The snow is probably partly due to a developing El Nino, enhancing the southern branch of the U.S. Jet stream, and the pattern will likely continue into Spring. This is outstanding news for an area that has been drought-stricken.
In late Summer and Autumn, we were in the midst of a moderate La Niña, which is a cooling of surface waters off the north west coast of South America into the mid-Pacific.
A storm moving across the Rockies, once it hits the lowlands overnight, will re-intensify quickly as it departs the area Saturday morning, and as this happens, for a few overnight hours, will create near-blizzard-like conditions…north at Monument & Black Forest, and east of El Paso County…through the border counties
Some spots saw feet of snow out west this week…more is coming Friday, and a reminder to check the traction or chain laws before heading west…because some roads are in rough shape!
We have a large spiraling storm moving in to the inter-mountain region to our west, the next 24 hours. The mountains will go a long way towards breaking it up, with time.
An upper level (jet stream) storm is cutting off across the southwestern part of the country, and will feed in some clouds through Friday. As it then begins lifting out and dissipating, there will probably be a few odd pockets of showers of snow, Friday and Friday night.
Picture our topography here in Colorado. Tall mountain chain, Plains east. Winds usually come over these mountains, from west to east. Imagine a pool of cold air in the Plains, banked up against the mountains.
Weather of any kind, typically comes at us from repeated directions. In fact, most weather moves west to east.
A pair of storms, moving through southern Colorado overnight tonight and overnight Monday night, coupled with a backdoor cold front…causing cold air and upslope flow along the I-25 corridor, means several periods of snow and a lengthy storm…not due to wind down Tuesday afternoon…and clear out Tuesday night. Is this “Snow-mageddon”?
When snow falls, the temperature where it forms, dictates the shape it takes. It takes a shape most efficient with regards to the temperature. As it falls, it may encounter a wide variety of temps on it’s way down. The air temp may help keep it frozen, or melt it.
So, a series of cold fronts coming through Saturday afternoon, Sunday afternoon, are all progressively shaving back temps and prepping us for an incoming storm…of long duration.
Over the last 10 years, February is the single most dangerous month for avalanches in Colorado. Over a quarter of the fatal avalanche accidents happened during this month. We would like to break that pattern, but that requires your active participation.
An arctic front coming through, dropping those temps way downtown, and setting us up in advance of a developing, complex storm system, poised to arrive Sunday night…and linger through at least half of Tuesday.
Usually, these are terms in use by Meteorologists for decades, yet they’ve only recently become relevant on the News side of the business. Earlier we discussed the ‘Pineapple Express.’
Your weekly ski report for the week ending Sunday, February 17, includes chills and thrills.