1/16/23 Monday 5:20 am
I just realized as I get ready to post (a couple of hours into it) that this is very lengthy, but there is a lot to cover. Also, Telluride and Ouray, I hear you, don’t worry, the flow has not been favorable for you, the end of the second storm should bring some better snow!
Just a reminder, we have pass closures coming this morning.
Southwest Colorado — CDOT will perform winter maintenance operations on several mountain passes in southwest Colorado Monday, Jan. 16. These operations will require highway closures. Do not attempt to bypass closed gates.
US 160 Wolf Creek Pass, the closure begins at 6 a.m. Westbound traffic will be stopped near the pass summit, west of the ski area (MP 169). Eastbound traffic will be stopped at Treasure Falls (MP 160).
US 550 Coal Bank Pass, the closure begins at 7 a.m. Northbound traffic will be stopped near Cascade Creek (MP 52). Southbound traffic will be stopped near Molas Pass summit and Andrews Lake (MP 63).
CO 145 Lizard Head Pass, the closure begins at 8 a.m. Northbound traffic will be stopped just north of Rico (MP 49). Southbound traffic will be stopped near Trout Lake (MP 61).
The exact times of opening the highways are not known and the closures may last for much of the morning. Regional travelers should plan ahead, allow for extra travel time, or arrive and drive through the gates before the designated closure times.
Among my many concerns with this storm cycle was when to end the first storm and when to start the second storm. I am going to officially end (stop measuring) the first storm this morning.
The shortwave (leftovers) I mentioned late yesterday afternoon turned out to be a big deal, at least at my house. I will have to literally dig out to go officially measure but it appears another 6+ inches fell.
That is great, but it takes me back to my second concern. The reason I like to forecast the entire storm cycle versus each component is now I wonder if the second system will be as potent as the first. Most of the models are going crazy again, and during the big storms this year the models have under-forecasted big storms and over-forecasted small storms.
The fact that the second system is just coming onshore in Southern California this morning leads me to believe that it will be enough in and of itself to deliver substantial precipitation once again.
The fact that our lower and mid-elevations are under a thick blanket of snow helps, but most locations in the lower and mid-elevations are only in the mid-20s. So when things re-fire up late this afternoon, some of the lower locations may see a short period of mixed precipitation. I think that will be short-lived.
Nearly every model I looked at, missed the additional snow last night. It was also “under the radar” so I am guessing by the forecast discussion the NWS missed it as well.
Before I highlight the model runs, here are the new Winter Storm Warnings, they are about what I expected. That being said, I certainly did not expect two feet at my house with round one!
COZ022-023-171000- /O.NEW.KGJT.WS.W.0002.230117T0000Z-230118T0000Z/ ANIMAS RIVER BASIN-SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF DURANGO, BAYFIELD, IGNACIO, AND PAGOSA SPRINGS 258 AM MST MON JAN 16 2023 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY... * WHAT...HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 10 INCHES. HIGHER AMOUNTS IN THE SAN JUAN FOOTHILLS. * WHERE...ANIMAS RIVER BASIN AND SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN. * WHEN...FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY. * IMPACTS...PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE.
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO 258 AM MST MON JAN 16 2023 COZ019-171000- /O.NEW.KGJT.WS.W.0002.230116T2100Z-230118T1800Z/ SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS 258 AM MST MON JAN 16 2023 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 AM MST WEDNESDAY... * WHAT...HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 12 TO 16 INCHES. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS NEARING 2 FEET OF SNOW POSSIBLE. * WHERE...SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS. * WHEN...FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 AM MST WEDNESDAY. * IMPACTS...TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT. PATCHY BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY.
COZ021-171000- /O.NEW.KGJT.WS.W.0002.230117T0000Z-230118T0000Z/ FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF CORTEZ, DOVE CREEK, AND MANCOS 258 AM MST MON JAN 16 2023 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY ABOVE 6000 FEET... * WHAT...HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED ABOVE 6000 FEET. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 10 INCHES. HIGHER AMOUNTS IN THE SAN JUAN FOOTHILLS. LESSER AMOUNTS BELOW 6000 FEET. * WHERE...FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER. * WHEN...FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY. * IMPACTS...PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE.
COZ017-018-UTZ025-171000- /O.NEW.KGJT.WW.Y.0004.230116T2100Z-230118T1800Z/ UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE- NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-TAVAPUTS PLATEAU- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF RIDGWAY, GLADE PARK, TELLURIDE, OURAY, AND LAKE CITY 258 AM MST MON JAN 16 2023 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 AM MST WEDNESDAY... * WHAT...SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. * WHERE...IN COLORADO, UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE AND NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS. IN UTAH, TAVAPUTS PLATEAU. * WHEN...FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 AM MST WEDNESDAY. * IMPACTS...TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT. PATCHY BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY, ESPECIALLY ON RIDGE TOPS AND MOUNTAIN PASSES.
I have some timing concerns with some of these Winter Storm Warnings, I think that they are ending some of them too early, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. The bottom line, this is really going to complicate travel.
Since most of the models missed the additional snow overnight, I will have much better confidence in the new model runs that will be out between 8 am and noon today. I will post a second model update around noon, then my snow forecast between 2 and 4 pm.
Here are the liquid precipitation model forecasts for the second storm.
Euro–Just out, and looks pretty wimpy, I am anxious for its next run, based on the other models, I don’t believe it.
Here are the various high-resolution models I follow
NDFD (blended model)
NBM (blended model)
My next update will be out around noon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!
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