Blue skies and warm temps (10-15 degrees above normal) today with another storm on the way arriving on southwest flow with increasing clouds and wind throughout the day. Tonight through Tuesday the San Juans will see steady & intermittent snowfall with a cold front arriving late Monday/early Tuesday that should increase precip rates, but it’s all timing … Wednesday dries out then the unsettled pattern continues into the weekend with hopefully another storm (southwest flow) on the way.
A large trough of low pressure birthed in the Gulf of Alaska has moved south into the Great Basin and has stretched/elongated west into the warm subtropic Pacific entraining good moisture. This is a slow moving storm with all the dynamics necessary for good snow production. Convection, orographic lift, vorticity, supported by a 120 kt jet all converging Monday afternoon/evening & hopefully performing like the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
This storm looks similar to our last storm with the elongated trough reaching back into the warm Pacific waters along with the NW cold front which helped create decent snow especially to southwest aspects above TL. If all dynamics pan out we should see 8-12″ on the average above 11,000′ with higher amounts possible, up to 24″ in those special places we all dream about. This storm and the next week potential may put a small dent in our H20 starved southern mountains.
GFS – US – 500mb – Loop
The forecast below is for Red Mountain Pass, and Wolf Creek looks similar. Most lines (forecast models) agree on a forecast of about 20 inches.