12/26/22 Monday 2:40 pm
Numerous Winter Storm Watches are in effect and will become Winter Storm Warnings Tuesday evening. This includes all of the mid-elevation areas and all the lower elevations at or above 6,500 feet. I will post them all after the model discussion.
We still have 24 hours and 4-5 more model runs coming before the first precipitation begins to fall. The models have been very consistent run to run, and model to model. The European model backed off on precipitation amounts in its current run, but so far, it is the only model to do so. The other change I am seeing from all of the models is an earlier change over to snow in the lower elevations resulting in some higher snow totals. They have also increased precipitation totals in all of the additional storms that will follow between Friday and the following Thursday. For now, I am still going to concentrate on the first storm.
The slight decrease in total precipitation in the European model could be one of two things. Either it is seeing something that the other models are not yet seeing or, it is just an anomalously low run and it will correct itself before the storm arrives. Either solution is equally plausible. It is apparent to me that European is not properly handling the orographics that come with our diverse terrain.
Here are the latest model runs for liquid precipitation and snow. If you missed this morning’s update I explained that the snow model runs are based on a 10-1 ratio which will be too low for the ski areas, so higher totals are likely than what is shown in the models. If I had to choose only one model for guidance (and I don’t) I would choose the NBM shown below.
NOAA’s high-resolution NBM model liquid in inches
Canadian liquid precipitation
GFS liquid precipitation
European liquid–my current thinking is that this is an anomalously low run and will correct itself tonight.
Here is another high-resolution blended model from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center. This model does not have a total snow output parameter but here is the liquid.
Winter Storm Watches
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO 156 PM MST MON DEC 26 2022 COZ019-271100- /O.UPG.KGJT.WS.A.0013.221228T0000Z-221229T1200Z/ /O.NEW.KGJT.WS.W.0013.221228T0000Z-221229T1200Z/ SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS 156 PM MST MON DEC 26 2022 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM TUESDAY TO 5 AM MST THURSDAY... * WHAT...HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 20 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS OF UP TO 2 FEET. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 35 MPH. * WHERE...SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS. * WHEN...FROM 5 PM TUESDAY TO 5 AM MST THURSDAY. * IMPACTS...TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT. PATCHY BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY.
COZ021>023-271100- /O.NEW.KGJT.WS.A.0014.221228T0600Z-221229T1200Z/ FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER-ANIMAS RIVER BASIN- SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF DOVE CREEK, MANCOS, DURANGO, BAYFIELD, IGNACIO, AND PAGOSA SPRINGS 156 PM MST MON DEC 26 2022 ...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT ABOVE 6500 FEET... * WHAT...HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE ABOVE 6500 FEET. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES POSSIBLE WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. WINDS COULD GUST AS HIGH AS 35 MPH. * WHERE...FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER. * WHEN...FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT. * IMPACTS...TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE.
/O.UPG.KGJT.WS.A.0013.221228T0000Z-221229T1200Z/ /O.NEW.KGJT.WW.Y.0029.221228T0000Z-221229T1200Z/ NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF TELLURIDE, OURAY, AND LAKE CITY 156 PM MST MON DEC 26 2022 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM TUESDAY TO 5 AM MST THURSDAY... * WHAT...SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 16 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 40 MPH. * WHERE...NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS. * WHEN...FROM 5 PM TUESDAY TO 5 AM MST THURSDAY. * IMPACTS...TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT. PATCHY BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY.
COZ017-271100- /O.UPG.KGJT.WS.A.0013.221228T0000Z-221229T1200Z/ /O.NEW.KGJT.WS.W.0013.221228T0000Z-221229T1200Z/ UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE- 156 PM MST MON DEC 26 2022 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM TUESDAY TO 5 AM MST THURSDAY... * WHAT...HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 20 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS OF UP TO 2 FEET. * WHERE...GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS. * WHEN...FROM 5 PM TUESDAY TO 5 AM MST THURSDAY. * IMPACTS...TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT.
Wolf Creek Pass is also under a Winter Storm Watch but it has not yet been updated. I expect between 18-28 inches there by Thursday afternoon. I will narrow that down Tuesday afternoon when I post my snow forecast for Storm #1.
My next update will be on Tuesday morning. Thanks for following and supporting the site!
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