Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Spring briefly returns to the area starting Thursday until a series of storms impacts our area again starting Saturday afternoon, continuing the active weather through what looks like the end of the month.
A nice warm up is in store for the rest of the work week before another storm traveling across the Great Basin and eventually southern Wyoming brings a cold front through the area around Saturday afternoon. Breezy southwest winds will develop during the day ahead of the front as the storm approaches. There is a bit more cold air associated with this system than earlier forecast, so we may see some snowflakes mixed in with the rain in the valleys with snow accumulating at the higher elevations.
Showers will likely remain Sunday as the cool northwest flow keeps the weather unsettled.
There may be a break Sunday night into Monday morning before breezy southwest winds and possible afternoon showers develop ahead of the second storm. Current forecasts have showers turning into more persistent precipitation on Tuesday.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
The monster storm that will have brought inclement weather to our area for the past six days will finally leave us later Wednesday after one more parting shot of unsettled conditions.
Non-accumulating rain and snow showers are possible in the valleys overnight with snow showers turning to periods of light to perhaps moderate snow on the hill early Wednesday. Showers may pick up early in the morning in the valleys as well when the wave passes, but weather models have trended weaker with this last wave, and I would expect 1-4” of snow on the mountain by the time the storm finally clears the area by Wednesday evening, with some sun possible during the day.
A nice warm up is in store for the rest of the work week as spring briefly returns to the area, with possible rain showers Friday afternoon, before another storm threatens our area with inclement weather around mid-weekend. The GFS has come around to the ECMWF in keeping the first of two Pacific storms further north, bringing rain showers to our are at all elevations by Saturday afternoon. The southern part of the storm will pass through the area Saturday night or Sunday morning, keeping the showery weather around for Sunday.
There may be a break Monday before the second storm brings more inclement weather to our area around Tuesday.
After receiving 9” Friday morning in town, and another 2” Sunday morning, Milly and I headed up the Steamboat ski area to ski some powder.
Parking at the base of the Thunderhead lift, we hiked about 90 minutes on Alpine Touring gear to reach the Four Points lodge, rested, and caught First (and only at that time) tracks next to the Storm Peak liftline.
There was about a foot of medium-density snow with a bit of a crust, though the turns were bouncy and consistent. The chunky snow was flying around thigh-deep on the descent. The observant will notice the rest I took about half way down to fully enjoy the remaining turns.
The picture was taken from the bottom of Tornado Lane and you can see Milly’s paw prints bisecting my tracks!
On the left is a panoramic shot of Tornado and the Four Points lift, with the very top of Nelson’s and Twister in view. The picture was snapped from Flatout near Surprise.
The next day, while riding down the Core Trail to the gym, I noticed another skier had laid down some nice tracks next to mine.
I am heartened to see some powder etiquette and artistic skiing displayed as that seems to be sorely lacking these days!
Monday, April 18, 2016
This slow-moving storm, covering the western half of the country from the Pacific coastal mountain ranges to the Mississippi river and the Mexican to Canadian borders, will continue to bring cool and unsettled weather to our area through Wednesday.
There may be patchy fog in the valleys tomorrow morning before it clears, and some periods of sun similar to today. A lobe of energy that brought severe weather to the central plains Sunday night will finally move south over our area by tomorrow afternoon or night, after a circuitous route around the storm.
While the exact timing is still uncertain, non-accumulating snow showers are likely in the valleys during Tuesday afternoon and overnight and snow showers turning to periods of light to moderate snow are likely on the hill. We may see some clearing by Wednesday afternoon if the faster model solution verifies, but in any case I would expect 3-6” of snow on the mountain by the time the storm finally clears the area by later Wednesday.
A nice warm up is in store for the rest of the work week as spring briefly returns to the area, with possible rain showers Friday afternoon, before another storm threatens our area with inclement weather around mid-weekend. There is large model disagreement by then with the GFS bringing the storm south of us while the ECMWF is further north.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
The storm-that-wouldn’t-leave is pretty much located directly over us, and there has been some clearing this afternoon under the hurricane-like eye of the storm. The storm will continue to sit and spin over or near our area for the next 2 days before finally moving east of our area around Wednesday.
There may be some snow showers overnight with no accumulations expected. Snow showers will continue Monday, and will become heavier and more frequent in the afternoon as any surface warming destabilizes the atmosphere.
It looks like we will see a short-lived break in the snow showers early in the day Tuesday before a lobe of energy, likely to bring severe weather to eastern Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska overnight tonight, will take the long way to our area, first moving northward and reaching Montana Monday night before curving south by the Tetons and bringing likely significant snow, at least to the mountain, later Tuesday or early Wednesday.
There is now disagreement on when this energy will arrive, with the more consistent AVN bringing a last wave of snow Tuesday afternoon and overnight, while the more mercurial NAM brings the energy in about 12 hours later. The earlier solution will likely bring some sun to the valleys by Wednesday afternoon while the later solution will delay the sun until Thursday.
A nice warm up is in store for the rest of the work week, with possible rain showers Friday afternoon, before another storm threatens our area with inclement weather around mid-weekend.