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Monday, January 26, 2009

Thundersnow on the Arctic Express

Monday is another 'blow and go' day on the Mesa with strong SW winds, light showers, and temperatures struggling into the 20s. An arctic front is languishing just north of the Roan Plateau on Monday. As the sun begins to go down, the front will begin to push south again, perhaps producing some magically scary thundersnow as it passes early Monday evening. Thundersnow can produce amazingly big local dumps, so there might be large snowfall variation.
The Mesa should get some decent snowfall Monday evening through Tuesday, favoring Powderhorn to County Line. Ward Lake trails should get less. Temperatures on Tuesday will struggle to make the teens as snow showers diminish thru the afternoon. This is that magical dendrite crystal growth temperature regime that I talked about here recently. So look for big fluffy flakes that have sharp crystals. If your skis are slow, stop for a moment and examine the beautifully branched snow flakes falling on your gloves and eyelashes. If that doesn't make you say Wow, then look around at the pattern of snow on the tree branches, or the lovely organic shapes of the drifts in the open areas. That should should make the slow skis not as bothersome.
After a cold start Wednesday, temperatures will slowly climb through the week, promising a nice upcoming weekend for skiing. Generally for Wednesday onward, the snow will be cold. But afternoon temperatures will climb into the 20s with northwest light breezes and little chance of new snowfall.

Life is short. The snow and all of us will soon be gone.

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