in Colorado” you should show it off.
So back to the storm, of course, all of the surface maps are slightly different. This puts me in a situation that I would compare to being blindfolded then driven somewhere I have never been then told I have to navigate the way home.
And the hi-resolution satellite does not match up particularly well with any of these.
There is plenty of moisture available directly overhead but at the moment there is almost nothing in place to take advantage of it. So looking at the forecast for the jet it appears the best snowfall in areas that favor SW flow will be between 10 am and 4 pm when the strongest portion of the jet comes right overhead. Accumulating snow levels will be between 7,000-8,000′.
Here is what it looks like from a short term high-resolution model. You can see the SW flow max out then start to drop south as the cold front moves in from the north. As the flow shifts, the areas favoring westerly flow will see more snow, then finally the areas favoring northerly and northwesterly flow will be favored late tonight and into Monday.
So according to what I am looking at we still will see some precipitation throughout the day but it is not clear as to how much snow will fall. Split systems like this are very finicky and the models really struggle with all of the variables. I can’t tell you how anxious I am to have a big storm come in that dumps on everyone, these early season storms have a way of making the models look very unreliable (forecasters too). That being said with snowpack near Purgatory at 186% of normal already, I should not complain too much and just enjoy the little bit of Hallmark-style snow we get.