2/19/22 Saturday 6 am
Overnight, the models continued to advertise a significant weather event beginning late on Monday. It will likely intensify Monday night into Tuesday morning. There will be reinforcing of the storm on Tuesday night into Wednesday with snow coming to an end sometime on Thursday. We may see some early Winter Storm Watches issued from the NWS by Sunday afternoon, maybe earlier.
To follow up on my comments yesterday regarding travel next week, here is a quote from the overnight forecast discussion from the NWS: “while the storm is still a few days away, and the forecast will, of course, be tweaked and fine-tuned, start making preparations now including alternate plans if you have to travel next week.”
There are still a lot of unknowns at roughly 60 hours away from the onset of precipitation. Temperatures have been fluctuating in a couple of the models. Temperatures will determine the snow ratios so this is an important factor. The timing of the push of the arctic air from north to south ties right into the temperature profiles.
Winds are another factor that up to this point I have not talked a lot about. The winds will be strongest along the frontal boundary. Depending on how far south the coldest air sags into SW Colorado, there could be some blizzard-like conditions. At the moment it looks like the northern portions of the forecast area as well as areas along the divide like Wolf Creek are most likely to experience these conditions.
There are still unknowns regarding the amount of precipitation that will fall. The GFS and Canadian are the wettest models. They both handled the December storms better than the Euro. The GFS was the first to jump on this storm and has been the most consistent run to run over the last week. It is likely I will be weighting the GFS heavier in my forecast than the other models. By the way, I will be issuing that forecast on Monday afternoon.
With all of that being said, here are the latest liquid precipitation forecasts from the major models.
Canadian–it is interesting that both the GFS and Canadian are forecasting 3.8 liquid inches of precipitation on this particular run. That would equate to around 50 inches of snow up there.
I get a lot of questions from people primarily in La Plata County about how to find where they live on the precipitation maps. This could be because La Plata County has the highest population in SW Colorado and therefore the highest number of new people that have moved into the area.
Here is a detailed map of La Plata County that you can print off and use as a guide when you are looking at the precipitation maps.
My next update will be this afternoon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!
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