Advisories and Watches Issued

A  significant Advisory and Winter Storm Watch were issued overnight, and I can only find one model that buys what the NWS is selling. I hope they are right but their issuances depend on a near-perfect scenario and I was even reluctant to post it because I think they should have waited with the Winter Storm Watch until later today or when there is more model support for their forecast perhaps tomorrow.

SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS
339 AM MST SUN FEB 9 2020

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO
8 AM MST MONDAY…
…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
TUESDAY EVENING…

* WHAT…FOR THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY, SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL
SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO 4 TO 8 INCHES WITH UP TO 12 INCHES
NEAR WOLF CREEK PASS. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 35 MPH.

FOR THE WINTER STORM WATCH, SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 10 INCHES POSSIBLE WITH UP TO A FOOT OR
MORE NEAR WOLF CREEK PASS.

* WHERE…SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.

* WHEN…FOR THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY, FROM 5 PM THIS
AFTERNOON TO 8 AM MST MONDAY.

FOR THE WINTER STORM WATCH, FROM MONDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
TUESDAY EVENING.

So 4 to 12 inches by 8 am tomorrow morning, then 6-12 between Monday “afternoon” through Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, the GFS is basically showing a miss, here are its projected totals through Wednesday morning.

29gfs12z

The GFS is much further south with the storm track dumping all over New Mexico as seen below.

2912zgfsregn

On the other end of the spectrum is NOAA’s NAM model which shows this through Wednesday morning.

2912zNAM

And here is the regional view of the NAM’s storm track

29nam12zregn

Jumping over to the Canadian model here are the totals

2912zcmcco

Here is the regional view of the storm track from the Canadian

2912zcmcregn

The Euro is also backing off its earlier totals through Wednesday

2912zeuroco

Here is the regional view from the Euro showing a much weaker storm than the other models

2912zeuroregn

So what if any conclusions can we draw at the moment? First of all, it is important to point out the models are expecting a closed area of low-pressure to develop off the So Cal coast tonight. Why is that significant to keep in perspective? Because trying to predict what path that something that does not exist yet will take can be filled with model error.

For now, expect some light snow today mostly from Purgatory to the north, tonight a chance of snow for the lower elevations going into tomorrow morning. If we get anything major it will likely start late Monday night or Tuesday morning.

By tomorrow morning the closed low (that does not yet exist) should be drifting onshore and the models may have a better idea where it is going to go, also, we could get a further delay in the eastward movement of the low.

So be aware that there is a chance of light to moderate snow early Monday and a chance of significant weather going into Tuesday. If you are going to be traveling especially towards or near ABQ and Santa Fe you could run into some travel problems. I am still on board for Wolf Creek getting at least 8-12′ by Wednesday, with double that amount if the storm track verifies further north. For other areas, I have no confidence in the models as they each have their own slightly different storm tracks.

It will be interesting to see three things this afternoon. First, the midday NAM model run,  will it continue to show a northerly storm track? The second thing will be to see if they (NWS) adjust the snow totals for the Advisory and Winter Storm Watch. The third thing will be what they say in the afternoon forecast discussion. I expect to have at least a short update after I have seen all of those things, probably between 4 and 5 pm today.

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