There is a chance we could see some light isolated showers today, with a better chance of scattered showers Tuesday. Today most of the activity will occur at or above 8,800 feet. Tuesday we may some of the light shower activity drift off the mountains into the Valley areas and or mid-elevation areas.
I am not expecting any significant accumulations. A few of the higher elevations may accumulate.30-.50″. The lower elevations may squeak out a few hundredths of an inch.
Here are the max CAPE values for today. 561 at DGO around 3 pm could be enough available energy to get some storms forming. I am going to wash my car today, that might do the trick.
If you are enjoying this period of what I refer to as boring weather, good news, it looks like it is going to continue. When I look at the long-range models, there are some signs that precipitation will pick up a bit after October 7th. That is a long time from now, so no promises just yet.
I spent some time going back through precipitation records (back to 1895) and I saw no correlation between low precipitation August and September and low precipitation October through December. If anything I noticed some large anomalies pop up after drier than average Augusts and Septembers. I mention this because people are starting to get nervous about Winter. Wait to worry, I have not given up on an “average” snowfall Winter for SW Colorado.
The pendulum has swung back and once again we find ourselves in a boring weather pattern. Sure, the higher elevations will get some pop-up high elevation heat-based thunderstorms during the afternoons, but for the most part it looks like a boring week ahead for most of us.
The only thing on the horizon is a trough of low pressure that will come on shore on the west coast this week. The models are not in agreement how far south the low will be when it passes. The Euro is showing it dipping just far enough south to increase instability and cause some showers over the weekend. The GFS currently shows the low heading further north with very low chances of precipitation in the area.
I have not been posting about Hurricane Sally. There seems to be a heightened sense of awareness on this very dangerous storm. The biggest news will be the flooding. This storm is going to run into an atmospheric wall and will likely stall out, bringing areas between New Orleans and Gulfport, MS a tremendous amount of rain. 12-20″ will be possible in some areas.
BTW it looks like the rollover crash south of Ouray will keep 550 closed for quite a while this morning. Those planning on driving through that area should monitor CDOT.
Thanks for following, next update later this week unless something significant develops!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s start with some!
Even the eastern areas of the forecast area finally got some decent rain. Scattered showers will continue as the low lifts out of the area to the northeast. So northern and eastern areas will be the last to see their showers end late today and tonight.
Temps are going to warm back up starting Friday. Temps will be back to average for the weekend and above average by next week. Don’t worry, we should be done with 90 degrees temperatures for the year in most areas–Cortez and New Mexico could be the exception.
While I am not expecting precipitation after today, there may be enough moisture in the soil in certain areas to fuel some convection. I will have to look at that on a daily basis.
I already have my eye on the potential for another system between the 18-22nd. A long way out but at least there may be something to talk about in the near future.
Thanks for all of the great reports the last couple of days and thanks for supporting and following the site.
In case you missed my morning update, this system is not done with SW Colorado. I expect later this evening the precipitation will pick up as the low becomes stationary then starts moving back towards us tomorrow morning. We should have periods of precipitation continuing through midday tomorrow. I see two other shortwaves that may lead to some heavier leftovers tomorrow as the low begins its departure–we’ll see. The low has not yet been as close to us as it will be tonight and tomorrow, the heaviest precipitation and storms are always closest to the center of the low (just like a hurricane).
The models were showing mostly minor precipitation through 6 pm but picking up in intensity after dark and throughout the overnight hours. The models continue to botch both the daytime highs and overnight lows. So if you were close to or below freezing this morning expect the same for tomorrow.
I have a very busy day tomorrow but I should be able to get in an early update or two. Thanks for following and supporting the site!
It’s always difficult to predict the positioning of where a low pressure system will cut off (stall). Yesterday, after the initial push of several waves off precipitation, the system moved into an area where it actually drew dry air in and cut off precipitation from many of us in the forecast area.
The initial waves were great, but as I saw some late model runs I knew there was at least a possibility of the dry air wrapping in. In my last update I said not to worry about lulls in the precipitation.
The low is moving south again and looks like it will retrograde a little west as well. This path would put us right back in a favorable position for another 24 hours of unsettled weather.
Here is the approximate low position. The moisture wraps in counter clockwise around the low.
Here it is at noon.You can see it has moved south and retrograded to the west slightly
Here it is at 6 pm.
By Thursday morning it is finally starting to move north.
The NWS likes this scenario, and has cancelled many of the the advisories and warnings for some of the northern and central mountains.
The current warnings in our area are in place and the NWS is maintaining the storm totals, and calling for up to 4-8 inches of additional snowfall above 9,000 feet. The NWS in Pueblo is calling for 5-10 additional inches of snow over Wolf Creek Pass.
Thanks for all of the email reports. I can’t always respond to all of them but I read them all and it helps shape my analysis of the models and the overall storm. Thanks also for following, supporting and recommending the page. Next update later today.
Snow has been accumulating at Red Mountain Pass, Molas Pass and Telluride, especially above 9,500 feet. Snow is just getting going at Wolf Creek Pass where things will go down hill quickly this evening, especially overnight and tomorrow. 1 to 2 feet still looks possible on Wolf Creek Pass.
Temperature guidance is tricky. The models failed on high temps today after failing at low temperatures this morning. If you are worried take precautions because I don’t trust the models’ temperate forecasts.
The NWS hinted at snow levels briefly down to 7,500 feet by tomorrow morning. It would not surprise me, we’ll see.
Tomorrow should start off wet and unsettled and we will see what happens from there. I don’t like to post a lot of follow up model runs after the storm arrives unless they go off the rails in one direction or another. The latest GFS is still going crazy with future precipitation. The NAM model moved back east with the heaviest precipitation. I think areas west of Bayfield will do fine, but it does look like the heaviest precipitation will fall in Archuleta County and Mineral County.
This storm is just in the beginning stages don’t worry about the lulls, more is on the way!
Thanks for following and supporting the page and thanks for all of the great reports.
I can see a couple more waves to the west that have gone through Mancos and Cortez that are headed this way. It looks like we will get another temperature drop with this round. Probably 5-10 degrees and more pockets of heavy rain, and possible thunderstorms. I have seen some spotty snow on Red Mountain Pass as well. Before dark, we should seem some snow on Wolf Creek.
I have not seen any big changes in the models this morning. 1-2″ of liquid precipitation for the total event. 1-2+ feet on snow on Wolf Creek by late Thursday. This is going to be a slow mover because the closed low that is dropping down from the north is going to stall out and perhaps even retrograde back to our west before it finally lifts out.
Thanks for all of the reports, keep them up, especially the ones that have snow. Thanks for following and all of the support. I will do another brief update after the afternoon forecast discussion from the NWS. If you are getting ready to head out, grab an umbrella!
Most models are in decent agreement in bringing a fairly significant rain and snow event to SW Colorado.
The first wave of cooler air filtered in and has brought another dose of smoke from the fires in Northeast Utah. Showers should start in the mountains before noon with snow levels high, initially around 11,000 feet. I expect the snow levels to slowly drop to 9,500 feet by 4 pm and around 8,500 feet by 8 pm. We will see a shot at some snow below 8,500 feet before were done, but I expect mostly rain below 8,000 feet. One thing that is important to mention is that heavier snow showers can lower snow levels. Also, all of the model guidance for overnight low temperatures was too high for this morning’s low, by 2-5 degrees depending on the model. That error right there could be the difference between rain and snow tonight and tomorrow in the lower and mid-elevation areas.
I will take a closer look at temperatures this afternoon but if you have concerns take precautions. The temperature spread in the models for overnight lows ranges from 35 to 40 degrees. As I said the models busted on this mornings low temperatures, they were too high by 2-5 degrees.
Here are the latest model runs for snow and total liquid precipitation.
While I love seeing the model consensus, I will feel better after the daytime model run come out.
Thanks for following and supporting the page. Next update this afternoon. People living above 8,500 feet please click the contact button below when you start seeing some snow.
The NAM model has moved back west. The GFS just moved further east in the model run at 5 pm.
Here is the latest NAM run that just came out (2:45 pm).
As I said earlier this model is relatively low-resolution by today’s standards. Don’t look at this and expect 7.5″ on snow in Durango.
Here was the abundantly moist liquid-equivalent forecast
Here was the GFS run that came out after my last post, it has changed since then.
And here is the latest Euro, notice the near bullseye on Wolf Creek Pass.
Here are the latest Winter Storm Warnings
Local Winter Storm Warning (WSW)
“COZ018-019-081000- /O.CON.KGJT.WS.W.0009.200908T1800Z-200910T0000Z/ NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF TELLURIDE, OURAY, LAKE CITY, SILVERTON, RICO, AND HESPERUS 417 PM MDT MON SEP 7 2020
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TUESDAY TO 6 PM MDT WEDNESDAY…
* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 12 INCHES EXPECTED, MAINLY ABOVE 9000 FEET. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. WINDS WILL GUST UP TO 40 MPH.
* WHERE…NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS AND SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.
* WHEN…FROM NOON TUESDAY TO 6 PM MDT WEDNESDAY.
* IMPACTS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY OVER HIGHER MOUNTAIN PASSES. HEAVY EARLY-SEASON SNOW ON TOP OF FULLY LEAVED TREES COULD RESULT IN TREE DAMAGE AND POWER OUTAGES FROM TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY.”
Wolf Creek Pass WSW
“COZ067-068-080400- /O.CON.KPUB.WS.W.0006.200908T1800Z-200910T1200Z/ UPPER RIO GRANDE VALLEY/EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS BELOW 10000 FEET-EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET- 159 PM MDT MON SEP 7 2020
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TUESDAY TO 6 AM MDT THURSDAY…
* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 20 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS.
* WHERE…EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.
* WHEN…FROM NOON TUESDAY TO 6 AM MDT THURSDAY.
* IMPACTS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO IMPOSSIBLE. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE TUESDAY EVENING COMMUTE AND WEDNESDAY MORNING COMMUTES.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…THIS IS AN EARLY SEASON SNOW EVENT, SO SOME MELTING OF THE SNOW ON WARM SURFACES IS EXPECTED, ESPECIALLY DURING THE EARLY PORTIONS OF THE STORM. THIS WILL RESULT IN HIGHLY VARIABLE SNOW AMOUNTS, ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE LOWER ELEVATIONS.
IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD, AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.”
At this point, I am hoping for the best scenario with over an inch of liquid precipitation throughout SW Colorado.
I glanced at the afternoon GFS and it has moved back fully east of our area. We will see. If the GFS is correct it will change my entire way of forecasting this winter. It has been wrong for so long, I can’t imagine. That being said it nailed the hurricane in Louisiana.
Thanks for following and supporting the page. I will have at least 3 updates tomorrow beginning around 5 am.
The smoky skies should continue as the wind shifts and smoke from all of the fires north of us filter the sun overhead.
As I mentioned this morning, the NWS changed its tune and has gone all in on the moisture for SW Colorado. The Euro and Canadian have been all in for days. The NAM model made a big move west yesterday afternoon. It was the original short term model used for years by the NWS until higher resolution models were developed to improve accuracy.
I am pretty sure it was the afternoon run of this model that caught their attention.
The model continued to pump out a lot moisture for 2 more model runs. Unfortunately, the latest run shows a slight move back to the east.
Here is the latest NAM
Here is the liquid equivalent
This is no longer considered a high-resolution model. The lower elevation snowfall is over enhanced and I am not expecting totals like shown above at the lower elevations.
The GFS is still being stingy and keeping most of the activity well to our East.
Here is the latest GFS from the overnight hours
I am going to leave the Canadian off because it is still overboard on the precipitation. I am not ignoring it, I still look at every run but the model is too excited right now and needs a little timeout.
Here are the two most recent Euro runs
Here is the liquid equivalent from the same run. For those of you who are new, liquid equivalent is exactly what it says. If you melt all of the snow and add that total to any rain that falls this would be how much total precipitation fell.
Here is the latest overnight run from the Euro.This is through Thursday afternoon. The overnight and evening model runs from Euro only extend 90 hours.
Here is the liquid equivalent
Here is the latest German model run
Thanks for following and supporting the page.This afternoon I will cover the day runs of the Euro, Canadian and GFS, as well as the afternoon NAM run and any new forecast highlights. Stay tuned!