Overnight Storm Update And 550 CDOT Update

2/23/22 Wednesday 3 am

Here is the latest report from CDOT, expect many more throughout the day. If you have to drive out of Southwest Colorado today it will be very difficult.

US 50 Monarch Pass / Chaffee County

Avalanche mitigation ops were completed on Monarch Pass at approximately 7:45 p.m. Crews report a “significant amount of snow coming out of the Big Slide avalanche path.”
US 550 Mountain Corridor / San Juan & Ouray Counties
Crews will perform avalanche mitigation on Coal Bank and Molas passes, south of Silverton, beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Wed., 2/22).  Two crews will work simultaneously on each pass. Crews will attempt to allow traffic through periodically. Once operations are completed on these two passes, crews will move to back Red Mt. Pass (which is currently closed) to trigger additional slides. Operations will last through much of the day. 

I know a lot of my followers are like me and will look outside in the middle of the night to check out the storm. I got sick of looking at the street in front of my house with no snow on it, so I decided to see what was going on.

Here is what I found out. While moderate to heavy snow continues in the higher elevations. Most low and some mid-elevation areas are still waiting on the slow-moving second storm to arrive.

Here is the surface map, these maps are always delayed and usually lag by about 3 hours.

Here is the WPC map

I circled the cold air that is stalled to our north and east. The tightly packed isobars indicate the cold and windy conditions to our north.

Below is the WU surface map. WU takes data from the WPC map and fills in additional features using an algorithm that takes data from everyone’s personal weather stations (that are hooked up to the site). It sometimes does a better job in finding certain details that the WPC map does not have access to. WU is owned by IBM and they have plans to develop their own high-resolution model using data from all of its members.

I circled the three areas of low pressure. Also, notice the red and blue line extending through Utah then down into New Mexico. That is the stalled surface front. I circled the cold air north of that front on the WPC map. The stalled front and the area of low pressure in Colorado are generating the snow in the higher elevations as well as some areas in the northern portion of the forecast area.

The main energy from the second storm is with the low-pressure north of Las Vegas and the blue line extending from Las Vegas out into the Pacific.

All of this really means is an extended event for the higher elevations and a delay in the onset of precipitation for the lower elevations. The closer the second storm gets to us the more the snow will pick up.

My next update should be out before 8 am. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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