Another Round Of Sub Criteria Winter Weather Advisories Issued

12/1/22 Thursday 5:30 am

Happy Meteorological Winter!


COZ018-019-012300-
/O.UPG.KGJT.WS.A.0011.221202T1300Z-221203T0000Z/
/O.NEW.KGJT.WW.Y.0022.221202T1300Z-221203T0000Z/
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF TELLURIDE, OURAY, LAKE CITY, SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS (MAYDAY)
258 AM MST THU DEC 1 2022

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 5 PM MST FRIDAY…

* WHAT…SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 60 MPH.

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

* WHEN…FROM 6 AM TO 5 PM MST FRIDAY.

* IMPACTS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. PATCHY BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY. STRONG WINDS COULD CAUSE TREE DAMAGE.

_______________________________________________________

COZ068-011900-
/O.UPG.KPUB.WS.A.0011.221202T1200Z-221203T0000Z/
/O.NEW.KPUB.WW.Y.0032.221202T1200Z-221203T0000Z/
EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET-
349 AM MST THU DEC 1 2022

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM 5 AM TO 5 PM MST FRIDAY…

* WHAT…SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 70 MPH.

* WHERE…EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET.

* WHEN…FROM 5 AM TO 5 PM MST FRIDAY.

* IMPACTS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. WIDESPREAD BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE. VERY STRONG WINDS COULD CAUSE EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE TRAVELING. 

________________________________________________________

As long as I have been doing this a Winter Weather Advisory in the mountains (at or above 8,500 feet) meant 6 to 12 inches of snow. Now, apparently, it means every time it snows. Winter Storm Warnings are supposed to be issued in the mountains when over 12 inches of snow is expected. In the lower elevations, Winter Weather Advisories are usually issued for 3 to 6 inches of snow, and Winter Storm Warnings are issued when over 6 inches of snow is expected.

On one side I understand that other factors like the wind can affect travel, it is winter now, and that happens. On the other side, by always jumping up to a Winter Weather Advisory, I fear it desensitizes people to the true effects of a Winter Weather Advisory or Winter Storm Warning.

The other thing that happens in Ski towns is that people see the Winter Weather Advisory and they get excited about a certain amount of snow coming. Well, let’s take a look at the Euro…

Total Liquid

I rarely paste the snow maps but it is early so let’s take a look.

The Euro could be completely wrong. There are other models that have higher precipitation totals.

Canadian liquid

Canadian snow

I do agree the potential for strong winds is very high with this system, and travel could be hazardous early tomorrow morning across the passes and other areas mainly above 7,400 feet. That being said, unless something changes dramatically I do not feel this is going to be a big snow producer. I hope I am wrong.

My next update will be this afternoon. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Wednesday Afternoon Model Update

11/30/22 Wednesday 12:20 pm

The latest model runs are all showing precipitation patterns reflecting SW flow but they vary in intensity. The GFS and Euro are showing weak flow. The German is showing a slightly stronger SW flow and the Canadian is showing a considerably stronger SW flow. It will be interesting to see how the models evolve over the next 24 hours as the storm gets all of the way onshore and starts moving across the Great Basin.

Euro model

GFS model

German model

Canadian model

My next update will be Thursday morning, Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Wednesday Morning Model Update

11/30/22 Wednesday 7:45 am

The models reached a better consensus regarding the timing of the Friday storm. It now looks like snow will start on Friday in the early morning hours.  The models are still showing meager precipitation totals despite the jet streak being right over us. Because of this, I have very low confidence in the totals I am seeing from the models and I will be doing an afternoon model update today around noon.

Here are the current liquid precipitation forecasts.

European Model

GFS Model

Canadian Model

German Model

Earlier I mentioned the Jet Streak being over the forecast area. The Jet Streak is where the strongest winds of the upper-level jet occur. Usually, this enhances lift in this case bringing strong southwest-to-northeast flow over our area. This wind direction usually enhances snowfall over the southern and eastern San Juans.

Here is the upper-level jet forecast put into motion beginning Thursday night at 8 pm through Saturday morning.

If this ULJ (upper-level jet) forecast verifies very windy conditions will affect travel over the passes on Friday regardless of how much or little snow falls.

If I was going to make a snow forecast from these particular model runs I would say this will be a 2-4 inch event for the resorts and passes. I do see the higher totals from the Canadian and German models, but at this point, I don’t have a lot of faith in any of the model runs.

I will post again around noon today. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Tuesday Update–More Storms Coming Over The Next Week

11/29/22 Tuesday 10:00 am

Snow is winding down at Purgatory, Telluride, and Wolf Creek. We won’t have final totals for a while but I have reports from near Purgatory of 4 inches as of 8 am. 4 inches at Rico at 8 am and it looks like 6 inches on the snow stake at Telluride. Across the 550 passes, 4.5 inches fell at the snow slide south of Ouray. 5.5 inches  fell on Red Mountain, 6 inches fell at Molas and 6 inches fell on  Coal Bank.

My forecast leaned towards the lower end of the models’ outputs, so that was good.  I was in Durango during their brief dusting and about an inch fell at my house. Frankly, I am glad it is over. It was a high risk-low reward forecast.

Guess what, we get to do it all over again on Friday. Friday afternoon is going to be messy in the lower elevations. We may see mixed precipitation–rain/snow/sleet. It will no doubt be another high-risk-low-reward forecast. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for any precipitation we get.

Late Saturday or early Sunday a system is forecast to move up from New Mexico while another system is moving in from the west. Models are indicating between 0.50 and 2.0 inches of total liquid depending on location, with the highest amounts of snow falling at Wolf Creek.  It is too early to work out the details but something to keep in mind if you are traveling. It seems like the schools always have some type of trip planned which involves traveling over the passes during a Winter Storm this time of year. In fact, if someone wants to email me a schedule of events for sports travel for the winter it may help with a Winter Forecast for me. Just kidding, kind of…

I don’t have time today to do a full extended outlook but I did want to share this. After a slightly below-normal month of precipitation in November for many areas, I have some good news. Here is the December positive precipitation forecast anomaly for the forecast area.

Here is the amount of precipitation (above average) that is forecasted for the month of December.

My next update will be on Wednesday. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Monday Afternoon Update–Snow Forecast

11/28/22 Monday 4:15 pm

There were no surprises in the latest round of model runs, at least in our forecast area.  This system is going to favor the north-facing high-elevation areas and Wolf Creek. There is not a lot of consensus among the models on accumulations so I am not able to dial in on the forecasts as much as I had hoped.

The front is stalled across southern Wyoming to Idaho and will move south tonight. Snow will pick up between 9 pm and midnight across the Northern San Juans and drop south overnight into tomorrow morning.

Telluride (snow stake) to Red Mountain Pass will see 4 to 7 inches of snow, the same can be expected at Wolf Creek.

Purgatory, Ouray, Rico, and Silverton will see 3 to 5 inches of snow with similar amounts in the mid-elevations at or above 8,500 feet.

Areas between 7,300 and 8,500 feet will see 2 to 4 inches of snow. Areas below 7,000 feet will get a dusting up to 2 inches. Cold air will briefly move in on Tuesday before moderating on Wednesday.

Some of the models are showing a very moist couple of systems coming our way between Friday and Tuesday of next week. This could be the most precipitation we have seen in quite a while. The Canadian is the only model not on board for this event, yet… I hope the models figure out the details over the next 48 hours.

My next update will be on Tuesday. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Monday Morning Early Update

11/28/22 Monday 5:15 am

A couple of low-end Winter Weather Advisories were issued this morning.

COZ009-017>019-281800-
/O.CON.KGJT.WW.Y.0021.221129T0000Z-221130T0000Z/
GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS-UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE-NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF RIDGWAY, GLADE PARK, TELLURIDE, OURAY,
LAKE CITY, SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS (MAYDAY)
300 AM MST MON NOV 28 2022

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY…

* WHAT…SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. WINDS COULD GUST AS HIGH AS 45 MPH CREATING AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW.

* WHERE…GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS, UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE, NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS AND SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.

* WHEN…FROM 5 PM MONDAY TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY.

* IMPACTS…ICY TO SNOW-PACKED ROADWAYS WILL CREATE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS. BLOWING SNOW WILL ALSO SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY AT TIMES.

_________________________________________________________

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO CO
355 AM MST MON NOV 28 2022

COZ058-060-066-068-281900-
/O.NEW.KPUB.WW.Y.0031.221129T0000Z-221130T0000Z/
WESTERN MOSQUITO RANGE/EAST LAKE COUNTY ABOVE 11000 FEET-EASTERN SAWATCH MOUNTAINS ABOVE 11000 FEET-
LA GARITA MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET-EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET (WOLF CREEK PASS)-355 AM MST MON NOV 28 2022

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY…

* WHAT…SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO TO 9 INCHES. WINDS GUSTING 60-70 MPH.

* WHERE…WESTERN MOSQUITO RANGE/EAST LAKE COUNTY ABOVE 11000 FEET, EASTERN SAWATCH MOUNTAINS ABOVE 11000 FEET, LA GARITA MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET AND EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET COUNTIES.

* WHEN…FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 5 PM MST TUESDAY.

* IMPACTS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT. BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY OVER HIGH MOUNTAIN PASSES. COLD WIND CHILLS AS LOW AS 25 BELOW ZERO COULD CAUSE FROSTBITE ON EXPOSED SKIN IN AS LITTLE AS 30 MINUTES.

There was not a lot of movement on the models overnight. Here are the lowest totals which came from the Euro and the highest totals from the Canadian.

European

Canadian

On the surface, these models are not reflecting totals that warrant advisories. I am guessing the concern is that the models are under forecasting the snow amounts based on recent snow events.  While any snow is great at this point, I believe Telluride, Red Mountain, and Ouray will benefit most from this storm track. For most of us in the Central and Southern portions of the forecast area, this is unlikely to be a big deal. The next series of storms look like they will deliver better moisture to the area.

My next update will be this afternoon, I will try to fill in the blanks on the forecast totals.  Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Here Comes Winter–Sunday Morning Update

11/27/22 Sunday 4:30 am

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and holiday weekend. We had a great day on Thursday and have had a relaxing weekend. I have gone into full Christmas mode a little early this year. Those who have followed me for a while know that I tend to get a bit superstitious when it comes to winter holidays, my birthday, and snow. I even refer to my outdoor lighting as “snow lights” as if having them up and on early and often will actually draw storms into the forecast area.

Meteorological Winter officially begins on Thursday, December 1st. I like the meteorological system for determining seasons. December, January, and February are winter. March, April, and May are spring. Summer is June, July, and August. Fall is September, October, and November.

Currently, light snow is falling at Telluride, the 550 passes, and Wolf Creek. For the most part, the snow will wrap up this morning. A small to moderate storm is scheduled to hit the area Monday night into Tuesday. Models are in good agreement in timing but vary in accumulations.

Here are the latest model runs showing the total liquid precipitation from the first storm on Monday night and Tuesday. This storm will be a cold (enough) storm and I expect snow-to-liquid ratios of 12 to 1. This means for every 0.10 inch (one-tenth of an inch) of liquid that falls 1.2 inches of snow will fall. So multiply the amount of precipitation you see on the map in your area times 12 to determine how much snow will fall.

The last time I posted precipitation maps I forgot to add the red dot. I quickly found out, based on your emails, people love the red dot. For those of you who are new, the red dot is where Durango (downtown) is located. The precipitation amount listed to the southeast (lower right) of the dot is at DRO. I have another model provider that delineates the two locations for a couple of the models but I usually only use those maps for larger storms.

Euro model

Canadian model

GFS (US) model

NOAA blended WPC model

As you can see this should not be a large storm but it will freshen things up at the ski areas and slow down travel a bit over the passes.

This storm will wrap up and exit the area sometime on Tuesday/Tuesday night.  Thursday, as I mentioned earlier, is the first day of meteorological winter and right on cue, it appears we will be evolving into a stormy period that could last a few to several days, beginning sometime on Friday. It is too early to pin down specific details but there may be some travel impacts on and off for several days potentially beginning as early as Friday, but certainly next weekend. Stay tuned!

My next update will be on Monday. Don’t forget there are less than two weeks until the contest drawing. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Wednesday Morning Update

11/23/22 Wednesday 6:20 am

I underestimated my pre-holiday to-do list and I was not able to post yesterday. I still have a lot to do but I wanted to update everyone on travel conditions. Later today light snow showers will develop over the northern 550 passes and near Telluride. The snow should continue through the evening and perhaps overnight. Accumulations will be light with generally 1-3 inches.

Overnight, snow showers could develop on Wolf Creek Pass with light snow wrapping up by Thursday with very light accumulations from a dusting to 2 inches.

The models are starting to come together for next week. There are some discrepancies in timing but the European and GFS show a storm system coming in on Tuesday-Wednesday with 4 to 12 inches of snow for the ski areas and a couple to a few inches in the lower and mid-elevation areas. The Canadian model delays the system until Thursday-Friday with similar accumulations. It’s too early to post maps on it but I wanted everyone to be aware that changes are on the way.

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Sunday Update

11/20/22 Sunday 7:20 am

It has been fun to watch the lake effect snowfall in the Great Lakes Region and the Northeast United States. I am sure everyone saw the 66-inch total in 24 hours for Orchard Park, New York. It reminds me of some of the storms that came through our area in 2009-2010 and 2018-2019.

Normally, I would be doing a travel update for the holiday. The GFS is the only model holding out for a slight chance of snow showers Wednesday night over the northern portions of the forecast area from Telluride to Red Mountain and Ouray. It also shows light snow showers near Wolf Creek Thursday morning. If this does happen it won’t be a big deal.

Speaking of Telluride, remember there will be significant delays on 145 Monday morning starting at 9 am as tow trucks will be trying to recover a tour bus below Ophir curve near mile point 63. Choose another route if you must travel. This operation will likely take most of the day.

We will see a slight moderation in temperatures over the next couple of days, but don’t put your coats away. Temperatures will likely stay at or slightly below normal for this time of year. It could be worse, one of the coldest places in the United States, Peter Sinks, Utah hit -37.6 f yesterday morning. The current temperature (6:30 am) is -31 f.

Our next best chance of meaningful precipitation, at the moment anyway, looks like it will be between November 27th and 30th. Hang in there, the pattern is going to flip as we get into December. Meteorological winter does not even start until December 1st.

It looks like it was a successful opening day at Purgatory yesterday. I was asked by the folks at Ft Lewis to provide a link to their new skier safety survey. Bookmark this and take a look when you get a chance.

https://www.slidewithrespect.com/

I am still waiting on some data before I talk more about the upcoming winter. Hopefully, I will be able to get something out this week!

My next update will be on Tuesday. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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Tuesday Extended Outlook

11/15/22 Tuesday 6:30 am

We have definitely been in a dry but cold pattern, make no mistake. There is a bright side, patterns flip, and when this one does we will be plenty cold enough to see some cold storms come through for a great start to the winter!

When will this occur? I have done a different type of analysis on the extended model run that came out last night. It shows below-average precipitation through the end of the month.

Here are the liquid precipitation anomalies for the next 7 days. This is the amount of precipitation below average.

Here is the last week of November.

Then things start to turn around, here is December 1st-December 8th.

December 8th-December 15th

December 8th-December 15th

December 18-December 25th

Here is the positive anomaly for the entire month of December

Now let’s look at snowfall week by week. View these more as trends than exact forecasts. The amounts will be too low in the higher elevations and too high in the lowest elevations.

There is not much to look at over the next 7 days. Here is November 22-November 29th

November 29th-December 6th

December 6th-December 13th

December 18th-December 25th

 

 

 

I have no new updates on the contest, remember the drawing is on December 9th. I plan to post my take on the upcoming winter on Sunday. I am not sure there will be anything to talk about before then–we’ll see. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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