By Joel Gratz, Founding Meteorologist Posted 12 years ago January 26, 2012

Forecasting is simple: look left!

Computer models are great for longer range forecasts, but looking upstream is sometimes the best way to forecast in the short term.

For Thursday night and Friday's storm across Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado, the models have forecasted a pretty moist system. And now with the snow just 12-18 hours away from starting, a quick look at the upstream radar confirms this. By "upstream", I mean 'where the weather is coming from'. In the mid latitudes of the northern hemisphere, this usually means somewhere from the west (or left:-).

Radar doesn't work so well in the mountains because the beam gets blocked by the taller terrain, and snow is harder to pick up on radar than rain. So when you see this much snow on radar, you know it's coming down pretty good. Click the image below to see it animate...

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About The Author

Joel Gratz

Founding Meteorologist

Joel Gratz is the Founding Meteorologist of OpenSnow and has lived in Boulder, Colorado since 2003. Before moving to Colorado, he spent his childhood as a (not very fast) ski racer in eastern Pennsylvania.

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