Good Morning Everybody,
Saturday's De-brief: Last night we had a new cold front, strong mid/high level energy also invaded the region. This lead to snow and wind developing overnight. Accumulations happened throughout the Aspen to Basalt corridor, of course varying amounts of snow fell as we have a million elevations and a myriad of temps.
Valleys - The higher valleys did the best because they got to 32 degrees and lower much quicker and the snow stuck faster. Aspen and vicinity had about 3". Down valley it just depended on your elevation, down near 6K not that much snow stuck, in the vicinity of Basalt there was accumulations. Elevations above 7.3K did the best down valley.
Ski areas....I went 3 to 5" and the 'Big 3' got it.
Ski Resort Totals Overnight as of 600am:
Snowmass: Base 3", Mid-slope 4.2", Top 4.9"
Highlands: Base 2", Mid-slope 2 to 3", Top 3 to 4". Bowl 5".
Aspen Mtn: Base 3", Mid-slope 4.5", Top 4"
Quick Forecasts for Today (Sunday):
Aspen to Basalt - Scattered snow showers. It will be colder with NW breezes and variable clouds. The higher valleys could get an inch by dawn Monday. High 35 Aspen, 38 to 40 Basalt. Wind NW at 12 to 23mph with a few higher gusts. Low 19 to 24.
On-Mtn (Ski Areas) - Scattered snow showers. It will be colder with NW breezes and variable clouds. 1 to 3" additional by dawn Monday. High 24 at mid-slope, 21 near 11K. Wind NW 13 to 24mph with a few higher gusts.
Today (Sunday)...Updated 630am - Today will be different than the snow last night. Last night we had strong upper air support, we had a cold front that maximized moisture convergence, we also had strong upslope NW winds with the front. Today we have much less upper air support, there is a bit of mid level energy around which is good, it's just not nearly as strong as last night. The key to us getting daytime scattered snow showers will be instability. Our thermal profile is cold aloft and we end up with good lapse rates near 8C/Km. The solid lapse rates will combine with an upslope NW wind of 30mph or so up at mountain top (14K).
So long story short, I will call the day variable clouds with NW breezes and scattered snow showers. Scattered snow showers implies it will not be snowing all the time, at times we will get some action, then at other times we won't. The best chance for these snow showers will be in the higher valleys and at the ski resorts.
Tonight - I'm worried about late tonight. I can clearly see jet energy streaming down within a strong NW flow aloft. When this happens, there are almost always snow showers around. I think this will happen late tonight and I really don't care what the models have. So for tonight there probably won't be much happening until late.
Ski Resort Snow: Additional 1 to 3". This includes what happens today and late tonight.
Valleys: Additional 1" in the higher valleys and favored NW wind locations. This includes what happens today and late tonight. There will also be melting going on today.
Monday (Updated 630am) - There will be a strong NW jet very close to us during the daylight hours. This jet will agitate our air mass into some additional snow showers. Our upslope component will still be good with 35mph up at 14K. I will call the day variable clouds and allow for snow showers. High temps stay cold with mainly mid/upper 30s around Aspen. Skies become partly cloudy later at night as we lose the jet off to our east.
Ski Resort Snow: Snow showers could bring 1 to 3" by evening.
Valleys: An inch is possible by evening over the higher valleys and favored NW wind locations. Melting also happens.
Tuesday (Updated 630am) - In general our air mass is subsident. There are some subtle things to consider even though we have subsidence. Our wind profile remains upslope NW with decent speeds aloft. Lingering moisture is also going to be present in the low levels. This is a recipe for strata cumulus clouds. I will call our sky cover intervals of clouds and sun. Surface pressures are relatively high so it won't get all that warm, look for upper 40s around Aspen.
Ski Resort Snow: 0".
Extended Forecast (Wed-Fri 10/23-10/25):
Wednesday: So as of now I'm going for the 'Surprise' event Wednesday night. The GFS/European/Canadian models are now indicating this could happen. See what Phase 2 of the MJO can do, it gives you a hint way in advance. It's still no guarantee but I'm going for it based on last night's data.
So I will keep us dry with mixed clouds and sun during the day. The new energy aloft invades our region at night with a strong cold front. I have to allow for snow at night with some accumulations. Numbers would be difficult this early, the Euro has a lot, the GFS is more tame.
One more important fact - I'm leaving for the Caribbean where I belong for a month. I have to leave very early and it's doubtful I can have a forecast package ready. Ryan is in Vietnam, maybe he can quickly write something up. I will be able to do everything like normal come Thursday morning. So we have a potential weather surprise with snow at night, we also have potential not to have updated material Wednesday morning. It's just a day of surprises all around (LOL).
Thursday: I think this storm will move S and SE of us as the day progresses. I will call it partly cloudy and dry. Surface pressures will be quite high and low level mixing will be poor. I only expect 30s for high temps around Aspen. It gets cold at night.
Friday: Ridging aloft arrives and we have a nice day under mostly sunny skies. Surface pressures will be high so we don't get overly warm.
Aspen Airport Extended Temps:
Wed: 46 to 50 / 21 to 25.
Thur: 35 to 40 / 14 to 18.
Fri: 45 to 49 / 20s.
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