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Friday, January 23, 2009

A Wet & White weekend

Friday morning, Powderhorn reported a wet (8:1 ratio) new 2 inches at the top of their runs, and rain at the bottom. Mesa Lakes and Trickle Park Snotels are hovering around 32F. Finally the Doppler radar is showing winds at 11,000ft MSL West at 25-30mph. So the trails are getting some new wet snow and blowing/drifting snow in some open areas.
Not alot of changes through the weekend. Temperatures cool somewhat into the 20s, and SW-W winds remain gusty, even increase somewhat. Snow amounts in the current NWS forecast seem to match up with the morning models pretty well. So not lots of accumulation. Snow production is inefficient at such mild temperatures. Big fluffy 20:1 or 25:1 champagne powder snow is made up of dendrites that grow in the 0 to 10F temperature range, and that ain't happenin' in this storm. So best guess for now is: 2-4 inches Friday, with light accumulations tonight, 1-3 inches Saturday, another break Saturday night and Sunday morning before picking up again Sunday afternoon.
Classic race forecast: fresh wet-ish snow, probably not alot falling at race time. Air Temp: 18-23F, but more important Snow Temp: 20-25F. High humidity. SW-W winds gusty in the open areas.
This is a complex storm so there are lots of ways to bust the forecast. Be adaptable and check the latest conditions and forecast here:


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