Published at noon on Wednesday 3/10/21
Last night’s system arrived earlier and was faster moving than the models had indicated. This resulted in rain and convection in most of the lower and mid-elevation areas before the colder air arrived. A quick 5 inches of snow fell at Purgatory with 4 inches at both Wolf Creek and Telluride. Wolf Creek underperformed my forecast due to the speed of the system.
I had numerous reports of thunder, lightning, and high winds throughout the area. It has been a while since we’ve seen those conditions.
Snow showers should break out again this evening in and near the resorts. I have low expectations for any accumulations for the lower and middle elevations. It looks like these showers will continue on and off through Friday. Tomorrow I will take another look at Thursday night and Friday.
The big story is the weekend. The models have trended mostly towards a non-event for lower and middle elevations. We should get some decent snow at the resorts, but nothing compared to what should happen east of the divide.
This is a classic “Colorado low” which will pump upslope flow from the eastern plains to higher foothill areas west of Denver. This won’t be the biggest storm for these areas. I remember in 2003 I lived southwest of Denver close to 470. We had so much snow with one storm that I could not see the top of my privacy fence in my backyard. In Evergreen/Bergen Park close to 8 feet of snow fell and the roof collapsed at the Walmart there on I-70.
These systems tend to move through the Western half of Colorado pretty quickly unless they stall out, which is rare. They almost jump over our area then set up in southeast Colorado, and then the show begins. I don’t watch the Weather Channel, but I am sure the whole cast of characters are or will be on their way to the Front Range to set up for the event.
The old GFS and the new GFS have been very consistent in showing a storm track that would result in 1 to 2+ feet for the Denver area and several feet for the foothills west of Denver. The Euro has been a little less convinced on that high of amounts, but it still showed a significant storm with heavy snow for the area.
The new Euro just came out and it is showing the low lifting north quicker, then stalling out northeast of Denver with the heaviest precipitation into eastern Wyoming and the plains. The Euro started this trend 12 hours ago but is more pronounced with the current run.
The Euro model is currently the outlier or the trendsetter. Time will tell.
To recap what I said earlier, scattered snow showers will occur mainly at or above 9,000 feet through Friday, maybe 2 to 5 inches total. I will update that tomorrow.
Here are the models’ forecasts for precipitation between Friday and Monday.
I will start with the perfect Denver storm scenario that the old GFS has been showing for days.
New GFS (beta)
A lot can change in 3 days. I will be posting every day. I think I have answered all of the travel questions I have been sent. If you are traveling on Saturday or Sunday feel free to reach out. Just remember the models are evolving so make sure you stay tuned every day.
Next Update Thursday, thanks for following and supporting the site!