Wednesday's De-Brief - Yesterday into last night we had snow showers around. The best of the snow showers were late day and during the evening hours when instability maximized. When you get lapse rates that exceed 8C/Km, bursts of snow usually happen. In this case we were lucky enough to get the stronger radar echoes. The ski resorts made our numbers and got the 2 to 4". The higher valleys had 1 to 2".
Ski Resort Totals as of 600am - Snowmass 4.4" , Highlands 5", Aspen Mtn 3", Buttermilk 2".
Quick Forecast for Today (Wednesday):
Aspen: Mixed strata cumulus clouds and intervals of sun. Few flakes? High 43/44 Aspen, 47 Basalt. NW wind 11 to 22mph.
On-Mtn: Mixed strata cumulus clouds and intervals of sun. Few flakes around. High 31 at mid-slope, 28 near 11K. NW wind 12 to 25mph.
Today (Thursday)...Updated 645am - Today we lose upper air support. The subtle features we have today are the wind direction remains upslope NW, lingering low level moisture will be present, and instability will be near the benchmark of 7C/Km.
Summation, it would be hard for us to have a clear day even though we lose upper air support. The upslope wind and lingering low level moisture/instability will allow for strata cumulus clouds to develop. I think our sky cover ends up mixed strata cumulus clouds and intervals of sun. I could see some flakes falling from the strata cumulus bases but I don't think it amounts to a whole lot. I have a Trace on the 6 day snow forecast. High temps around Aspen will be a bit below normal with low to mid 40s.
Friday (Updated 645am) - Our flow aloft is WNW and we still have an upslope wind. However, we will be experiencing a distinct lack of upper air support. I see some high clouds (Cirrus) around along with patches of cumulus clouds due to the upslope wind. I'll call our day partly cloudy. High temps head up to around 52 in Aspen which is close to normal for the end of March.
Saturday (Updated 645am) - On Saturday I think we are dry during the day with patches of strata cumulus clouds and some high clouds. I'll call it mixed clouds and sun.
At night we do have good ambient water with over 3G/Kg. There is also a west wind at mountain top with speeds to 40mph, this is very good and can be dangerous. What I don't see is very much upper level forcing to agitate the atmosphere into vertical motion. The right rear quad of the jet does get close and that's why I think the models are indicating some light precip overnight. I will follow the model trends and keep continuity of some light snow amounts at the ski areas overnight. Overall my confidence level is fairly low.
Extended Forecast (Sun-Tues 4/1-4/3) - Right now I'm having a hard time believing the European models which indicates more precip on Sunday. Most all the other global models shy away from this and are mainly dry. I will go with the majority in this case. It's probably mixed clouds and sun and maybe we get a shower.
There is no agreement by Monday and Tuesday among any of the models. I personally think the Euro is out to lunch with precip everyday. I will monitor things and tweak as we move forward.
Note - So let's go out on a limb again. The first limb was a long time ago babbling that the last 2 weeks of March would be active. Since March 14th there has been 32" at Highlands and 30" at Snowmass. We just missed getting 35 to 40" at both these spots. Overall, the Canadian Blocking theme being an 'Omen' was fine.
So the next limb I will teeter on is trying to predict the next active period in April. Right now I see an active period based on tele-connection research. I could actually see decent ski resort
snowfall (1 to 2ft) during this period with any luck. So the period I have in mind falls between April 7th and April 12th give or take a day. This does not mean it snows every hour of every day, it means in my estimation there will be stormy intervals during this time period. Fingers crossed!!