Dry-winter forecasts were flat wrong this year for much of Colorado and the Southwest, and weather experts say they're struggling to understand why the snow just keeps falling.Humbling?
Some forecasters blame climate change, and others point to the simple vicissitudes of weather. Regardless, almost everyone called for a dry-to-normal winter in Colorado and the Southwest — but today, the state's mountains are piled so thick with snow that state reservoirs could fill and floods could be widespread this spring.
"The polar jet stream has been on steroids. We don't understand this. It's pushing our limits, and it's humbling," said Klaus Wolter, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado at Boulder. . . .
"Wolter said he's troubled that his and other long-range forecasts have been off two years in a row now. . . .
"So we have two years in a row here where the atmosphere does not behave as we expect," Wolter said. "Maybe global changes are pulling the rug out from underneath us. We may not know the answer for 10 years, . . . but one pet answer is that you should get more variability with global change."
Update: We got only about an inch of the six inches of snow predicted for Denver yesterday.
Update II: Purgatory extends season:
One comment, from "Hydro_Man": "God bless global warming!"
Purgatory Mountain in Durango has extended it season by a week because it has received so much snow this winter.
More than 21 feet of snow have fallen at the ski area in the past 10 weeks. About 10 inches fell late Wednesday night with another 6 to 14 inches possible by Friday.