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CMC weather forecasting course fills eager brains with meteorological munchies
The Colorado Mountain College Leadville campus played host to a phenomenal weather forecasting course with great instructors and eager class.
Photo courtesy of Reid Griebling 

CMC weather forecasting course fills eager brains with meteorological munchies

Continuing education for RealVail's Powder Predictor
By Reid Griebling

February 5, 2009 —  Weather nerds unite!

Around 30 of us heeded this call and joined in Leadville, Colorado at the Colorado Mountain College for a 7 hour course on weather forecasting in Colorado. This was a workshop put on by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AMIARE), and Colorado Mountain College (CMC) with help from the National Weather Service (NWS).

I was lucky enough to hear about the course from Vail Resorts' Environmental Director, Luke Cartin, who thought this would be right up my alley. Luke you were correct. An array of people from Ski Patrol directors to ski bums, and even meteorologists in the insurance biz, were on hand to experience words like convection, coriolis, supersaturation, and riming. Mumbo jumbo to the lay person, but pure Scrabble magic for us geeks who just can't stop watching the skies.

CMC weather forecasting course fills eager brains with meteorological munchies
Photo courtesy of Reid Greibling 

The instructors who led us to the weather-watching promise land did it in a way that was informative, and relaxed.

Headed by CAIC Director Ethan Greene, who wants to make this a credit-able course for CMC students, Ethan brought with him some real pros to inject us with their weather knowledge. Dr. John Snook, who also works for the CAIC, was joined by Dr. Doug Wesley from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Michael Meyers, Science and Operations Officer for the NWS.

For seven hours these professional weather watchers filled our eager brains with meteorological munchies. Crunching, slurping, and snacking, amateur weather junkies ate up the information that was being plated, asking questions and surfing the all knowing internet for weather web sites and the latest satellite images.

All in all it was a great, and rather warm day in the highest incorporated town in America, and much thanks is given to the men who filled our brains with information that will be passed on to peers, friends, and co-workers alike.

Thanks guys, it truly was a great day.

Now the Vail Valley forecast

Finally, the forecast, and it looks promising as we move into the weekend and next week. We will see our somber weather slowly change as a weak unstable air mass moves into Colorado during the day Friday Feb. 6th. Southwest winds will increase Friday, with mild temps and limited moisture. This storm does not look like a great snow maker for the Vail Valley but could deposit a fair amount in the San Juans.

Our on mountain temps for the weekend will be warm with highs in the mid 20's and lows in the high teens overnight. Winds will be brisk from the southwest (15-25 mph) with gusts in the 30 mph range. This system will linger into Sunday Feb. 8 with snow totals for the weekend ranging from 4-6 inches by Sunday evening.

We see a short break Monday Feb. 9 as another system will move in by Monday p.m.

The week of Feb. 9-14 looks promising as the storm axis moves west and we see more action from the northwest.

We are still in the middle of winter folks, so don't break out the bikes just yet.


Monarch Mountain
CMC Leadville Campus. Courtesy of CMC

Monarch Mountain
One of the great presenations

Monarch Mountain
Beautiful Day.

  • Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC)
  • American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AMIARE)
  • Colorado Mountain College (CMC)
  • National Weather Service (NWS)



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