New Mexico Daily Snow

All eyes on Tuesday morning


We stay dry through Saturday and Sunday. Monday morning will be a transition period as our next storm and a robust cold front arrive Monday night delivering fresh snow for Tuesday freshies. Wednesday looks dry before another round of snow possible Thursday-Friday and perhaps favoring the southern mountains. Models continue to signal another storm around January 24-25.

Short Term Forecast

A glance at the Taos Kachina Peak cam shows bluebird skies on Saturday morning and fresh corduroy primed and ready to carve.

Enjoy the sun on Saturday morning as high clouds and maybe a few isolated snow flurries (no accumulation expected) will move over the northern mountains later on Saturday as a weak disturbance passes to our north.

Sunday should be a sunny bluebird day. 

On Monday two systems will slide into the southwest. The larger parent storm will drift over Arizona and park over Baja while the second system will bring snow to New Mexico late Monday into Tuesday favoring the northern mountains.

This system will have good moisture, optimal cold temperatures, and fairly strong storm energy and lift, so I am cautiously optimistic for enough accumulation overnight Monday for some freshies on Tuesday.

We are within the 84-hour range of the NAM 12-km model which is helpful to see snowfall total trends, not so much specific totals, and we see the northern Sangres, San Juans, and around Mt. Taylor favored. Multiply by 15 to calculate approximate snowfall using snow to liquid ratio of 15:1.

Here is the more high-resolution WPC global compilation model for liquid precipitation forecast through Tuesday 5 pm with most of this falling before 11 am Tuesday. It shows the same general trends but zooms in on snowfall totals for specific locations. Again multiply by 15 for snowfall.

Bottom Line

  • Snow should start late Monday with most snow falling overnight Monday into Tuesday morning with snowfall totals looking in the 2-8" range for the northern mountains and Mt. Taylor, and less in the central and southern mountains.
  • First chair Tuesday, January 19 should enjoy fresh snow and possibly storm skiing.
  • We could see some additional light accumulation on Tuesday.
  • Wednesday morning a wildcard if mountains can score enough to provide new terrain openings, terrain awaiting avalanche mitigation, etc.
  • We are 3 days out so could still see changes. 

Extended Forecast

Wednesday, January 20th is forecast to be another dry transition day.

By Thursday, January 21st, the main storm parked over Baja could begin its trek back eastward. 

Still lots of uncertainty here, but the current best guess is a more southern track of the Baja low eastward with precipitation favoring the southern mountains (Ski Apache), except for the San Juans (Wolf Creek) which is just a magnet for snow with southwest winds.

The University of Utah ensembles for Ski Santa Fe and Taos Ski Valley currently agree with a second lighter wave of snow Thursday-Friday, to build on the more significant Monday-Tuesday totals for the northern mountains.

After the January 18-22 storm cycles, the pattern could stay active for the Land of Enchantment and signals continue to point to a potentially significant storm around January 24-25 way out in fantasy land.

All in all, some positive trends for the second half of January.

Thanks for reading and I will post again on Sunday with an update on the January 18-19 storm outlook.

[email protected] 


OpenSnow Forecast Data Update

On Tuesday (1/12), we began updating the automated forecasts on OpenSnow with a proprietary blend of data from the GFS (American), GDPS (Canadian), and ECMWF (European) weather models.

Previously, we combined information from our local forecasters, the National Weather Service (NOAA), and data from the ECMWF (European) weather model. This method only provided hourly data for the United States and relied on a single model to produce our snow forecasts for the next 10 days.

Why is this new forecast data better than the old forecast data? The benefits include:

  • Blending multiple global models increases accuracy and confidence in the forecast.
  • Hourly data for any location in the world.
  • A proprietary snow-to-liquid calculation to improve accuracy, especially in colder environments.
  • An improved method for calculating the snow level (elevation that separates rain from snow) to provide a more realistic forecast, especially at the beginning of storms and during times of intense snowfall.
  • Ability to create a forecast for any location and elevation to ensure that we are forecasting conditions on the mountain and not for a nearby town.

We also plan to add even more global and high-resolution models into our proprietary forecast blend over time. Our goal is to create the most accurate snow forecast and we're just getting started.

The data can be viewed as hourly forecasts for the next 5 days and daily forecasts for the next 10 days. Available data includes:

  • Chance of Precipitation
  • Day & Night Snow Forecast
  • Day & Night Snow Level
  • Daily High & Low Temperature
  • Hourly Temperature
  • Hourly Wind Speed
  • Hourly Wind Gust
  • Hourly Cloud Cover %

This new blend of forecast data is available on OpenSnow for over 2,000 locations around the world and we are adding new locations every day.

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