Storm And December Wrap Up

1/3/22 Monday 9:30 am

As irritating as it was to be without the internet yesterday, there was something kind of nice about it. It forced me to not get distracted and just enjoy the day.

Here was the storm Saturday morning as it was departing the area. At the end of the day, the merger took place at an unfavorable location to provide a lot of snow to the lower and some of the mid-elevation areas.


Here are the storm totals from Thursday through Saturday.

Ouray 10 inches

Telluride 14 inches

Silverton 16 inches

Purgatory 18 inches

Wolf Creek 38 inches

The nine-day storm cycle was tremendous for our snowpack.  Here are the nine-day totals from December 23rd through January 1st.

Telluride 48 inches

Purgatory 61 inches

Coal Bank 99 inches

Wolf Creek 127 inches

Thanks to CAIC for responding to my request for the Coal Bank data. They also mentioned that the 99 inches of snow was the equivalent of 8.6 inches of liquid and it was not a record.  For the month of December, they said Coal Bank received 146 inches of snow with a liquid equivalent of 13.6 inches!

Here are the latest snowpack numbers for our region

The numbers that most people are interested in are the last two numbers on the right. The first number is the percentage of today’s median (average). The second is the percentage of today’s peak.

For example, if you go down to Cascade #2  you will see that as of today that site has 177% of what is average for this date and 75% of what it usually has at its peak.  If you look to the left you will that the peak date for maximum snowpack usually occurs March 6th at that location. At the bottom, you can see that as a whole our area is at 142% of our average snowpack for this date.

There are going to be a couple of chances for snow this week, favoring the northern portions of the forecast area. This weekend some of the snow may work down to Purgatory and Wolf Creek but I don’t expect anything significant.

Beyond the weekend, the dreaded ridge of high pressure is going to re-establish itself over the area and give us a “January thaw”. This could last 7 to 10 days, very early indications are that we could shift back into a stormier pattern after that.

On Tuesday, I will talk more about the extended period. The “Euro Weeklies” model will be out and it covers a number of parameters up to 46 days in the future. “The Euro Seasonal”  model should update tonight and will give us a fresh look at the rest of the winter. Both of these models did pretty well around the first of last month showing the stormy end to December that led to our above-average snowpack.

Tuesday’s update should be out before 10 am. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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