Last week I provided snowy forecasts for both Tahoe and Colorado, and everything worked out perfectly. While the science of weather forecasting is pretty darn good (and has improved a lot in the past 10-20 years), it’s not always perfect. So when things work out as planned, a small celebration is warranted.
For Tahoe, I talked about five feet falling in five days. In actuality it was over five feet falling in about four days, and with another storm on Wednesday, totals were over seven feet in six days! A series of storms drove moisture into the Tahoe basin straight off the Pacific Ocean, and the key was the colder temperatures which permitted snow to fall all the way to lake level and also allowed the atmosphere to efficiently convert Pacific moisture into snow flakes. Since everything works in cycles, it’s likely that Tahoe will see a period of dry weather for the next week or two, though a weaker storm on Saturday could freshen things up a bit with another few inches.
For Colorado, last week I talked about a storm arriving on Monday, Christmas Eve, and how Christmas morning would be white and powdery. Indeed that was the case with about 5-8 new inches on the slopes as Christmas morning dawned. I even heard reports from trusted locals that the back bowls of Vail were far deeper with over a foot of new snow collected in some spots making for faceshots and hoots and hollers from the earliest riders to hit the powder.
As I write this on Thursday morning, snow is falling once again in Colorado and both Thursday and Friday should be soft, powdery days to hit the slopes. Another storm might arrive early next week, but the computer weather models don’t have a good handle on its track and strength, so unfortunately the best I can do is say “let’s wait and see”.
Enjoy the snow!
Meteorologist Joel Gratz is the founder and CEO of opensnow.com and is based in Boulder, Colo.