Recapping Winter Forecasts

9/5/23 Tuesday 7:15 am

As I mentioned on Friday, it looks like we are in for a boring stretch of (no) weather. Actually, a boring fall is pretty typical around here. Hopefully, we will see one of those early fall cold fronts drop into the state within the next month or so. It will be nice to get an early mountain snow. In the short term, it is going to be dry for at least the rest of the week.

What about the rest of the winter? I have been on record since late spring saying we would have a late start to winter and it would evolve into well below normal temperatures and above average snowfall, especially in the lower elevations. I attributed this to a strong El Nino that will be declining and transitioning into an El Nino Modoki. This means that warming shifts further west into the Pacific. The last year we had a similar set-up was 2009-2010.

Now that some of the winter outlooks are coming out, the ones that I have been seeing are saying the same thing. Without being specific to SW Colorado most forecasters are calling for above-average snowfall and below-average temperatures for most of the US. I have to admit, that concerns me a bit, I don’t always find myself agreeing with everyone else.

Here is a recap of what others are saying about the upcoming winter.

Sam at Open Snow did a very nice informative piece a week or so ago. He talked about El Nino in detail but did not go into the transition to a Modoki. He concluded that during El Nino years in the past Colorado averaged about normal (historically average) snowfall compared to all other winters. I agree, and have said in the past many times that the deepest snow totals in SW Colorado have always occurred during Enso neutral (La Nada) years.

One of the services I use for weather models is Weatherbell. I enjoy their products and opinions, although they are very east-centric in their discussions. Here are snow and temperature forecasts. My thoughts on this winter mirror theirs.



Of course, there are the old stand-bys, the Farmers Almanac, and the Old Farmers Almanac. Most forecasters do not take these seriously, that being said, everybody looks at them!

Farmers Almanac

Old Farmers Almanac

I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to an active weather period.

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