My eyes will be glued on the weather models for the next 24 hours for any adjustments as the closed low off the coast of Baja comes onshore. Just a couple of days ago it was looking like two distinct systems heading near our region, now looks like the two systems could be uniting and bringing our area a better chance of snow.
This is not going to be a big storm but a lot of areas will have brown replaced by white during the event.
Here is the surface map.
You will see the two features. The first is the closed area of low pressure off the Baja Coast. BTW you can tell it is a “closed low” because a circle is drawn around it. It signifies the closed counterclockwise rotation. Closed low-pressure systems move slower than “open waves” of low pressure. Closed lows often linger in an area until getting picked up by another feature. They also have the ability to produce a lot of precipitation as they stall out over an area. Unfortunately, this closed low should become an open wave before it reaches us. The second feature is the trough/cold front stretching from Montana to a few hundred miles off the Norcal coast.
I don’t anticipate the two features merging before they move well east of our area, however, it looks like they will have some interaction as they approach our area. How much will depend on how long it takes the southern closed low to start moving.
The latest model data suggests prefrontal moisture arriving in Arizona late tonight, then into northern Arizona and New Mexico during the day tomorrow. Finally arriving in our area by late afternoon or early evening tomorrow.
This may be too fast, the models usually make an adjustment once the low comes onshore. Don’t be surprised to see precipitation delayed based upon two things: the first is the speed of the low. The second is an extremely dry atmosphere. It may take a while to saturate the air in the lower elevations before precipitation starts hitting the ground.
Here are the latest models. Some look better than others and some of the short term models that I am not going to post until tomorrow show considerably more precipitation than these. I will feel more confident with the model runs tomorrow assuming the low has made it onshore. I prefer to use liquid precipitation model forecasts. Multiply by 12 for snow amounts.
Most of the models are showing 6-10″ for Telluride and Wolf Creek for 3-day totals. Purgatory is more in the 3-6″ camp for the moment.
To recap, this does not look like it could develop into a big heavy snowstorm. I will be happy with anything. In my opinion, it is too early to go into detail about next week. At this point, the following week looks a little more promising but we will see.
Next Update Thursday. Thanks for following!