Famous Last Words

Published Sunday 1/3/21 at 7:45 am

Interestingly enough, the last optimistic model run I have seen in 4 or 5 days was the last one I posted, last Tuesday. You remember that one, the one I said was “maybe too perfect”. Clearly, I jinxed the stormy pattern, I hope nobody bought a new snowblower!

What we are left with has been a very stormy pattern in the northwest US sending storms around us. If we are lucky a couple of pieces of energy may drop far enough south to produce some snow in the northern portion of our forecast area (Telluride). This pattern is not good for producing snow in our areas that rely on southerly and southwesterly flow.

When will it change? I can’t answer that question with any degree of confidence right now because there is very little agreement among the weather models. One of the problems is when you get these big storms coming into our north they tend to have a lot of waves of energy and disturbances rotating around them. Some of those disturbances break away from the main energy source and dissipate or they go through a strengthening process and become a new separate storm. As I have said before, many times, the models do not handle “leftovers” very well.

When I look at the model family members of the Euro and the GFS there is very little agreement among the 51 model members that make up the Euro model or the 30 members that make up the GFS model as to when we will get some meaningful precipitation.  In other words, not only is there widespread disagreement among the various models, but internally, the models disagree with themselves.

There are more parameters to look at in the models than just the precipitation output. One of the things that I track is a “Strat Warm” or a Stratospheric Warming event. We are in the middle of one right now. These happen every winter and they are responsible for the southward movement of the (dreaded) Polar Vortex. I am not going to get too deep in the weeds with this, but the end result is that these events can and do alter the position of the polar jet. Many times they force the polar jet into southern California which can lead to an AR (atmospheric river) event. We love those! These events are a process that can take a couple of weeks or longer to pan out.

As I said there are a couple of chances of snow in the next week from the Silverton area north to Telluride and Ouray. At the moment it looks like very little if any snow will accumulate, but I will do another update before the first snow chances arrive late Tuesday.

If you are a new follower, keep in mind that with me no news is not good news, it is not bad news it is just no news. Thanks for following!

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