Monday Afternoon Update

Published Monday 4/12 at 1:25 pm

Throughout the last couple of years, I have put forward my belief that sometimes the models are right for the wrong reasons. When the models are struggling with a period of unsettled weather for 7 or 10 days they are often wrong with the various stopping and starting times of each precipitation event within that period. However, if you go back and look at what the predicted totals are for the entire 7 or 10 day period, they are often more correct than we give them credit for.

It sure looks like we are going into one of those extended periods of unsettled weather. This does not mean that it will rain and or snow every day. It is more likely that we will have some days and nights when we get no precipitation over the time period.

There are going to be a lot of factors affecting our weather. We will have the northern branch of the jet stream drop into the state. Areas of low pressure will travel throughout the region. Each with several smaller disturbances rotating around them. A large trough is going to drop into the Plains and Midwest States. This will cause blocking and affect the track of the low-pressure areas and associated disturbances rotating around the lows.

The more factors you have affecting the weather, the more scenarios the models come up with. This leads to a lot of inconsistencies among the models, and frustrations for forecasters.

Over the last 24 hours, the GFS model continues to produce high precipitation totals over the next 7 days. Today, finally, the latest Euro is showing slightly more significant precipitation for the weekend.

This time of year it would take an extreme stratospheric warming event which would, in turn, drop the Polar Vortex into the lower 48 for us to accumulate heavy snow below 8,500 feet. Higher elevations are colder and slower to warm up, so chances increase that snow can accumulate on all surfaces.

Although I will show the snow maps, it’s important to remember that most of it will melt below 8,500 feet, while it is falling or shortly after.

Tomorrow morning some light snow could develop on the passes. Tomorrow afternoon is showing very slight chances of rain in the lower and mid-elevations. If we are lucky there may be enough energy for some thunder. In my update tomorrow I will talk more about the short term. For today I am going to stick with the 7 day period totals.

Most of the AFDs (area forecast discussions) I have been reading from the various NWS offices are favoring the Euro. It is more conservative with its totals in most areas. However, the latest run is showing more precipitation for our lower elevation areas than the GFS is showing.

I don’t have a clear favorite in the race because the GFS has been so much more consistent with the heavier totals in our mountain areas as well as areas east of the Continental Divide.

Here are the GFS 7 day liquid precipitation totals.

Here are the GFS 7 day snow totals (before melting).

Here are the Euro 7 day liquid precipitation totals.

Here are the Euro 7 day snow totals(before melting).

My next update will be Tuesday. Sunday morning I posted the details of the 2nd annual prize drawing. If you have not seen the details and are interested you can read them here:  Second Annual Drawing For Cash Prizes.

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