Friday Morning Storm Update

Email subscribers:  in my Marshall Fire Update I mistakenly wrote that Louisville and Superior were in SW Boulder County. I meant to write Southeastern Boulder County.

12/31/21 Thursday 8:35 am

For the rest of the day, expect scattered snow showers mixed with periods of moderate snow in the higher elevations. The mid-elevations will see intermittent snow showers increasing through the day. The lower elevations will see a stray flurry early today with snow showers becoming more likely after 3 pm.

For those of you driving tonight in the lower elevation areas for New Year’s Eve, be ready for conditions to deteriorate this evening. Don’t expect the mild conditions throughout the day to continue.

I am starting to see some indications of snow squalls and heavy bands of snow developing this evening throughout the forecast area, including the lower elevations.

Conditions will become more favorable for Telluride and Ouray as the front passes late tonight/overnight when the winds switch direction.

Here is a current map of the storm.

The closed circulation area of low pressure has opened up and is merging with the system to our northwest. The “bottom” of the system is strengthening off the Baja Coast, while the “top” of the system has stalled to our northwest.

Let’s take a look at how the models have done so far. The Winter Storm Warnings for the higher elevations, as well as my forecasted totals, started at 5:00 am yesterday. Let’s look at what the models forecasted for 24 hour period starting Thursday morning, versus what actually fell.

Wolf Creek added 13 inches in the last 24 hours, Purgatory picked up 9 inches and Telluride added an inch…

The Canadian did well in the higher elevations, but poorly in the lower elevations. This is usually because of its lower resolution.


The Euro was a little too low in the higher elevations but did well in the lower elevations.


The GFS  did OK overall, this model struggles a bit with our terrain.

Overall, these models have done a pretty good job so far. But it indicates to me there is no clear-cut favorite and I should continue to blend the models, taking into account their strengths and weaknesses.

My next update will be out by noon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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