Today Through Friday
The flow is strong for the Northern San Juans. Telluride and the Hwy 550 areas I mentioned yesterday are getting hammered. It is snowing at Purgatory and while I don’t expect too much over the next 24 hours the fact that it is snowing at all at Purgatory is pretty incredible. The best way to describe what is happening is to compare the atmospheric flow to a waterfall. At the bottom of the waterfall are the areas like Telluride that do well in these conditions, the river that runs to the waterfall is like a conveyor belt of moisture, only now that river is running at 200% of average, it is strong enough that Purgatory is getting the overflow, like the mist that comes off the waterfall.
As I said yesterday the heaviest precip will start just south of Coal Bank and continue north to Ouray. Fortunately, an advisory was issued for the area, but I think there will be some areas that receive warning criteria accumulations (>12 inches) so an upgrade from the NWS would not surprise me.
The NWS issued this a couple of hours ago.
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF TELLURIDE, OURAY, AND LAKE CITY
738 AM MST THU FEB 6 2020
..WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM MST FRIDAY
* WHAT…SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES
IN THE NORTHERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.
* WHERE…NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.
* WHEN…THROUGH 5 PM MST FRIDAY.
* IMPACTS…TRAVEL WILL BE DIFFICULT AT TIMES.
The models’ very clear message that we saw a couple of days ago has turned muddled at best. The GFS and Canadian are showing very little snow, the Euro has decreased amounts but still shows a couple of storms next week, the German model is on board with the Euro.
The models are anticipating that a closed low will develop over Southern California, that has not changed, what has changed is the models were expecting it to drift east over Arizona and lift out over the Four Corners but now the GFS and Canadian are showing the closed low drifting south into Mexico before heading east. So at this point, we have seen a best-case scenario a couple of days ago and a worst-case scenario for next week from the GFS and Canadian this morning.
Hopefully, the models will settle somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios. I will be watching and I can’t wait to see what the next 24 and 48 hours will bring! Next Update Friday afternoon.