Light rain and snow should begin late tonight. By tomorrow morning light precipitation should be falling everywhere and the snow should be picking up in intensity at Wolf Creek. Travel towards Denver should be mostly unaffected after crossing Wolf Creek.
Travel to the north tomorrow will be normal winter driving conditions with light to moderate snow above 9,500 feet. This will change by late afternoon and evening. The heaviest precipitation for the entire event will happen between 8 pm Monday night and 8 am Tuesday. Travel will be very difficult across the passes at that time.
This storm has an SW flow component that will become NW flow with the passage of the cold front Tuesday. This means Purgatory and Wolf Creek and Silverton will have more snow on the front end of this system (until very early Tuesday morning). Telluride and Red Mountain’s snow will be determined by how deep the SW flow is. When NW flow kicks in very early Tuesday, Telluride and Red Mountain will get a boost of heavier high ratio snow that will accumulate quickly.
I like what the NWS has in their Winter Storm Warning with 8-16 inches. It will probably be closer to 7-11 inches for Purgatory. Telluride will be similar, but more will fall after midnight Tuesday morning. Wolf Creek should end up with 18-24 inches.
I am confident that the lower and middle elevations will have snow, I am not at all confident about the amounts yet.
Here are the most recent GFS and Euro model runs. They were the most similar of the models I looked at. It is important to note that both the German model and the Canadian model show considerably more precipitation for the lower elevations. The Canadian also shows significantly more precipitation for the mountains.
The biggest difference between the two models right now is that the GFS is showing stronger NW flow as the storm exits our region.
The next post will be Monday unless the NWS tweaks their current Winter Storm Warnings this afternoon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!