2/20/22 Sunday 8 am
For many of you in the lower and mid-elevation areas, this will likely be the biggest winter storm of the season. In the higher elevations, this will come very close to the December multi-day storm.
The models continue to delay the onset of the precipitation until late Monday. This is a good thing because it will give the colder air more time to work south through the forecast area.
NWS Grand Junction issued a broad-based Winter Storm Watch. It is currently set to begin at 5 pm Monday through 4 am Thursday. They need to clean it up a bit. Things must be hectic up there because they did not even update their long-term forecast discussion. Pueblo NWS has not even issued a Winter Storm Watch for Wolf Creek, with 4 to 5+ feet of snow on the way I assume we will see that watch issued today.
The later start for the watch seems like a good idea, but I would not be surprised to see the snow start earlier. I also expect the snow to continue throughout the day on Thursday.
I do expect multiple delays and road closures with this storm. The snow is going to be very high ratio (fluffy powder) late Tuesday through Thursday so it is really going to pile up. Between the winds and the low-density snow, we could experience blizzard-like conditions which could lead to additional road closures over the passes as well as some non-pass areas. Drifting may even be an issue in rural areas.
Here are the latest model runs showing the forecasted total liquid precipitation for the event. Tomorrow, I will convert them to snow. It takes a long time to do that for a multi-day storm, that is why I wait until the end to do so.
GFS 6 hours earlier–I love the consistency in this model and it will be reflected in my forecast.
Canadian latest–you can’t see the max based on how I cropped this but it is also forecasting 4.2 inches of liquid at Wolf Creek.
My next update will be out this afternoon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!