Snowpack Update and Weekend Update

6 am

As I had suspected the models were overconfident with the storm and moved further north. Despite this, the snowpack (snow water equivalent) has grown dramatically this week.

Here is a before and after reading from the Snotel sites.

Capture

SWE

After

Capture

523

Unfortunately, they missed the reading from Vallecito last night, fortunately, I have been tracking this and here is Wednesday night’s data with Vallecito.

Capture

522swe.JPG

These numbers are incredible, Columbus Basin in the La Platas still has 42 inches of SWE to run off, Wolf Creek has 46 inches of liquid, and Vallecito has (as of Wednesday night) 17.9 inches which represent 112% of the annual peak which should have occurred nearly 7 weeks ago. The average amount normally for May 24th is ZERO. Stump Lakes which feeds Lemon has 25.5 inches of liquid equivalent which is 139% of their average peak total.

I plan to do an update again Sunday morning, at the moment the storm coming in Monday looks slightly warmer than the last couple with higher snow levels, closer to 10,000 feet. The snow at higher elevations (including Purg) is going to cap high temperatures to the upper 40’s to around 50 this weekend, so even with the sun, it will be cool out.

Graduation tonight should go off without a hitch (at least as far as the weather is concerned) with temps in the upper 50’s to around 60.

 

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Precipitation Next Week

11:30 am

Most models show this storm wrapping up by early evening with the heaviest precip falling between now and 6 pm. We will know soon enough but if the surface maps are correct (they were not this morning when I first misidentified the position of the low), the low is east-central Utah and is lifting northeast, if that is indeed the case it would likely steer the precip to the north of most of us and the best case scenario is we would get an aggressive frontal passage and then its over an “Is that it?” storm. We will know soon enough and with slightly nicer weather forecasted for a couple of days, I am kind of over it. In all its glory here is the Euro’s depiction of the situation between now and 6 pm, I wish I was as confident.

ecmwf_ptype_colorado_3.png

Most of you have seen the sunny skies forecasted for through Sunday but I would warn that showers are possible in some areas (favoring higher elevations) Friday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon/evening the next storm could be on its way, so enjoy Saturday!

 

 

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Freeze Watch Tonight

4:30 am

The heavier precip should try to make an appearance after 8 am today. The models really want to dump the heaviest precip in eastern Utah and west of Cortez for the lower elevations. So, Dove Creek, you should be up first, let us know what is going on. The Lift created by the low will get things going in the higher elevations above 8,000 feet in La Plata and Montezuma Counties, Mayday followers should keep us informed. There is some question in my mind how far north the snow will make it, but the models seem confident. The low is in East Central Arizona right now.

NWS just issued a Freeze Watch from 10 pm Thursday through Friday morning:

/O.NEW.KGJT.FZ.A.0006.190524T0400Z-190524T1400Z/
Four Corners/Upper Dolores River-Animas River Basin-
321 AM MDT Thu May 23 2019

…FREEZE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY
MORNING…

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a
Freeze Watch, which is in effect from this evening through Friday
morning.

* LOCATIONS…Including the cities of Cortez, Dove Creek,
Mancos, Durango, Bayfield, and Ignacio.

* TEMPERATURES…As low as 28 to 32.

* TIMING…The coldest temperatures are expected early Friday
morning through sunrise.

* IMPACTS…Sensitive and budding vegetation, sprinkler systems and
swamp coolers may be impacted by sub-freezing temperatures.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Freeze Watch means sub-freezing temperatures are possible.
These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

I will check in back after the morning high-resolution models come out, although they have not initialized well any morning this week.

 

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Winter Weather Advisory Du Jour

3 pm

Good call on this I think. It will be interesting to see what they say in the AFD this afternoon.  The US models are not as bullish as the Euro, but they have been wrong on most aspects all week.

COZ009-019-230500-
/O.NEW.KGJT.WW.Y.0030.190523T0900Z-190524T0600Z/
GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS
255 PM MDT WED MAY 22 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM THURSDAY TO
MIDNIGHT MDT THURSDAY NIGHT ABOVE 8000 FEET…

* WHAT…SNOW EXPECTED ABOVE 8000 FEET. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS
OF 5 TO 10 INCHES EXPECTED. SOUTH WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 50
MPH.

* WHERE…GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS AND SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN
MOUNTAINS.

* WHEN…FROM 3 AM THURSDAY TO MIDNIGHT MDT THURSDAY NIGHT.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS OVER
MOUNTAIN PASSES.

This should be it for the day unless I get inspired by the area forecast discussion.

 

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One More Day Of This

Noon

By Saturday afternoon our temps should be normal for this time of year. For the record, that is about 25 degrees (or more) higher than what we are currently experiencing. This won’t be the case as you go up in altitude. More of the same for tomorrow, it currently looks like the worst weather will come in between noon and 6 pm tomorrow.

Using the criteria that they applied yesterday you would think the NWS would issue another advisory for Thursday. Realistically, they can wait for another shift before they do that and see what is in the models. We’ll see.

Here is what the Euro shows for snow tonight through tomorrow.

Thursecmwf_tsnow_colorado_8

If I see something that leads to me disagreeing with the Euro I will post later, for now, I think it is dead on.

 

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Winter Weather Advisory

3:45 pm

Well, they went a different route than I expected, apparently, they are planning on another advisory for Wednesday night. Convection is really firing on the westside with snow thunder and lightning down to 8,000 feet. Here is the advisory issued an hour ago.

COZ019-220430-
/O.NEW.KGJT.WW.Y.0029.190522T0300Z-190522T1500Z/
SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SILVERTON AND RICO
221 PM MDT TUE MAY 21 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO
9 AM MDT WEDNESDAY ABOVE 9000 FEET…

* WHAT…SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 6 INCHES EXPECTED ABOVE 9000
FEET.

* WHERE…SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, INCLUDING COAL BANK,
MOLAS, AND RED MOUNTAIN PASSES ON HIGHWAY 550, AND LIZARD HEAD
PASS ON HIGHWAY 145.

* WHEN…SNOW WILL INCREASE IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY THIS EVENING
AND CONTINUE THROUGH MID MORNING WEDNESDAY.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE
HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS WILL IMPACT THE MORNING COMMUTE. LIGHTER
ACCUMULATIONS WILL FALL AS LOW AS 7000 FEET EARLY WEDNESDAY.

 

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Now Through Thursday

1:00 pm

I had to think about what to title this post, I and not sure how the NWS is going to sort this out. We have either two more systems coming through between this evening and Thursday night or one system with a reinforcing kicker late Wednesday night. So, do I cover both systems at once or just at a time? If I chose one at a time I would be titling this post “Number Two” but that has a number of different connotations, I think the NWS will probably have to issue a Winter Weather Advisory this afternoon for the same areas they issued the Warning for, I also think they will issue it through Thursday evening or Friday morning early, because in those affected areas there may be snow falling throughout the entire time period. We will see in a couple of hours. If you take each event separately, it may not add up to advisory level criteria, but by Thursday there may already be holiday travelers on the road, which always plays into their decision. An advisory would typically call for 6-12″ above 8,500 feet. Therefore I am covering roughly the 48 hour period between Midnight tonight and Midnight Friday morning.

Here is what the Euro has for snow, notice it does have a little bit of lower elevation snow for us again, but it will melt fairly quickly below 9,000 feet.

Eurothru6zFrisnow

Here is the liquid equivalent

ecmwf_tprecip_coloradoprecip_12

For now, it looks like the worst times to travel–especially in the higher elevations–are between Midnight and Noon on Wednesday, then again from 6 am to 6 pm on Thursday.

 

 

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Two More To Go

5/21/19

Congratulations, you’ve made it 1/3 of the way through the storm set! Showers will creep back in later today with slightly higher snow levels than yesterday. I will update quickly this morning after the short term models come out. I also want a good look at the new Euro around 1 pm today because it was much more aggressive overnight than the GFS and the National Weather Service. Snow levels and quantity of precipitation are at odds.

The snowpack was added to yesterday, it will exciting to see where we are after this all winds down. Friday-Sunday still looks dry, but there are hints of another storm (with a similar storm path) coming in late Monday or Tuesday, we’ll see. Check back around 8:30 or 9:00 am, and or after 1 pm today.

 

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Winter Storm Warning

3:30 pm

This storm should start to affect us between 6 am and noon Monday. This storm is considerably strong than we have seen all spring. Behind this storm system is another piece of energy or two, that will move into the area late Tuesday. This current Winter Storm Warning only goes through 6 am Tuesday, there is a pretty good chance another advisory or warning could be issued for Tuesday through Thursday. I would not be surprised to see snow levels below 7,000 feet a couple of mornings this week.

Here is the current WSW

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
302 PM MDT SUN MAY 19 2019

COZ018-019-201200-
/O.UPG.KGJT.WW.Y.0028.190520T0000Z-190521T0000Z/
/O.NEW.KGJT.WS.W.0016.190520T0000Z-190521T1200Z/
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF TELLURIDE, OURAY, LAKE CITY, SILVERTON,
RICO, AND HESPERUS
302 PM MDT SUN MAY 19 2019

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM
MDT TUESDAY…

* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW AT TIMES WITH PERIODIC BREAKS. TOTAL SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 16 INCHES EXPECTED ABOVE 9000 FEET WITH
LESSER ACCUMULATIONS DOWN TO 7000 FEET. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS
ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE HIGHEST PEAKS. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT
IMPACTS ARE EXPECTED TO OCCUR DURING THE OVERNIGHT HOURS. WINDS
GUSTING AS HIGH AS 50 MPH.

* WHERE…NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS AND SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN
MOUNTAINS.

* WHEN…FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM MDT TUESDAY.

Here is what the Euro shows for snow through Thursday afternoon.

ecmwf_tsnow_colorado_19

If you have to travel over the passes the next couple of days they are going to be more Winter-like than Spring-like. So take it seriously. The good news is, at the moment, Friday-Monday still looks dry.

 

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