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Chinook

Mountain West Discussion

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In looking at the water vapor loop, it appears that dry air is working in from the southwest.  However it doesn't appear that NWS is concerned with that as they have bumped up totals across the board.  Here is the new P&C for mby:

Today
Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Temperature falling to around 25 by 5pm. North northeast wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 18 to 24 inches possible.
Tonight
Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Temperature rising to around 28 by midnight. North northwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 9 to 13 inches possible.
Friday
Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 33. North wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

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24 minutes ago, ValpoVike said:

In looking at the water vapor loop, it appears that dry air is working in from the southwest.  However it doesn't appear that NWS is concerned with that as they have bumped up totals across the board.  Here is the new P&C for mby:

Today
Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Temperature falling to around 25 by 5pm. North northeast wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 18 to 24 inches possible.
Tonight
Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Temperature rising to around 28 by midnight. North northwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 9 to 13 inches possible.
Friday
Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 33. North wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Looks insane out there on the Elkorn Ave cam. Also the dryslot looks like it's northwestward progress has stalled already.

https://www.estesparkwebcams.com/elkhorn-avenue-webcam-east-old-church-shops/

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We have quite a storm. There are large flakes. You can clearly see the slush on the street. The snow seems to be packing down, it's larger than a 10:1 ratio, but I don't know how much.

mWSEuiW.jpg

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This is insane...it's May 18!!! 

 

I know CO and WY climo leans toward bigger snowstorms in March/April vs. DJF...but wow.  And this isn't just a high mountain top event...although even that would be impressive for the time of year.  Cheyenne is expecting 12-18", and Laramie 18-24". 

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Have to say, was pretty sure something like this would happen for CO given how many big time late snows we've had down here this year. There were major storms 2/28, 3/29, 4/29, before today (5/18). All heavy snow or blizzards. Pretty good for Spring. Lot of places in NM had near-record late measurable snow, so it makes sense that CO would later in the season. 

"Here comes the Sun" --> colder upper atmosphere, blocking, etc.

This is part of why I went with a "cool" June in much of the West too...gonna be a lot of snow in May this month to kill the build up of heat.

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I am sure there are many branches down around town. This tree is droopy. It just kept snowing. We never had a monthly total 6" of snow in March or November or October or February... now we got that in 12 hours on May 18th.

SFJWfT6.jpg

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2 hours ago, ValpoVike said:

We got buried.  Here just north of Estes, 31".  Still had periods of +SN until about 20 minutes ago.

 

20170519_071328_resized.jpg

wow

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30 minutes ago, yotaman said:

Been watching this. How about some snow totals? Cannot find any info on the web so far. Great pictures too. Keep them coming.

I came in at about 31" just north of Estes Park.  I heard the max was 42" near Allenspark.

Edit:  Here is a link to NWS Denver snowfall reports:  http://www.weather.gov/source/crh/snowmap.html?sid=bou

 

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I think I got 7" here with extremely low snow ratio, with some 1.85 to 3.25" of precipitation on CoCoRAHS reports from 7AM Thursday to 7AM today, and it snowed for approximately *those* 24 hours. A 31" snow report is hidden under the 25" icon at Estes Park. 3.1" in the mountains is obviously a very early report (May 17 maybe)

 

5qKgXPr.jpg

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Ended up with about a foot of cement in my area of Bailey. Spring storms are nice here because the moist layer is deeper, meaning we don't get shafted as often on the downsloping from a higher ridge to the northeast.  Typical midwinter storms give areas 10 miles NE of me at the same elevation 2-4x the snow.

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This pic is from this evening, some 36 hours after the storm. Much of the snow has melted, but not all. That's really an indicator of the density of the snow that fell. Thousands of limbs are down around town, many of them seem to be 1" to 3" branches, but some could be much bigger branches.

l23gvtt.jpg

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It is remarkable at how quickly the snow has melted.  We have gone from 31" on the ground Friday morning, down to mostly small patches of snow which I believe will all be gone by end of day.  This should really help green things up and recharge the aquifers.  I do wonder how this will affect the traditional target opening date of Memorial Day for Trail Ridge Road up on the divide, which unfortunately likely will be later.

 

.

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In Fort Collins, west of Drake and College got hit really hard and some very large trees/limbs came down.  Probably the biggest was half of one of the biggest cottonwoods in Colorado. See below:

 

26dfYa9.jpg

 

1LARcHq.jpg

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It's pretty amazing at how different SSTA are from last May 22. I used +/3.2K but some places have changed by more than that. Relatively radical changes in AMO/PDO/ONI values seem more common near the solar minimum, so suspect this type of wild/quick swinging in ocean temperatures will continue for some time.

SSTA YoY Change 5.22.16 to 5.22.17.gif

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New severe thunderstorm watch for much of the Front Range and east. Isolated cell just popped up and moved over our neighborhood, no hail for us but smallish hail just south. Will be really interesting to see what happens to this cell as it moves east and north.

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I'm starting to think this is going to be a cool Summer for much of the interior West. I do think the West Coast is warm, and TX / SE NM is warm, but for the rest of the West the huge rains and snows this winter seem like they will interfere with the heat build up. If the research on the sun is right and you get enhanced cloudiness near the minimum, that would also put the kibosh on the intense build up of heat in the hottest valleys.

Where I am, we can have our first 90F day as early as May 3 based on our records. May 25 is average for 1931-2016. But it hasn't happened yet. It's interesting because the number of 90F days is somewhat strongly correlated to first 90F day. We're unlikely to hit 90F here until at least June 3rd or so, which is fairly late historically.

ABQ Total 90F Days: By Date of 1st 90F Day, 1931-2016
1st 90F Day Years 90F Mean Least Most
June 27 56.8 23 86
May 20-31 27 67.9 42 92
May 1-19 32 65.9 43 87

90F Days by First 90F Date in Albuquerque.png

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Canadian Model still has an El Nino developing for Fall/Winter...but much weaker than its last run. Looks moderate in December, maybe it gets to +1.0C in Nino 3.4 briefly in DJF? May still be struggling with what will happen as its forecast for June from May 1 looks too warm for Nino 3.4

Canadian El Nino Trend May to June.png

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Here are the latest ocean/solar numbers:

Sun (May 17): 18.8 sunspots. Trailing 12 months to May: 28.6

ONI (Mar-May 17): +0.4C

AMO (May 17): +0.32 (4th highest May value of this positive AMO cycle!)

PDO: (May 17) - NOAA has it at 0.36, down from 0.52. Suspect JISAO value dropped some too.

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We are going to get into a time period of summer scorcher type heat, with mid-90s reaching from northeast Nebraska to Denver to El Paso over the weekend. 100 degrees will exist west of Dodge City and west of Midland-Odessa TX.

Denver point&click forecast

Friday
Sunny, with a high near 93. West southwest wind 3 to 8 mph.
Friday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 61. South southwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.
Saturday
Sunny, with a high near 96. South southwest wind 9 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 60.
Sunday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 91.

 

really, really cool re-tweet from Jim Cantore about 10 days ago

q3848AS.jpg

 

 

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May data is in for the US Climate Divisions. Took a little while, but it looks like Spring was reproducible fairly well with 1963, 1986 and 1997 blended together. All of those years were La Nina / Cold Neutral before Summer, then El Nino in the winter after the Summer. All had positive PDO values, with low solar activity. With 1963 & 1997 weighted more than 1986 you also get a positive AMO value. 1997 had the big/cold/late systems in Spring just like this year. Those years combined are warm in the South, with cool spots by the NW coast, New England, and Michigan. It's an ~80%+ match.

Spring Analogs v. Actual Spring 2017.png

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