Publish Friday 2/12/21 at 8:15 am
My comments on the Winter Storm Watch are at the end of the post.
The snow started a little later than expected. Temps are warmer than forecasted. The lower elevations in many cases are above freezing already. There is a negatively tilted shortwave trough to our west. The stationary front separating us from the Arctic air is now west of Denver and the Front Range and is visible on the surface map below.
It appears the cold air has not yet pushed over the Continental Divide. I say “yet” because this is the furthest west this boundary has pushed.
This early in the day, and with the trough negatively tilted and to our west, it is too early to completely abandon the forecast. Clearly, the lower elevations are in many cases already above freezing. My forecast was 0-2 inches. My mid-elevation forecast was 2 to 4 inches. A look outside my window tells me that a few areas should hit that minimum range. Telluride is getting light snow, it won’t pick up until later after the wind shifts, so it’s too early to worry there. My minimum for Purgatory was 4 inches, things will have to pick up there to hit that. Wolf Creek has the strongest southwest flow right now, and a lot can happen quickly up there. If you have been reading the last few days, you know I was not expecting much out of this.
Winter Storm Watch
An early issued Winter Storm Watch loosely worded always concerns me. I call them blanket Winter Storm Watches because they lack specificity.
SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS
310 AM MST FRI FEB 12 2021
…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING…
* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 18 INCHES POSSIBLE WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS.
* WHERE…SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.
* WHEN…FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING.
* IMPACTS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO IMPOSSIBLE.
They should clean this up by mid-afternoon. The forecaster that issued this said in his forecast discussion that he “decided to pick the low hanging fruit and issue a
Watch for the southern San Juans.”
The model runs have been very consistent with the weekend storm. I will post again this afternoon with the latest model runs and see if we get a clearer picture of what to expect and where. Snow reports would be great this morning (from areas that are actually receiving snow).
Next Update Friday afternoon, thanks for following and supporting the page!