Published Saturday 4/17 at 8:40 am
A predictable start to this sloppy Saturday. A brief dusting of snow fell in many areas above 7,000 feet. The 550 passes have accumulated up to a couple of inches of snow as has Wolf Creek Pass, where it is a chilly 14 degrees this morning.
The NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the 550 mountain areas with this morning’s forecast package.
URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
336 AM MDT SAT APR 17 2021
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SILVERTON AND RICO
336 AM MDT SAT APR 17 2021
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM MDT
SUNDAY ABOVE 9500 FEET…
* WHAT…SNOW EXPECTED ABOVE 9500 FEET. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES, WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS UP TO 10 INCHES IN THE EASTERN SAN JUANS.
* WHERE…SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS AND NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.
* WHEN…UNTIL 6 PM MDT SUNDAY.
* IMPACTS…TRAVEL MAY BE DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY OVER THE HIGH
MOUNTAIN PASSES OVERNIGHT.
The Pueblo NWS office issued a similar advisory for Wolf Creek Pass:
UPPER RIO GRANDE VALLEY/EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS BELOW
10000 FEET-EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET-
349 AM MDT SAT APR 17 2021
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT MDT TONIGHT…
* WHAT…SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 9
* WHERE…UPPER RIO GRANDE RIVER VALLEY AND THE EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.
* WHEN…UNTIL MIDNIGHT MDT TONIGHT.
* IMPACTS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT.
The NWS is expecting rain and snow showers to increase as we approach midday. The short-term high-resolution model this morning shows on and off scattered rain and snow showers throughout the day. For tonight, a lull in the action and then snow showers redeveloping overnight into the morning.
The models already start to diverge by tomorrow morning with the high-resolution model ending the showers before noon, while the other models continue the scattered showers until late afternoon.
Here are the models. Any snow accumulations you see on the models below 9,500 feet is before melting.
Here are the short-term high-resolution model runs. Overnight it was showing more of a bullseye over southern and central La Plata County. The current runs show the bullseye over Archuleta County. I have low confidence in this model this morning. Experience tells me that when this happens there are going to be some upside surprises in the lower or mid-elevations, but it will be nearly impossible to determine where that may happen.
NAM 3km liquid
NAM 3km snow
Unless I see something new in the next suite of model runs, my next update will be Sunday morning.
If you have not seen the details for this year’s contest you can read them here: Second Annual Drawing For Cash Prizes Next weekend (4/25), I will be updating the prize list. I have had a couple of people reach who want to donate prizes. If you are a business and want to participate email me within the next week.
Thanks for following and participating in the contest!