Thursday Morning Update

12/15/22 Thursday 7 am

A weak short-wave trough will pass to the north today resulting in snow showers developing throughout the day and evening over the far northern portions of the forecast area. Light accumulations of 1 to 3 inches can be expected by tomorrow. The heaviest snow should fall in Ouray County. Just south of the town of Ouray there could be an upside surprise of 4 or 5 inches.

Aside from that, there is not a lot to talk about. Cold temperatures will continue for the next couple of days, then it appears temperatures will moderate beginning on Sunday.

The global models have really been struggling with the intrusion of the extremely cold temperatures mid to late next week. There has been a shift in the forecast further east with the airmass. I have low confidence in what I am seeing because the models struggle with cold air masses this many days out. At the moment it looks like the coldest air will set up in eastern Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, Nebraska, the Dakotas,  Iowa, and Minnesota.

Here are the forecast highs for next Thursday according to the European model.

Just to clarify, these are not anomalies they are the actual high temperatures (f). This could put quite a strain on the energy grid in some of the southern states.

I do not mind if the cold misses the western slope at all, but I do wish I could see some more meaningful precipitation in the future. As I said the models struggle with processing arctic air masses, which in turn, makes them struggle with jet placement and storm track. Until they can figure out the cold air intrusion, they are not going to be very reliable with long-wave storm development in the Pacific.

I don’t believe there will be anything to talk about on Friday, so I will post again over the weekend. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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2 thoughts on “Thursday Morning Update

  1. Mike Smedley

    Hi Jeff! It looks like a brownish Christmas, with patches of white. At least there is some snow in the mountains. And that’s what concerning. I know we are something like a month and a half into the snow season, but I’m really not liking what the NWS has on its climate prediction outlooks. A suggestion would be to translate the 3-4 week outlook into layman’s terms for non-technical people like most of the DWG audience. I note that San Juan is at slightly below average for water equivalency basin-wide. Thing that bugs me about this being “normal-ish” is that the 10-year “normal” was adjusted downward, so the “normal” is now based on decades of crushing drought. What are your thoughts on this? Or maybe it’s just flipping a coin at this stage of winter. – mike

  2. Mike,
    As I have said the long term modeling is not that good right now and wont be until after this arctic airmass clears out and we can get back into a zonal flow. As far as the snowpack, it is early in the snow season and I am not sure where you got your information about the 10 year averages. When they measure snowpack liquid they only use 10 years or greater worth of data. In our basin, there is only one site which uses a 10 year average. That is Weminuche Creek. Columbus Basin, and Mancos use a 26 year average. Sharktooth uses a 16 year average. The other 16 sites use a 30 year average. Here is their explanation:
    “Footnotes for median and average:
    (##) = If less than 30 years are available, this value specifies the number of years used for the median and average calculations.
    Sites with less than 10 years available do not have medians or averages.”
    The current reading as of last night was 82% of average for the season.. I will talk more about it this week in my posts.

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