New Advisories Everywhere and Encouraging Model Runs

Overnight models continued to show an encouraging storm track for most areas west of the Continental Divide. I had to edit the Winter Weather Advisories because they lumped in not just the Northwest and Southwest San Juans but they also added Vail, Aspen, Taylor Park, Gunnison, Crested Butte etc. So I edited those areas out since they are not in the forecast area that I cover.

If you are not normally under an advisory you probably are today. They are low-end advisories but nevertheless, it could get dicey this afternoon. Even Farmington, Bloomfield, and Aztec are under an advisory today!  Find yours below.

FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER-ANIMAS RIVER BASIN-
SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF GATEWAY, NUCLA, CORTEZ, DOVE CREEK, MANCOS, DURANGO, BAYFIELD, IGNACIO, AND PAGOSA SPRINGS
523 AM MST SAT DEC 12 2020

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 8 PM MST THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.

* WHERE…SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN, PARADOX VALLEY/LOWER DOLORES RIVER, FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER AND ANIMAS RIVER BASIN.

* WHEN…FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 8 PM MST THIS EVENING.

* IMPACTS…TRAVEL WILL BE DIFFICULT AT TIMES WITH ICY TO
SNOWPACKED CONDITIONS EXPECTED

************************************************

INCLUDING THE CITIES OF RIDGWAY, GLADE PARK, AND MONTICELLO
523 AM MST SAT DEC 12 2020

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM MST THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…SNOW…MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES…EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 9 INCHES GENERALLY ABOVE 9000 FEET  WITH LESSER AMOUNTS IN LOWER ELEVATIONS.

* WHERE…IN UTAH, LA SAL AND ABAJO MOUNTAINS. IN COLORADO, GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS AND UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE.

* WHEN…UNTIL 11 PM MST THIS EVENING.

* IMPACTS…TRAVEL WILL BE DIFFICULT AT TIMES WITH ICY TO
SNOWPACKED CONDITIONS EXPECTED.

*********************************************************

COZ010-012-018-019-122200-
/O.CON.KGJT.WW.Y.0026.201212T1500Z-201213T1200Z/
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS- SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF  TELLURIDE, OURAY, LAKE CITY, SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS
523 AM MST SAT DEC 12 2020

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM MST SUNDAY…

* WHAT…SNOW…MODERATE TO HEAVY A TIMES…ALONG WITH AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 9 INCHES GENERALLY ABOVE 9000 FEET WITH LESSER AMOUNTS IN LOWER ELEVATIONS. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 50 MPH.

* WHERE…SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.


* WHEN…FROM 8 AM THIS MORNING TO 5 AM MST SUNDAY.

* IMPACTS…TRAVEL WILL BE DIFFICULT AT TIMES WITH ICY TO
SNOWPACKED CONDITIONS EXPECTED.

************************************************

NMZ201>206-215-216-121900-
/O.EXA.KABQ.WW.Y.0023.201212T1900Z-201213T1300Z/
Northwest Plateau-Chuska Mountains-Far Northwest Highlands-
Northwest Highlands-West Central Plateau-West Central Mountains-
East Slopes Sangre de Cristo Mountains-Upper Rio Grande Valley-
343 AM MST Sat Dec 12 2020

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 6 AM MST SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches
below 7500 feet and 3 to 6 inches above 7500 feet.

* WHERE…Northwest Plateau, Chuska Mountains, Far Northwest
Highlands, Northwest Highlands, West Central Plateau, West
Central Mountains, East Slopes Sangre de Cristo Mountains and
Upper Rio Grande Valley.

* WHEN…From noon Saturday to 6 AM MST Sunday.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery and icy road conditions. This
includes the Highway 550 corridor across northwest New Mexico.
Strong and gusty winds with gusts as high as 35 mph may create
areas of blowing and drifting snow.

**********************************************

As I mentioned the advisories are on the low end of the spectrum. Typically 6 to 12 inches is the low threshold for a mountain advisory. 3 to 6 inches is an advisory above 6,000 feet. 1-3 inches is the threshold below 6,000 feet.

Cold temperatures are going to lead to high snow liquid ratios. I expect some surprise totals. I also expect many areas to experience snow squalls this afternoon with heavy rates of snowfall. The system will depart early this evening, leaving Telluride, Ouray, and Silverton in favorable northerly and northwesterly flow.

Yesterday I was reminded that a lot of people who are new were not familiar with the terms “low elevations” and “mid-elevations”. This is my own terminology and generally, I am referring to areas below 7,000 feet when I refer to low elevations. When I refer to mid-elevations I am referring to areas between 7,300-8,300 feet. I realize there is a gap in between, you can extrapolate the difference between the two if you live in that zone.

Here is the most recent high-resolution North American Model run for today’s snow.

This model does pretty well the same day of a storm. The snow should gradually intensify becoming heavy in most areas between 1 and 3 pm. Right now, I like the totals in the advisories. Mid-elevations should be closer to 3-6 inches. I like the 6-9 inch call for Purgatory. I  think 8-12 inches for Telluride on top of the 7 inches they got from the first storm. Wolf Creek ended up with 15 inches from the first storm and I think they could get 12-16 more inches before the second storm leaves the area.

My plan was to post again after the morning model runs came out. I will try something that just came up may prevent that from happening, but I will try.

As I mentioned earlier things could get pretty dicey this afternoon so plan accordingly.

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