Advisories Issued, But Should They Be?

I have not liked this storm set up as a major producer of snow for our southern mountains. I have seen the models overreact a number of times until the system actually makes it into the state. The NWS gets all excited and issues advisories and then the models flop and figure it out usually right after the issuance. Yesterday afternoon the advisories for Silverton and Telluride came out and rather than post them I decided to give it another model cycle and wait it out. My thought process was that there would still be plenty of time to jump on board if necessary this morning before the snow started falling.

Here were the models’ runs yesterday before they issued the advisories.

Euro yesterday


GFS yesterday


New Euro




So far my suspicions seem to be on track. I am not saying it won’t snow and I just don’t know that those strongly worded advisories we warranted. That being said the snow should start to pick up south of Red Mountain and near Telluride by later today. If Wolf Creek gets some action it would likely be much later today and tonight as energy associated with this system moves east. The hi-resolution short terms models keep hinting at this happening.

Here are the latest totals from NAM 3km model.


You can see the little bullseye south of Wolf Creek. I don’t have a lot of faith in this happening because the other models are not on board with this at all. Whenever there is this much disagreement this late in the game there is a problem with the outlier model’s analysis.

Looking ahead over the next few days, what looked just a couple of days ago to be a return to warmer weather now looks unsettled with a series of small systems coming through every couple of days. This type of pattern is referred to as zonal flow and there is pretty good agreement among the big three medium-term models that it will occur.

Although I don’t see us receiving above-average precipitation over the period, one of the systems the models are showing next week has some potential, I will be keeping an eye on it.

If you have not been on the CDOT website lately (and why would you be?) they upgraded many of the webcams on 550 north, I just noticed some light wet snow is falling but the temps are not much cooler at the higher elevations than down here so the snow is not really accumulating yet.

If you have not checked out all of the contest upgrades yet, read the details here: March 18th Contest Update!

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