San Juan Mountains Snow/H20 24 hr totals ~ 3/26/17 @ 09:00

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A prolonged period of very heavy snowfall in the early morning hours favoring RMP and north. Snowfall exceeded 2″/hour. This high precipitation intensity triggered multiple slides along the corridor. Snowfall has since tapered and (reportedly) will continue to do so throughout the morning. Nearby Telluride received 12″-13.5″ overnight. .

24 hour snow/water
Monument 11″/.75″
RMP 8″/.6″
Molas 3″/.25
Coal Bank 3″/.3″

Trump’s Biggest Obstacle to Policy Goals? His Own Missteps ~ NYT

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WASHINGTON — President Trump’s failure to make good on his signature promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is the most crushing political defeat of his early days in the White House.

But it is hardly the only one.

Mr. Trump — who sold himself as a winner who could turn around a country that “doesn’t win anymore” — has endured a litany of missteps, controversies, resignations and investigations, all of which have dented his “I alone can fix it” vow to remake government with businesslike efficiency.

A month shy of the 100-day mark that presidents use to gauge success, Mr. Trump’s largely self-inflicted setbacks are evidence of a novice politician, often uninterested in the inner workings of government, who is struggling to wield his constitutional authority or fully understand the limits of his office.

“No administration has ever been off to a worse 100-day start,” said Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican strategist who served as a counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney.

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San Juan Mountains Weather Forecast ~ Saturday, March 25, 2017 @ 13:20

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High cirrus have begun their invasion of the San Juans this morning announcing a series of soon to arrive spring storms beginning tonight traveling on southwest flow. By late afternoon the quick hitting open wave should bring windy conditions, rain/sleet to the lower elevations and snow above TL through Sunday morning. Not much juice with this disturbance so don’t expect more than 8-12″ of snow in the high country.

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A short lived ridge of high pressure will build tomorrow with some clearing then Monday through mid-week a more complex storm system brewing in the Pacific NW will slide into the desert southwest on Tuesday. The three models I watch all have a cutoff low forming over the 4-corners later Tuesday that should spin moisture into the central and southern mountains beginning late Tuesday/early Wednesday morning as another spring storm with up to an inch of liquid to spread in the mountainous terrain above 10,000′.

Wednesday into Friday unsettled weather prevails with NW flow remaining in the area until another spring storm moves into the area by late Thursday into Friday… Finally our unsettled spring conditions!

Tuesday’s 4-corner/cutoff low

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Kiitella awards: 2017 US Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf Mountain

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The 2017 US Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf kick off tomorrow… and Kiitella enjoyed designing and fabricating their axe awards again. This year, the head is modeled after the S&N Penobscot Bay Kindling Axe. A little history: When the World Cup came to Sugarloaf in 1971, organizers paid tribute to the area’s logging heritage by awarding the top skiers custom-made hatchets. Kiitella’s custom awards for the 2017 U.S. Alpine Nationals – in “gold, silver and bronze” – are a nod to Sugarloaf’s logging and ski racing history. The actual metals are brass, stainless steel and patina’d brass – jet cut, polished and riveted. The handles were supplied by Snow & Nealley, a Maine axe manufacturer since 1864.

El Niño Pacific Wind and Current Changes Bring Warm, Wild Weather ~ NASA

If you want to understand how interconnected our planet is—how patterns and events in one place can affect life half a world away—study El Niño.

Episodic shifts in winds and water currents across the equatorial Pacific can cause floods in the South American desert while stalling and drying up the monsoon in Indonesia and India. Atmospheric circulation patterns that promote hurricanes and typhoons in the Pacific can also knock them down over the Atlantic. Fish populations in one part of the ocean might crash, while others thrive and spread well beyond their usual territory.

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The GOES-West satellite observed four tropical cyclones roiling the Pacific on September 1, 2015, during an El Niño event. (Image courtesy of the NASA/NOAA GOES Project.)

During an El Niño event, the surface waters in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean become significantly warmer than usual. That change is intimately tied to the atmosphere and to the winds blowing over the vast Pacific. Easterly trade winds (which blow from the Americas toward Asia) falter and can even turn around into westerlies. This allows great masses of warm water to slosh from the western Pacific toward the Americas. It also reduces the upwelling of cooler, nutrient-rich waters from the deep—shutting down or reversing ocean currents along the equator and along the west coast of South and Central America.

The circulation of the air above the tropical Pacific Ocean responds to this tremendous redistribution of ocean heat. The typically strong high-pressure systems of the eastern Pacific weaken, thus changing the balance of atmospheric pressure across the eastern, central, and western Pacific. While easterly winds tend to be dry and steady, Pacific westerlies tend to come in bursts of warmer, moister air.

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