Every now and again, the weather shows the forecasters who is boss and gives us a surprise. Usually that surprise doesn't result in snow totals approaching two feet, like what happened in Black Forest. However, the conditions became ripe for an event like that to unfold early Sunday morning. A cold front was moving through, we had a powerful jet stream sitting right on top of us, and we had strong north winds at most levels of the atmosphere. Now, those north winds cause upslope ( favorable for snow ) to occur from Denver to Monument Hill, then again from Pueblo to Raton Pass. Those areas had the highest snow totals. However, that same north wind causes downsloping ( not favorable for snow ) to occur from Colorado Springs southward to Pueblo. Thus, Woodmen Road southward to Pueblo saw little or no snow. This type of setup will usually give snow days to the kids in D-49, D-20, D-38, etc. However, those poor D-11 kids. They rarely get a snow day...
This type of setup happens a lot here in Southern Colorado. We get a storm to move through with a north wind, and the conditions change rapidly from one area to the next. It is all due to your elevation and which way the wind is blowing. It sure makes snow forecasting a tough job, but we USUALLY do a pretty good job. However, there will always be events that end up surprising us. That's just part of forecasting in Colorado. While most folks understand this, it still doesn't make it any easier to go to the grocery store and have someone say, " Those light snow showers dumped 12" at my house".
Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe
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