Monday Afternoon Update

Published at 1 pm

With the trough still well off to our west, weak southwest flow has been teasing most areas with light snow this morning. A drier pocket of air around 10 to 12 thousand feet is inhibiting precipitation. Warmer temperatures at the surface for the next couple of hours will not be favorable for precipitation in the lower elevations.

Here is the just-released surface map. I circled a couple of features on the map that I will explain below.

The first feature is the shortwave trough. It is indicated by a faint brown dashed line extending from eastern Arizona into Nevada. The line cuts through three small waves of energy–that is what makes it a “shortwave” trough.

The second feature I circled is the closed circulation of low pressure over Arizona. The blue line is a cold front. The whole thing should be moving east late this afternoon and evening.

The majority of the precipitation that will fall in the northern areas (Telluride, Ouray, Ridgway, Red Mountain) will get going once the northerly flow kicks in as the trough passes our area after dark.

The models still show very light snow accumulating in most areas above 6,500 feet. That being said it will be a challenge for that to happen. The most likely scenario is that if the trough tracks over us the way the models are indicating, there may be a brief burst of snow. Depending on how that happens there may be a few snow squalls and then the snow will end for lower and mid-elevations of Montezuma and La Plata County. Wolf Creek could get an hour or two of enhanced precipitation this evening if the trough tracks as indicated before the northwest flow kicks in.

As I mentioned before after the northwest flow kicks in slightly heavier snow will fall in the northern region of our forecast area.

The next best chance of precipitation will be Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon. At the moment, this storm looks like it will once again favor the northern portion of the forecast area with northwest flow. It is a little too early to make that forecast with great confidence.

If you are traveling for the Holidays it looks like things are going to dry back out after Friday. The ensemble (multi) models are hinting at a fast-moving storm around the 23rd and another on the 26th. Too early to talk about, but I will keep my eyes on it.

Regardless of what happens, it has been fun to see some areas get snow on the ground. I was surprised to see how many areas got 7-12+ inches in the mid-elevations.

Next Update Tuesday. Thanks for following!

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