Tuesday Morning Update

Tuesday 10/5 8:20 am

Winter Forecast

Before I begin, I wanted to address the Herald article regarding the upcoming winter. This is the second time they posted this article in less than a week. It was originally in the Cortez Journal in late September. I have gotten quite a few emails asking for my take on this.

I have said for many years that ENSO (El Nino/La Nina) does not affect our forecast area as much as people think. We are in a very unique area. Historically, the heaviest snowfall winters we have had have been during ENSO neutral winters. Some refer to this as La Nada, which means the sea surface temps west of South America are “average” rather than anomalously warm or cold.

2018-2019 winter was an El Nino Modoki which is somewhat of a hybrid. Without getting too deep into the weeds,  it is an El Nino that has similar effects to a La Nina. The same thing happened in the 2009-2010 winter. Those were two big snowfall winters. I don’t usually tackle winter forecasts unless I am very confident about what to expect. I am not there yet with the upcoming winter. However, I am seeing as much data showing we could have a heavy snow winter, as I am seeing data showing an “average” or even a mild winter. I will talk more about this in the upcoming weeks, but I certainly would not write off this winter.

The article quoted Accuweather, here was their forecast for winter 2018-2019.

As you may remember we were closer to Near Record than Near Normal. I’ve got nothing against Accuweather, I was a paid subscriber for many years. Forecasting an upcoming winter is tricky business and you can’t categorize an upcoming winter for our area simply based on ENSO status.

Storm Update

The latest model runs have delayed the onset of precipitation until between 9 pm and midnight tonight. They show the precipitation moving out of the area by Wednesday afternoon. They are still showing snow levels around 11,000 feet. During the last storm, the models were too low with their snow level forecast. We’ll see.

Here are the latest precipitation forecasts.



Here was the GFS just 6 hours earlier

Canadian-no longer showing the near-miss.


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