Morning Model Update And An SWS From The NWS

More on that Special Weather Statement in a moment. Today I will catch you up on yesterday evening and last night’s model runs. Then I will do an update around midday to start talking about timing.

Yesterday the Euro produced some low output total snowfall runs for the first storm. As a reminder,  we have not been able to see the afternoon and overnight runs of the Euro because I can only access data 90 hours out from those two run times, which has been out of the window of the storm. By tomorrow not only the Euro mid runs but the short term models will be within the window of the storm so there will be more data to look at.

Here is the most recent run of the Euro from last night.

euro122200z

That looks better than what we saw yesterday

Here are the last 3 GFS runs from oldest to newest

Yesterday afternoon

gfs122118z.png

Last night

gfs12220z

Overnight

gfs122206z

Since I posted the Canadian yesterday here is last night’s Canadian run

cmc122200z.png

The Canadian run here looks pretty good in the way it is handling the terrain, but the lower elevation amounts may be a bit too high due to the lower resolution of the model.

Yesterday on Facebook someone wondered if the lack of talk about the storm from the NWS in Grand Junction was indicative of how they felt about the storm. I responded saying that they have been talking about it in detail during their discussions and through their Hazardous Weather Outlooks (HWO), and I suggested that late Saturday or early Sunday they would issue a  Special Weather Statement (SWS) that would be a precursor to an advisory which they will issue Monday if they feel the storm could meet advisory criteria. They just issued that SWS, here it is.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
438 AM MST SUN DEC 22 2019

COZ003-009-010-012-013-017>019-021>023-UTZ025-028-231200-
ROAN AND TAVAPUTS PLATEAUS-GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS-
GORE AND ELK MOUNTAINS/CENTRAL MOUNTAIN VALLEYS-
WEST ELK AND SAWATCH MOUNTAINS-FLAT TOPS-
UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE-
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER-ANIMAS RIVER BASIN-
SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN-TAVAPUTS PLATEAU-LA SAL AND ABAJO MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF RIO BLANCO, SKYWAY, ASPEN, VAIL,
SNOWMASS, CRESTED BUTTE, TAYLOR PARK, MARBLE, BUFORD,
TRAPPERS LAKE, RIDGWAY, GLADE PARK, TELLURIDE, OURAY, LAKE CITY,
SILVERTON, RICO, HESPERUS, CORTEZ, DOVE CREEK, MANCOS, DURANGO,
BAYFIELD, IGNACIO, PAGOSA SPRINGS, AND MONTICELLO
438 AM MST SUN DEC 22 2019

RAIN AND SNOW WILL MAKE A RETURN TO EASTERN UTAH AND WESTERN
COLORADO FROM CHRISTMAS EVE THROUGH CHRISTMAS DAY INTO THURSDAY.
THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO FALL EARLY CHRISTMAS
MORNING. ACCUMULATING SNOW IS EXPECTED OVER THE ABAJOS, LA SALS,
AND SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS WITH 6 TO 10 INCHES POSSIBLE WHILE LESSER
AMOUNTS ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU, GRAND MESA, WEST
ELKS AND FLAT TOPS. TRAVEL MAY BE DIFFICULT OVER THE MOUNTAIN
PASSES IN THOSE AREAS INCLUDING RED MOUNTAIN, COAL BANK, AND MOLAS
PASSES. SOME SNOW ALSO LOOKS POSSIBLE FOR THE SOUTHERN VALLEYS AS
COLD AIR MOVES IN ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

SOME UNCERTAINTY REMAINS IN THE FORECAST WITH REGARDS TO TIMING,
SNOWFALL AMOUNTS, AND PRECIPITATION TYPE. PLEASE STAY TUNED TO
THE LATEST FORECAST ON THIS DEVELOPING WINTER STORM AS YOU PLAN
YOUR HOLIDAY TRAVEL.

The models are now mixed in the latest runs about a second storm, which is better than yesterday, where all but the Canadian had given up on it and sent it south. Now it seems to be back in play. I do want to concentrate on the first storm, but I want to clarify that it does not mean that I have given up on the second storm, it is arguably larger and stronger and it is even if the track is not perfect for us it could still impact us.

My next update should be around noon today.

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