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Mountain West Discussion


Chinook
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16 hours ago, Chinook said:

The 00z NAM/GFS/Canadian really do like the Palmer Divide, Colorado Springs, and most of the foothills above 7000ft. GFS has over 15" above 7000ft west of Denver. Maybe the models have figured out a few more aspects of the storm, maybe not.

As for me, I believe I've gotten 39.5" since December 31st and 0.5" before December 31st. (3.10" since Dec 31st and 0.14" from Nov 1st-Dec 30th). Much of the snow that is in the shade has melted. The snow that has been in the shade for all this time is crusty snow that has been there since December 31st. Many individual days were snowy without a complete melt when it was 50-60 degrees, at least for very shady areas or small hills facing away from the sun. It's really nice to see some blue skies and 55 degrees.

Unfortunately, we can still say this late winter has still been drought/weak winter for western areas.

And, by the way, this is the one-year anniversary of the blizzard, when many of us got 20" of snow, blizzard conditions existed for many areas, and the water content was absolutely impressive, over 3" at my place.

Nice to see a more Spring-like moisture pattern. QPF has actually been increasing as the Wed/Thu event approaches, a rare thing!

That blizzard last year dumped around 24" here and also had >3" water, which  helped us stay green until the 4th of July when everything flipped to what it has been since.

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18 hours ago, n1vek said:

GFS keeps taunting us with something big. This Tuesday wave is a bit closer than fantasy range, low pressure placement will be key. From what I can tell (and have read), the Euro keeps the low tracking too far south/east for the Denver metro. Something more to watch if we can really get one of these March waves to pop. 

Im keeping an eye on it all the way from Philly. Went to Estes park last year for the march storm and enjoyed it. Would love another Denver chase!

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There is a winter weather advisory for several areas and a winter storm warning for the Palmer Divide and just west of Denver, including Boulder city, less than 6000ft. Looks like the HRRR says there will be some rain after 6:00PM for the Denver area, with snow later at night.

MYrlQuZ.jpg

 

 

4HAlF8h.png

 

 

hmm, what's that on the models? A larger 500mb low on next Monday/Tuesday in New Mexico. I wonder if we could get some snow in Denver and severe weather on the Plains. 

deya0g1.png

 

BtsPbQy.jpg

 

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hourly rainfall: 0.04" at Fort Collins-Loveland. It has been a long time since I've seen that, without it being snow. apparently it rained in Loveland before Christmas when I wasn't there.

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8 minutes ago, Chinook said:

there have been reports of 5" at Federal Heights/Northglenn and 6" at Littleton, 10" Parker, 7.3" at DIA

plbEnES.jpg

I landed at 11am at DIA, and my Jeep had more snow on it than it has had all year long.  Was great to see, and the best part was that the roads were only wet.

 

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Here is the 1:00AM radar/precip type plot. There was moderate snow with higher reflectivity at Denver, but still rain at Fort Collins-Loveland, and a recent changeover to snow at Cheyenne (6100ft)

7bjtqTV.jpg

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4 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

This one was tough to measure, but I'm going to go with 10". SOmeone reported 12" a few miles SSW of me, but I can't justify that with anything I'm measuring

Cool! Elevation was key. I got 5.2" of cement after about 0.25" rain, will see what the final water equivalent was but I'm thinking the ratio in the snow was about 8:1 or maybe even less.

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For Monday-Wednesday, the ECMWF just doesn't want to predict as much snow for eastern Colorado as does the GFS and others. Maybe that's a sign that there are many details yet to be worked out.

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1 hour ago, Chinook said:

For Monday-Wednesday, the ECMWF just doesn't want to predict as much snow for eastern Colorado as does the GFS and others. Maybe that's a sign that there are many details yet to be worked out.

NWS BOU is sounding more pessimistic, driving it south. This last one was nice and wet, one more and we'll be in good shape heading into April. I sure hope 2022 is not like 2021. We (and even more, the rest of the West!) could use a break from the June-Dec dry sauna pattern.

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Looks like Denver city got 1.10" of total precip from this week.

I'd say the 00z GFS/Canadian/UKMET keep up some decent hope for heavy snow for the Palmer Divide/I-70 east, southeast Colorado, and the Denver foothills.  Roughly 0.4-0.5" water equivalent of snow for the mountains above 9000ft is really not above normal for a storm

3GOtme8.jpg

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things are not shaping up to be a big storm. The NWS official gridded forecast now says 1.9" for Denver, 3.6" for the Palmer Divide. This value for the Palmer Divide is about 10x less than what the GFS had 3-4 days ago. and.. a whole 3-6" for the mountains!!

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Good friend of mine is moving to Colorado and drove cross country from North Carolina.

Him and his girlfriend are stranded in heavy snow squalls in their car on HWY 24 just west of Burlington, CO.

Been there for a few hours now. It's crazy he says. When I 70 got shut down, they were diverted to 24.

Locals are trying to pull cars out of the blowing snow drifts. Crazy stuff.

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On 3/21/2022 at 5:52 PM, LakeNormanStormin said:

Good friend of mine is moving to Colorado and drove cross country from North Carolina.

Him and his girlfriend are stranded in heavy snow squalls in their car on HWY 24 just west of Burlington, CO.

Been there for a few hours now. It's crazy he says. When I 70 got shut down, they were diverted to 24.

Locals are trying to pull cars out of the blowing snow drifts. Crazy stuff.

Yeah, that was unexpected and even yesterday morning they weren't expecting more than 4-5 inches. You can't really see anything when it gets like that. It was pretty localized, really only about 50 miles of heavy stuff. Not good for calving, going on right now at the many ranches in the area. Fortunately it wasn't that cold, and the blizzard was very short lived. Hope your friends got to where they were going without too much trouble.

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51 minutes ago, mayjawintastawm said:

Yeah, that was unexpected and even yesterday morning they weren't expecting more than 4-5 inches. You can't really see anything when it gets like that. It was pretty localized, really only about 50 miles of heavy stuff. Not good for calving, going on right now at the many ranches in the area. Fortunately it wasn't that cold, and the blizzard was very short lived. Hope your friends got to where they were going without too much trouble.

My buddy will have a story to tell for years to come. Turns out where they were, Stratton, CO, was the absolute bullseye. They wound up getting 18 inches of snow. After three hours of being stranded on 24, locals came to the rescue to get them unstuck. Combination of bulldozer and snow shovels got them to a church nearby. The church made chili for the 15+ stranded and offered a place to sleep.

He called me today safely at his Denver destination. Helluva way to start his Colorado chapter!

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When I did my forecast for winter, the idea was the first part of the winter would be like 2017-18 - hot, kind of horribly dry, before turning much colder and wetter like 1974-75. This has been the coldest Feb-Mar here in like 25 years last I checked. It's not "wet", but if that storm next week verifies we may pull out an average to slightly wet March in the city. Feb-Mar has been very good for the mountains. It's a minor miracle the high terrain by the Rio Grande headwaters is above average for snow pack given how awful December was.

High solar has returned for the first time in years, and I suspect is helping already. In some spots I've tested, the correlations are about double what this map implies during March.

Image

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On 3/19/2022 at 2:54 PM, mayjawintastawm said:

Longer term and not necessarily Mountain specific, this caught my eye today.

https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

Almost the entire lower 48 west of about 95 degrees west longitude, plus Hawaii, is in moderate drought or worse. Wow.

Yes the extent of drought in the lower 48 is downright scary now.  We on the northern front range have had a nice little respite from drought the past 2.5 months. However, with this last storm being a dud (lot of wind with little precip = worst combination), followed up by rapid warm up this weekend I fear our respite from dry weather is about to end.

If NOAA’s most recent outlooks for spring and summer are to be believed, a big chunk of the US is in for warm and dry weather.  I’m not sure I believe that (NOAA seems to have a warm /dry bias in most of their seasonal outlooks), but if their outlook were to verify it’s not going to be pretty….

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On 3/23/2022 at 9:23 AM, finnster said:

Below is the NOAA outlook I referenced above. I about threw up when I saw this. But then, does anyone else think this might be slightly 'overdone'? Just sayin'

 

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If you have a 33% chance to be above normal, do you have a 67% chance to be below normal?  If you have a 33% chance to be below normal, do you have a 67% chance to be above normal? The logic of the portrayal of the outlooks has never made sense in the last 20 years.

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On 3/27/2022 at 5:57 PM, Chinook said:

If you have a 33% chance to be above normal, do you have a 67% chance to be below normal?  If you have a 33% chance to be below normal, do you have a 67% chance to be above normal? The logic of the portrayal of the outlooks has never made sense in the last 20 years.

No…the “default” is 33% chance below normal, 33% chance near normal, and 33% chance above normal. 
 

So, an outlook of “40% probability of being below normal” is actually saying that there’s a slightly greater chance of being below normal vs. the default…since the default is only a 33% chance of being below normal. 
 

The other interesting thing about these probabilistic outlooks is that they don’t tell you anything about *how much* above or below normal it’s projected to be. For example, if you see an outlook showing an 80% chance of being below normal on temps, it’s a strong signal that it will be colder than normal…but you don’t know if this means 5F below normal, or 25F below normal. 

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It's too bad this larger upper level low will not bring a lot of precipitation to the West these days. There has been some rain in California, but otherwise only scattered rain and snow in the Mountain West region. My area will get rain showers tomorrow. For me, Saturday was upper 70s, and yesterday was only 59 or 60 degrees due to clouds. Today, there were upper 40's as of late morning, and then got to the upper 70's in the afternoon with the mixing of the afternoon. Now, there are kind of washed-out clouds at sunset, with no real sunset colors. I didn't get any pictures of lenticular clouds today, but maybe somebody posted some pics of UFO-shaped clouds on twitter somewhere.

The US drought monitor has been updated to category D0 and D1 in some parts of Colorado. 

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WhmaRmX.jpg

 

and now we have a second fire, and I saw that smoke this afternoon

mw3LTXU.jpg

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