Friday Storm Update

3/4/22 Friday 7:20 am

I have been up for several hours pouring through the data from the overnight model runs. I have also been reading the various forecast discussions from several of the NWS offices. I have been struggling to decide how to present my forecasts this afternoon.

For the resorts, it should be business as usual, I will likely stick with multi-day totals. Advisories have been issued in that form already. The lower and some of the mid-elevation areas present a problem with all of the warmer air in advance of the first system today and tonight.

Slightly cooler air will be in place on Saturday but according to the models, there will still be considerable melting in the lower and some of the mid-elevation areas. Sunday will be cooler still, but it does not look like there will be significant precipitation.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from Purgatory to Red Mountain for 8 to 16 inches of snow. NWS in Pueblo issued a Winter Weather Advisory for 10 to 20 inches for Wolf Creek.

Here are the latest model runs showing total liquid precipitation through Monday morning.



Here are the latest runs from NOAA’s blended models



I think the solution to my forecast dilemma will be a multi-day forecast for the higher elevations and 24 hours at a time for the lower and mid-elevations.

If you read my post yesterday afternoon I mentioned the high CAPE values that are being forecasted for this afternoon. This will increase the chance for thunderstorms and lightning this afternoon across the forecast area. Convection like this can increase rates of snowfall and lower the snow levels. That is something that is nearly impossible to forecast, but it could complicate things a bit.

The latest high-resolution model run shows CAPE values peaking from 1 pm to 3 pm. Here are the projected CAPE values from 11 am to 4 pm this afternoon. Anything above 500 increases the chance of thunderstorm development. You will know the atmosphere is ripe for development if you see graupel falling.


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