Crestone Weather Center
Crestone, Colorado


- (Not so) Special Weather Statement -

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Public Information Statement


The 1, 2 and 3 punch of Storms, with at least 2 more on the way
(aka... this is an excuse for yesterday's big storm forecast mistake)
(Statement made by Keno  on Wednesday at 440pm MDT)

So how did you enjoy that 5 to 11 inches of snow yesterday that we never saw? If you recall, last Thursday, I posted a weather statement here that was noted as "special". I've always called them "special statements" since that's what our local NWS calls such statements. Today they are more so just a blog, but since they are deleted after about 24 hours, they really are just old fashion weather statements I guess.

But getting back to last Thursdays' statement, I noted we had 3 upcoming storms that the NWS were watching. Truth was, they were at the time watching 4, but I only noted the first 3. Going by what I and the NWS could see in the future forecast computer models that we rely on, the first storm would be your average snow system, the second a very weak one, and the third one a big snowstorm.  It turned out the first 2 storms were your average snow systems for our area, with the second storm which looked to be the weakest, being the strongest of the 3. The third storm was a total dud, with 2" of snow on average falling. But if you live outside of town in the valley, you saw little or no snow at all in all 3 storms.

Now please let me take you on a temporary detour and ask you this. Would any of you like to become local weather spotters? Thing is, I'm in good shape as far as spotters reporting to me goes in Chalets 1 and 2, along with one spotter out in Casita Park. But I don't have any spotters in the town of Crestone (never have had any there, ever), and today none out in the Grants, either. So if you live out that way, or in town, feel free to join in if you like to measure snow. All you need is a ruler and good spot to measure the snow at (about 30 feet way from your home or any building, if possible, is best). A snow board (not the kind you snowboard on, but the original snow boards that the weather service has been using for decades to measure snow on), would be great to have too, but not needed. You can just measure off level ground, or even off the top of your car if it is level, since cars are colder than the ground, therefor they collect more snow on them than the ground, just like our snow boards do. Then after you measure, just send in your report to me, including your exact location and at what time you took the reading. It takes only a few minutes to do, and all readings are noted in my daily reports that go to the NWS, which I send out at midnight (or at 1 am this time of the year, as the NWS is always on standard time).... I appreciate and thank all of our local spotters for their reports!

Now, one last thing and the third reason why I wrote this statement today.... I hate getting the forecast wrong, even if I and the NWS gets it right 90% of the time, it's the other 10% that many only remember. But isn't it better to be warned about an upcoming storm and not getting it, then not being warned and then getting one? Well, I'm not totally sure, since I was suppose to go to Alamosa yesterday and I canceled my plans because of the upcoming storm.... that we didn't get! Yet I still think it's better to be safe than sorry. With that said, there are at least 2 more big storm systems heading this way. The first one will hit around Friday, and for now, all 3 computer forecast models are in total agreement (that's rare) as to where this next storm will head, with even more snow is forecasted for this incoming storm than the last one, that being, 1 to 3 feet of snow in our foothills and mountains  - exactly where most of us live. So when you see likely warnings posted again in the next day, you can take them with a grain of salt if you like, but sooner or later what could happen - will happen. With that noted, of our last few major snowstorms of 20 or more inches, only one actually was forecasted, while several others were suppose to take place and never happened, and all of the other ones we did see, weren't forecasted by the NWS to even take place. Remember the Easter Sunday storm of 2012? We saw on average 25" of snow that day - that I forecasted, when the NWS called for only 6" at first and later never forecasted more than a foot for our area. Then a second storm hit a few days later with almost another 20". So back to back storms can and have hit our area, and not that long ago, either.
So as I like to close these statements out with - be ready for anything on Friday and Saturday and don't be surprised if we end up with just 2" again, or if we see 3 feet. But no, I don't expect 3 feet, either, at least not below 11,000 feet, anyway.