Happy Meteorological Fall! The first cold front of the season is currently working south and east of the area. Snow fell in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado including some of the higher peaks around Telluride.
Here was the radar as the front approached from the NW at 4:30 this morning.
Because the front was fairly weak this far south it took longer to get over the San Juans, leaving Durango with warm overnight temperatures. Very slightly cooler air will move into today and could lead to temps a few degrees colder tomorrow morning than we have seen lately.
That’s it. Warmer temperatures under a ridge of high pressure and a mostly dry air mass will take over. Temperatures in the lower elevations will be right back up in the upper 80’s to low 90’s by the end of the week.
At this point, it does not make sense to look beyond the next 5 days. The models’ accuracy beyond 5 days has been abysmal this summer. The people in the business I hear from are telling me that they expect that to improve as La Nina deepens. I know technically there is still “a 60% chance of a La Nina developing”. The reality is it already did, it just has not met the 5-month “requirement” yet. But according to all observable factors, like sea surface temps and the southern oscillation index, it is already here. The good news is with the La Nina we may be able to rely on the MJO forecast better this year.
La Nina’s do result in a northerly storm path but they do not always equal less snow in SW Colorado. There are other factors that come into play so don’t give up on Winter yet!
I looked at the 11 first-year La Ninas, which means in back-to-back La Nina years I chose the first year of the cycle. This year is a first-year La Nina year. Here is what I found:
2 years had above average snowfall. 1 year had slightly above average snowfall. 4 years had average snowfall. 2 years had slightly below average snowfall. 2 years had below-average snowfall. Slightly above and slightly below are within 15% of average. Below and above average are greater than 15% above or below average.
I have been doing this long enough to know that I am going to have to start talking people off of the cliff in about a month in regards to the Winter forecast. Wait to worry is my message at this point.
Thanks for following and supporting the page. If you are a fan of warm weather, you should be in a happy place for at least the next 7 days.