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Chinook

Mountain West Discussion

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Now the "weird storm" is nearly upon us, as this will be the general setup tomorrow. Not as much snow will fall in New Mexico as previous forecasts had shown. Rain/snow should be fairly light near Denver. The only winter storm watches are for the San Juan Mountains and also central Nebraska.

nth95hy.png

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One year ago (March 13th, 2019) an incredible 968mb low formed in southeast Colorado, bringing blizzard conditions and 7.1" of snow to Denver, and 14.0" at Cheyenne. In Fort Collins and Loveland, downsloping winds caused much of the snow to become rain or very compacted snow. That was pretty weird, but Fort Collins/Loveland has had a good share of snow in the past 12 months - March 1, 2019 to today.

 

http://www.greatlakes.salsite.com/blizzard_of_2019_surface/12.gif

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15 hours ago, Chinook said:

One year ago (March 13th, 2019) an incredible 968mb low formed in southeast Colorado, bringing blizzard conditions and 7.1" of snow to Denver, and 14.0" at Cheyenne. In Fort Collins and Loveland, downsloping winds caused much of the snow to become rain or very compacted snow. That was pretty weird, but Fort Collins/Loveland has had a good share of snow in the past 12 months - March 1, 2019 to today.

 

http://www.greatlakes.salsite.com/blizzard_of_2019_surface/12.gif

The BOMB CYCLONE....  (imagine echo there) - only time I've ever had to use mountaineering skills getting home from work.

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The Bomb Cyclone was fun - lots of rain, heavy snow, tornadoes, flooding, hail, and record low pressure throughout the SW & Plains.

The storm today and yesterday produced about half a month of precipitation down here. More coming next week. There was an SOI crash which supports it. March has been very warm nationally to date.

All Marches since 1931 that follow a Fall when October was wetter than September see at least some precipitation in Albuquerque, and heavily favor a wet March long-term. Seems to be verifying once again. If you include last year, n=37 for the red line, and all Marches following Oct>Sept for precipitation feature at least some precipitation in March, with wet Marches (>0.5") far more likely than in Sept>Oct years.

Image

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A storm system will develop on Thursday with a fairly low pressure - likely resulting in heavy snow in the Rockies and possibly near Fort Collins and Cheyenne.

Edit: most models show heavy snow for east/north Wyoming into South Dakota.

Another possibility is severe weather for portions of the Plains. As of yet, the SPC has not shown a 15% contour on its 4-8 day outlook.  Quote: 

Quote
  Day 5/Thursday: The faster ejection of the upper trough/low forecast
   by the 00Z deterministic models across the Plains leads to greater
   uncertainty regarding organized severe potential on Thursday.
   Widespread convection is also forecast to be occurring Thursday
   morning across much of the southern/central Plains in association
   with strong low-level warm advection. This precipitation may limit
   greater instability from developing Thursday afternoon across the
   southern/central Plains into the lower/mid MS Valley. Regardless,
   deep-layer shear is forecast to be quite strong across these
   regions, and some severe threat is still evident as a cold
   front/dryline sweeps eastward across the Plains. Given the increased
   uncertainty regarding sufficient instability across the warm sector,
   will refrain from introducing a 15% severe area for now.

MIaGNb6.jpg

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Would be nice. Weather excitement around here has been somewhat dryslotted lately, other than the rain the other night, which all fell between midnight and 6 AM so was not exciting at all.

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Today's 12z ECMWF has up to 7.8" (10:1 ratio) at Fort Collins, and 27" (10:1 ratio) in the low mountains northwest of Cheyenne for the next 10 days.

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Looks promising for rain and mountain snow down here too. Local NWS is talking about 12-18" for the mountains. I think the highest peaks may even see more. I'm expecting rain to brief snow even in the valleys. We've only had one low 32F or less this March after a high number from Oct-Feb - will be a bit of a shock to people if we get several more.

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we have a winter storm watch for 3-7" across the Denver CWA, low elevations,  8-16" for over 9000ft.

Quote
National Weather Service Denver CO
115 PM MDT Tue Mar 17 2020

...SNOW, STRONG WINDS TO IMPACT NORTH-CENTRAL AND NORTHEAST
COLORADO WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING...

.A storm system moving over Colorado Wednesday night through
Friday morning will bring moderate to heavy snowfall along with
wind gusts up to 45 mph. This will create hazardous travel
conditions especially Thursday afternoon through Friday morning.
The worst impacted area is expected to be the I-76 corridor.

 

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On 3/16/2020 at 5:14 PM, Chinook said:

I guess you can still get a burger to go...

 

 

Yes- I'm planning to find the places with the best takeout and hopefully help prevent them from closing when this $&&t really hits hard.

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2 hours ago, mayjawintastawm said:

Yes- I'm planning to find the places with the best takeout and hopefully help prevent them from closing when this $&&t really hits hard.

Up here in Estes there is a local campaign to buy gift certificates now from local restaurants. 

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11 hours ago, ValpoVike said:

Up here in Estes there is a local campaign to buy gift certificates now from local restaurants. 

Gift certificates are a great idea.  My wife and I are doing what we can to support local restaurants in the FC/LaPorte area. We can purchase certificates or do take-out.

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Models have been pretty inconsistent with this storm, which should be starting tonight. The 12z GFS has a QPF of 1.85" for downtown Denver, with 12.3" of snow (Kuchera ratio.) It also has this heavy snow at 33 degrees F, with 20kt winds at the surface and 40 kt winds at 1km above ground. I would imagine that yesterday's winter storm watch for 3-7" and gale-force winds, is pretty reasonable, given the uncertainties. The NWS still could upgrade/downgrade the headlines as needed. As with fall/spring storms, this one may be rain, then transitioning to snow, which brings some uncertainty with it.

Blizzard warning for Weld County, east of DIA, Castle Rock

--this text valid for Greeley

Quote
...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THURSDAY TO 6 AM MDT
FRIDAY...

* WHAT...Blizzard conditions expected. Total snow accumulations
  of 3 to 7 inches. Winds gusting as high as 55 mph.

 

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Right. My place now has a "winter storm warning for 4 to 10 inches" with 3.4 inches total at about 34 F predicted, and Castle Rock has a "Blizzard warning for 6 to 12 inches" with 4.7 inches total at about 32 F predicted. Kinda weird. 

EDIT, 5 PM: they must have been updating the different forecast products because they're now in line (7" here and 8" in Castle Rock). Still will be interesting. Historically, we change to snow sooner than predicted about 3/4 of the time. Gonna be one of those "heart attack storms" shoveling 8:1 density snow.

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I don't know if this is going to accumulate. At Fort Collins, there has been 0.77" of liquid equivalent since yesterday. There is only a trace of snow right now. I guess I can deal with that. I did plenty of shoveling in February. I'm not sure I want to do more shoveling today or tomorrow.

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We had 4 inches of paste accumulate from 8:30 AM to 1 PM. Will measure again after getting home from work. I'd guess probably another 4, just looking out the window.

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I have at least 6".  Measured on the driveway which isn't the best place to measure due to the rain early on.  I'll find a better yet non wind driven place to measure when I venture out later to clear the driveway.

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Snow pack is still decent for Northern New Mexico. March is still cold in the mornings at the mountain level, and even in Albuquerque it has not hit 70F yet, so not a lot of melting in the afternoons at the high elevations. This has been a weird March though, pretty humid here, but not much to show for it, just a lot of warm mornings and cloudy days. Not a single day of March has dropped below freezing. March is the month that accounts for ~1/2 of warming over the past century here, so not that surprising. Southern New Mexico has absolutely seen the repeat of the late November pattern, but it did come in slightly east from where it was back then. I did have parts of CO fairly average for Spring precipitation, we'll see how that goes. I had most of the US warm in March, so the outlook is off to a good start.

Image

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