Today (Wednesday)...Updated 615am - Nothing important is going on today. All I see is a small batch of mid-level energy passing by. Out air mass remains very dry so that energy won't amount to much. Look for another day with a good deal of sun. Temps are cold again this morning, mixing this afternoon is once again not great, this means we stay relatively cool. High temps will end up in the 37 to 42 degree range from Aspen to Basalt. The sheltered locations down valley will be colder with low to mid 30s for high temps.
Thursday (Updated 615am) - No changes for Thursday as we are ahead of the big upper air trough off the west coast. Expect a day where the sun is dimmed at times by high clouds. PM mixing is better than the last 2 days, expect 40 to 45 in the Aspen to Basalt corridor. The sheltered locations down valley will stay colder with upper 30s.
Friday (Updated 615am) - Most all of the guidance agrees that Friday and Friday night will not be a factor in terms of snow. We have a hard downslope SW wind at mountain top (14K) and the upper air trough is moving too slow. I think the daylight are fine and we hit a mild 45 to 50 around Aspen. I will keep Friday night mainly dry, all I will allow for is a Trace of snow at the the ski areas very late.
Extended (Sat-Mon 1/20-1/22) - Model trends are important for Saturday. The European model looks too slow and is out of line with all the other global guidance. The GFS model is too fast by a few hours. Details right now are too difficult because of the timing problems from the models. What we do know is this event will have a very very very poor wind profile with SW winds for a long time. I can't emphasize enough how important this fact is to the forecast. Ambient water is good which is a plus. The thermal profile is warm and is a negative until the cold front passes later. The snow to water ratio is poor during the day and gets better at night.
Summation, 99% percent of the time snow is never steady with a hideous downslope SW wind. I don't think precip will be steady during Saturday either. I think our best chance to get enough vertical motion to overwhelm the SW wind will be later in the day and at night. I also see our temps above freezing which is not a great thing. So here's some good news, I don't trust this system at all, the models are very bad and maybe don't understand that we will get good upward motion at some point. I will keep 4 to 8" at the ski areas by dawn Sunday. The valleys are a joke trying to predict snow amounts as of now, I wouldn't touch that subject with a 10 foot pole.
On Sunday I see a much colder day with snow showers and I'll stay with 1 to 3 additional inches at the ski areas.