Thursday and Friday Storm Update


Yesterday at the end of my post I said the following: “to the extent that it is ever possible, this (upcoming) storm appears that it will be more forecastable than the difficult storm cycle of NW Flow storms we have had so far in January.” Today, that is not exactly the case.

When I first started tracking the next storm(s) It looked like we would have a trough come in from the west and merge with a subtropical plume of moisture and dump snow Thursday through late Friday. I guess it could not stay that easy. So we’re right back to a two-part storm where moisture is supposed to move into NW New Mexico and then move north over our area Thursday during the day. While that is happening a trough will march towards the area late Thursday and absorb the moisture and energy before moving into the Northern Plains late Friday.

If everything goes perfect everyone will be happy with a lot of snow. In the past, we have seen this set up go wrong in several ways. The moisture has gotten pushed further east like it did early Monday morning, or it stays further south and we never see the moisture in our area. Or just a hint of the moisture comes north for low totals and the main trough jumps us to marry up with the other system and deepen on the plains.

Lots of scenarios with only one scenario that delivers a lot of snow and that is the perfect storm scenario. The Euro and Canadian still mostly favor that solution, although they are trending towards a solution that brings the heaviest snow to the east. The latest GFS brings a slight amount of moisture over our area favoring Archuleta County and then speeds the trough through without deepening it to our west, which is classic GFS bias.

Here is the latest GFS run


German ICON






The other thing I have not yet discussed is the temperature factor, we will be under SW flow and subtropical moisture flow, that means it is likely the low elevations will see melting during the day Thursday before the colder air filters in early Friday.

Wolf Creek should do very well again in nearly every scenario, the only question is will it be just a foot there or will it be another two feet or more. If you have not been keeping track of Wolf Creek, amazingly, they have had more snow this year than last year. They hit 220 inches yesterday, last year they were at 167 inches at the same time.

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