San Juan Mountains Weather Forecast ~ Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 08:50


A Pacific storm system is heading our way that is currently sliding down the California coast and will move onshore tonight then into the Great Basin tomorrow with the beginning of light snow in the San Juan mountains Saturday then should kick in late and continue into Sunday.

If the storm dynamics remain strong (plenty of H20, strong winds and warm air temps turning cold + cold front timing) our mountains (above 11,000′) could see 6-10″ with the possibility of up to 15″ (maybe more on RMP/Ophir/Uncompahgre Gorge) favoring SW terrain if all holds together. The storm arrives on southwest flow with warm temperatures keeping the snow to the higher mountain elevations and as the cold front arrives the mountain valleys will start seeing snow accumulation. The lower valley’s should see a rain/snow mix with a couple of inches as temps drop.

As the storm moves east late Sunday the next possibility of snow is mid-week. The three models I watch show a strong system moving into Colorado Wednesday into Friday, but that’s too far into the future to put much stock in it yet.

GFS – US – 500mb








The University of Utah produces an ensemble forecast, which combines many versions of the American GFS model (darker blue lines below) and the Canadian model (lighter blue lines below).

In the southern mountains, at Red Mountain Pass (between Telluride and Silverton), the range is 13-25 inches with an average of 16 inches. This is the highest forecast of anywhere in the state, and the model has been relatively consistent with the totals, so my confidence is pretty high that this area should see a foot of snow, and perhaps more if we’re lucky.


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