Arapahoe Basin/Mary Jane
Two resorts remain open in Colorado, Mary Jane (MJ) side of Winter Park, and Arapahoe Basin (AB). Today will be warm and windy with a high temperature around 60. Tonight’s low temperature will be around the freezing mark, at 12,000 ft. Thats the boring part. The cold front arrives Friday morning, with the approaching trough, around 5 AM. You can see the trough and cold temps on these next two charts.
We are not getting the single digit temps that were showing up on Tuesday. The temps have been rising the last couple of days and are now trending a little colder. That will make for a very tricky forecast for the Denver meteorologists.
In terms of the mountain forecast, the NAM and Canadian models are showing the bullseye in a good spot–Arapahoe Basin (AB), with a storm total around 25″. Hopefully this holds up, as this is the fourth time this storm has come through and this looks like the biggest.
The GFS has the bullseye slightly east of the divide, but still 15-20 for AB and a little less for MJ 12-16. The German model (ICON) has the storm more on the front range. All of these models will converge on a solution by tonight and we will monitor each model run.
Forecast (Pic below to change dramatically by Sat)
Friday Light snow will begin around 3 AM for Mary Jane, and 4 AM for Arapahoe Basin. Expect 3-5 during the day Friday with light winds 5-10 mph, for MJ, and much stronger winds along the divide for AB, 15-25 with 30 mph gusts. The bulk of the storm arrives overnight with 8-12 expected for both resorts with higher amounts possible for AB.
Saturday POWDER DAY! Snow continues throughout the day with cold temperatures and moderate winds 10-15 with 20 mph gusts. Expect another 4-6 during the day with white-out conditions possible with heavier bands. Make sure to bring the clear-lens goggles.
Sunday Lingering snow showers possible but not much precipitation expected. Temperatures will be rising to the mid 40’s by afternoon.
History of this Storm
Cycle 1: 2-day total Breck 13, A Basin 9
Cycle 2: 1-day Winter Park 6, A Basin 3
Cycle 3: 2-day total Vail 10, A Basin 7
Summary of Remaining Pattern Storms
May 20-21 Last storm of Active West Last Active West storm and transition to the Northern Pattern. Hit in all 3 cycles for Utah and Colorado
June 5-6 AR 4th Straight for Seattle?
Possible 4th AR, as we gaze into our crystal ball for June
The last item I am personally looking forward to occurs on June 5-6th (days 56-57). That is when a possible fourth atmospheric river (AR) event is scheduled to hit Seattle. Below are the 3 previous charts that show the variations the last three times through beginning with cycle 3 down to cycle 1.
Looking at the charts you can see the low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska with an AR extending out in the Pacific in all charts. There are slight differences between them that are variations of the pattern.
Cycles mirror each other every other cycle. This year that means the variations in cycles 2 and 4 are alike, and cycles 3 and 5 are alike.