Winter Storm Next Week???

For the last few days, I have been tracking the longer-term model runs showing a cooler wetter pattern beginning on Tuesday or so next week. At first, it was just an anomalous run from the European model. Then Euro doubled down and showed a major winter storm for most of the state next week! Then it flipped to a major liquid precipitation event. The GFS gradually started picking up on the precipitation, but today is also highlighting the snow a bit.

The Euro and GFS have the same exact opposite problem. That is not a mistake I meant to type that. The Euro loves to drop troughs into the US too far west, the GFS loves to drop troughs into the US too far east. Same problem, different biases.

Here was Tuesday afternoon’s Euro run for snowfall.

Not that big of a deal but impressive for the second week in September.

Then, as I said, the Euro doubled down. That model run shows the trough coming in deeper and further west with a closed low. It keeps the snow going an extra day and a half. This results in a major snowstorm.

Check out the totals from Tuesday night’s Euro.

Then Wednesday afternoon the Euro run showed more rain than snow.

Here was the snow

And here was the total liquid precipitation

Here was last night’s GFS run for snow

Here was last night’s Euro run for snow

Here was this morning’s GFS run for snow

And here is the latest from the Euro.

This latest run shows 33″ of snow at Wolf Creek over a foot at Purgatory, Telluride, and Silverton. It shows snow down to 6,500 feet for a brief period Wednesday morning, switching back to rain with snow continuing until Thursday in the mid and higher elevations.

So what do we make of this? We can’t conclude that any one of these individual model runs will be correct, not yet anyway. That being said we will have to watch the trend. If we see the GFS move the mean trough position further west and the Euro keeps it where it is at or a little further west we could see significant snowfall and rain for this time of year.

Too early to put out a forecast but as I said it is still something that needs to be watched–especially for people who are planning outdoor activities or mountain travel above 8,500 feet next week.

If this comes together I would expect the precip to start late on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Models are usually too quick this far out so we will probably notice a trend with the models slowing down the arrival of the system.

This will be fun to track and even more fun to see which if any model will be most correct.

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