Wednesday 9 am Update

Earlier I mentioned the interesting surface map I saw. The new 6 am map has been drawn and the new analyst is following the same path as the previous one.

Here is what it looks like, I will translate it below the image.

6am map

The first thing to look at is what I have referred to as the “parent” low-pressure system otherwise known as the main low-pressure system for this storm. It is clearly defined by the circle with the “L” in it, off the coast of Baja, California. The next is the trough which starts in Idaho, goes down to Salt Lake, through Vegas and finally the Arizona-Mexico border. Let me zoom in on the tail-end of that trough we, don’t always see the type of feature that is indicated here so I want to point it out.


This is Arizona, notice the red and blue trough cutting through the western portion of the state. The blue and red indicate the trough is stationary. At the bottom of the trough you will notice it is a little different, it is still red and blue but it is dashed red and blue. This has a very specific meaning and it is the third consecutive time it has shown up since midnight on the surface map. This indicates Cyclogenesis. Cyclogenesis refers to a rapidly developing and strengthening area of low pressure.

We usually see cyclogenesis happen after a storm passes our area and heads onto the plains and upper midwest. Weather media coined the term “Bomb Genesis”, which is frequently, mostly incorrectly, used today.

This will be something I will be monitoring throughout the day. Surface map analysts are not always correct, they are human and their analysis is dependent on their experience and opinion, yes they make mistakes, I have seen it happen a dozen times if you are a longtime follower I shared those instances before. Bottom line, this storm could be stronger than anticipated, where and when and if that happens is still unsettled.

Although the model runs have looked great up to this point, there is still a lot of time before they will be able to do a great job figuring this system out. The latest high-resolution guidance does not even show the parent low pressure making landfall in Baja until 2 pm this afternoon! There is our slowdown…

Favorable moisture transport will continue to develop snow showers in the mountains way ahead of the storm, with showers in the lower and middle elevations developing this afternoon, possibly later afternoon.

The heaviest snow will fall very late tonight and early tomorrow morning as all snow above 6,500 feet. I expect 3 inches or less in town Durango and Bayfield. Mid-elevations are a different story. If I were a betting man, I would expect some type of Winter Weather Advisory to be issued for mid-elevation areas in the afternoon forecast package from the NWS, this would cover all of the Dwesters, Rafters, Forest Lakes, Edgemont, Falls Creek, Long Hollow, etc you know who you are!  Mayday and Lemon will get significant snow.  I am still going to wait a while to try to hone in those amounts.

I am going to be updating often throughout the day as this is, potentially, a very interesting situation developing. Tentatively, around 1 pm and 4:30 pm, but it may be more often depending on what I see.

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