Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

2018-2019 relived - It was great to be a northern Vermonter !!

Following several years of mixed to flat-out bad snow seasons, Mad River Glen finally procured a truly great one. Yes, we did a few crusty interludes but even the best ski seasons in New England feature a bit of that. The thaws were short-lived and northern New England fended off some of the adverse weather patterns quite admirably and performed exceptionally well as a whole when the pattern supported either marginal or favorable stretches of wintry weather in eastern North America. Going into the month of March, one might have been a bit ambivolent as to how to categorize the snow season, but once again, the mountain was able to procure a massive March snow event of nearly 3-feet, the third consecutive season with such a result. This brought the seasonal snow totals and the total base to some of the best levels of the decade. It was an even better year to our north, where the snow at the Mt Mansfield stake nearly reached the highest level ever recorded. Overall however, northern Vermont was a favored location this season which was a reversal from the season prior when southern Vermont recorded above normal snowfall but northern Vermont was just below.
 

Below is a link to the Mt Mansfield data which is cleaned up nicely by our friend Matt Parrilla

 

Mt Mansfield Snow Stake 

And following another dose of spring snow. Here are some selected seasonal snowfall total amounts for random ski areas mostly inside a Vermont, but a few outside as well.
Jay Peak.... 423"
Smuggs....387"
Stowe.....311"
Mad River Glen....244"
Sugarbush....239"
Killington....223"
Stratton....137"
Mt Snow....140"
Hunter Mt, NY....71"
Camelback, PA....43"


Though a good snow season was predicted by the SCWB  and a few others, it didn't arrive without concerns. The previous summer featured invariable heat and humidity over New England that I attributed to an area of sea surface temperature warmth off the New England coast. Additionally, we had a strengthening El Nino that was much weaker than the one in 2015-16, but was nonetheless threatening to become a more detrimental force in the regions weather with  further intensification. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) which had provided the region with consecutive years of favorable support had largely neutralized itself by  the fall. All that said, the pattern had clearly turned away from "warm" and had done so quite abrupty around the time of October 12th. Within a month, the warm sea surface temperature blob off the New England coast had vanished and a healthy build-up of snow across the northern hemisphere hinted that colder weather would indeed prove to be formidable during the winter and it was. 


Following some elevation snow events in late October, more widespread snow accumulation began around the time of November 10th along with a friendly stretch of cold weather. A large east coast storm on November 15-16, the biggest of the season in several areas along the coast, deposited upwards of a foot of snow across ski country and this was followed by additional snows in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Incredibly, conditions at Sugarbush on the celebrated third Thursday of November could have been confused with what one might expect in January. I mean let's be real, many January and the last two February's have been considerably worse. Thanksgiving even featured January-like temperatures including a sub-zero morning and only teens in the afternoon. The clammer to open Mad River Glen appeared to be growing by the day and being the "people pleasers" that they are, the staff got it done and opened on Friday,  November 24th, day 1 of 136 !!! The earliest open I can remember in the coop era. 


And then November 27th-29th happened and a typical feel-good early snow season month became "Snovember" !!!! Exiting the central Rocky Mountains on November 24th, this storm appeared headed innocuously toward the eastern Great Lakes. Subtropical energy was able to fuel the development of a coastal low pressure center and the storm re-consolidated not far from Boston on Tuesday,  November 27th. An axis of very heavy, but elevation sensitive snowfall had already established itself the night before. Some rain fell in the lowest valley locations for a while but the snow fell throughout the night across the mountains, accumulating well over a foot by morning and continuing throughout the day. By Wednesday the 28th, Mad River Glen had reopened, three feet of new snow had fallen, and many wooded/gladed favorites were already ski-able. It was just remarkable to see that just a few days after Thanksgiving ! 


Milder air on the first Sunday of December brought the powder-fest to an end temporarily, but winter  re-established itself across the northeast and the ensuing 17 days featured a near uninterrupted stretch of sub-freezing temperatures. Northern New Englnad was, during this period, one of the few spots across the country seeing consistent winter weather and this was a distinction that would re-emerge in January. Unfortunately, this winter-like period was mostly a dry one but occasional snow did manage to refresh conditions now and again. Northern Vermont then managed to resort to its customary Xmas flop. The forecast data hinted that we might manage to find a way through what appeared to be an increasingly adverse looking late December pattern featuring what was probably the strongest Pacific "Evil Empire" of the season. Hopes were dashed however when on the solstice we got smoked with a big rain event and a temperature spike. Snowpack over the Champlain Valley got essentially taken out but we managed to retain at least half across the northern Vermont high country.  Colder temperatures prevailed through the days surrounding Xmas but another round of ice/rain on the 28th and 29th pretty much cemented yet another very forgettable year for late December skiing in Vermont. Hey, I think many of us have simply come to expect it at this point. 


A pattern change and some big improvements also seemed to be right around the corner even as we sloshed through all the wet weather during the last 10 days of December. The pattern which for a time looked arctic across much of North America, seemed to be moving quickly toward a lot of "El Torchy". For a time the pattern appeared to be defined large positive PNA structure in the jet stream but this pattern turned out to be much weaker than initially anticipated and for much of the first half of the month, New England was again the only place experiencing consistent winter weather.  Even with only marginal temperatures, the snow began to fly again across Mad River Glen and following a mild Friday January 4th,  a nearly 20-day stretch of sensational January snow conditions began. Snow was recorded on the first full weekend of January but fell more significantly between January 8-11. Conditions were dry but cold in the several days that followed but the pattern appeared to be gearing up for plenty of winter excitement with a beautiful looking storm lined up for MLK day followed by intense cold. Both did indeed occur and provided Vermont with what was the most wintry weekend of the year. The MLK storm deposited a widespread area of nearly two feet of wind driven powder across the high country but wind driven was certainly a key adjective. The skiing was great but I will never forget sking down Lower Antelope while dodging the occasional downed tree limb and the random 6 foot snow drift !! I don't seem to recall any wind holds however at MRG but it was ferociously cold and the actual MLK holiday Monday turned out to be the coldest of the season. The stretch of incredible skiing was rudely interrupted in classic New England fashion by a rain event on January 24th. It was simply ridiculous to get rain and mild weather embedded into a pattern that was fundamentally very cold, but this cold was aimed more toward the central part of the country as opposed to the northeast. Chicago, IL and several locations in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota saw some of their coldest weather of the decade but the pattern went easy on New England keeping the door open for aforementioned rain event on 1/24  while temperatures during that final January week didn't stray too far from normal. January finished strong with some snow coming from weaker disturbances but we were not able to procure another more significant storm as the larger areas of moisture remained to well to our south. 


The approach of February is worthy of a bit of reminiscing. The arctic cold that frontally assaulted the midwest in record-setting fashion had the twitter-sphere ablaze with unprecented levels of hype regarding the weather for February. It was just remarkable to watch such a collection of experts, many of whom I respect, hitching their respective wagons to the notion of a "sustained" period of extreme weather persisting through February into early March. There are many aspects of weather forecasting that have greatly improved, even in the limited span of time the SCWB has been in existence, but actual weather and the jet stream patterns that guide the weather are incredibly chaotic and very difficult to predict beyond a week and especially difficult after two. An extended stretch of extreme weather is also statistically unlikely and a terribly low probabilistic outcome. Yet so many very intelligent folks suddenly felt it was likely especially in the twitter-universe. It is one of many very unfortunate byproducts of our social media environment. One that feeds on some of human nature's weaker impulses such as the constant need to be fed attention and adoration and being provided an avenue (Twitter or Facebook) to receive both. The weather forecasting world has also gotten incredibly competitive and there's a feeling among many that accurately identifying and predicting an "extreme" will raise one's stature in the field. Whatever the reason, it makes it more challenging for the public to sort through some of the noise. For example, when someone on Twitter, and this actually happened, posts an image of Boston's Prudential Building nearly buried under 400 feet of snow, the public is forced to extrapolate that information somehow. Obviously it was posted sarcastically and in jest but the forecast model that indicated the 1-2 foot nor'easter quickly changed its tune to partly cloudy and leaving that forecaster with a credibility issue even if he was just joking. Of course, as soon as the hype seemed to reach a peak, expectations for February began to shift as the slightly positive PNA was suddenly expected to turn violently negative. After hearing about a historic period of sustained and extreme cold, us Vermont skiers were suddenly worried about a repeat of our prior two February's. 


In the end however, we got neither extreme sustained cold or a repeat of '17 and '18. Extreme sustained cold did sit over the state of Montana for much of February along with many other locations across the west. The pattern as a whole was simply awesome for  ski areas west of the Continental Divide. It was generally a very adverse winter pattern for eastern North America but arctic cold remained on the playing field and we were thus able to fight our way through and actually end the month in better shape than where we started. And our start certainly left something to be desired featuring a few "El Torchy" days. It was actually interesting to this weather observer how problematic a south wind can be in the Mad River Valley. There were two days in early February where the aforementioned south wind just tore through the valley and ate up large chunks of exposed snow. If you headed over the Roxbury Gap Rd however much of that snow escaped the wind and snow-damage and the pack remained 3 feet deep. Cold weather returned and remained in place for much of the rest of the month beginning on February 9 but conditions were very hard initially thanks to the mild interludes. Fortunately a garden variety storm deposited a friendly foot of snow on February 12 and much of that remained remained on the ground through March. A series of inland runners later in the month brought mixed precipitation, some snow here and there and frequent temperature swings but readings stayed predominantly below the freezing mark during much of this time, even as storms tracked well north of the region. 


The early part of March featured a bit of frustration. By this point the El Nino had almost entirely dissipated as did the more active southern branch of the jet stream which often accompanies such an ENSO event. Finally, we ridden the weather pattern of problematic PNA which was focusing much of the cold and snow on the western US but the cold weather in early March was mostly accompanied by sunshine. Even the terrain enhanced snow machine was largely shut down by the combination of low level stability and a frozen Lake Champlain which managed to freeze on what was likely the last possible day it could have frozen (March 9th). We did manage to procure a little bit o snow regardless and a little bit more during the weekend of March 8th-10th. Milder and more spring-like temperatures did arrive by March 15th and though the pattern looked somewhat stormy toward the end of the month, it looked like winter might losing its grip on Vermont. In the end it was another big spring tease ! What appeared, for a time, to be a snow producing clipper system suddenly showed more promise when models began to better resolve a more organized area of moisture along the Carolina coastline on March 20th. Ultimately this turned into a perfectly phased weather system. Incredibly, the track of this storm appeared far enough inland to hold down snow accumulations for a time in Vermont and focus much of the heaviest snow on the Adirondacks. In the end the storm track could not have been more ideal and the axis of heaviest snow was right over MRG during much of the day Friday. Conditions were a bit wet for a time but colder air changed all that on Friday night and some additional snow produced another powder bonanza across the high elevations on Saturday. There was some modest amounts of cold weather in the wake of the spring equinox dump but spring did reemerge, just a little during the last several days of the month. 


April began with deep snow cover across the high county and only very gradually did the melt occur. There was some occasional snow early in the month and some great "corn horn" days. Kudos to all the folks at mountain ops that pushed for the record which was reached by opening the mountain on a beautiful bluebird day on April 17th and surpassed the following Saturday but with sketchier weather. Thanks to our big March storm, I really have no particular issues with how things played out and we certainly grade out as A+ for longevity. And with that, the blog signs off for the summer wishing everyone well until we speak again late in the fall. Don't forget to start thinking snow really, really early and maybe we can recreate another bit of magic next November.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

El Torchy makes a "welcomed" Vermont visit Saturday following some rain Friday evening

The colder has relented over a mass expanse of the country through the first 10 days of April but has been especially slow in doing so over much of Vermont. As a result, the high country continues to keep much of the deep snow that has defined this season. The Mount Mansfield snow stake peaked following the storm in late March but remains at well over 100 inches, nearly double its average for this time of the year. Though plenty of winter weather is ravaging the upper Midwest Thursday, interior New England appears as if it will escape all of it over the next 10 days.

I can't answer for the mountain as to whether or not the upcoming weekend will officially close out the season but I'll try to answer for the weather. Hello, El Torchy my old friend. I might actually like to see your face again ! And how often might I say that ? About once a year around this time ! Fortunately I think we will get exactly that and right on time. An area of warm advection induced precipitation will arrive Friday night and move away Saturday morning, setting the stage for mild southwesterly breezes through much of the ski day and soaring temperatures that should reach the low 60's at the base of the hill and 50's on the upper mountain. A storm will spin its way deep into Canada as this is happening, but after Friday evening, precipitation should be a minimal risk until Sunday evening. Sunday's temperatures however will be cooler however, mostly remaining in the 40's under an thickening layer of cloudiness.

A more substantial area of precipitation associated with a more substantial storm system arrives Sunday evening and this will persist into Monday. There is simply not a lot of available cold with this storm but the track and magnitude would suggest this will be a big precipitation event regardless with copious amounts of rain and even flooding risk .Yes, an infusion of just a little more cold air could make part of this storm a snowy one for the high country so it's worth watching for that reason but low lying areas can expect above freezing temperatures throughout much of the week. That said, New England will again struggle to see any of the very warm readings that are predicted across the Mid Atlantic states.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend !!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Wet snow Friday night will cover the northern Vermont high country with a few inches to start the first full weekend in April

Sunshine helped to boost temperatures out of the teens and into the 40's Friday keeping with the theme that the weather in much of Vermont has only allowed for limited glimpses of spring. The Friday evening, early Saturday weather map appears rather disorganized, and a rather disorganized area of precipitation will impact the high country across northern Vermont before clearing the region in the morning hours Saturday. The airmass in place across the region is both cold (for the season) and especially dry and this will allow a chunk of this precipitation to fall as a wet snow and leaving our favorite Vermont ski locations with 2-3 inches of snow by first tracks time Saturday. The exiting precipitation early in the day will also mark the northward advance of some milder temperatures. Readings will climb well into the 40's Saturday and may approach 50 on Sunday ( higher readings can be expected in the low lying areas).

A few days ago, the April 7-9 time frame was highlighted as the period most likely to see some decent spring-like warmth and that it wasn't likely to last. Well, at least the 2nd part is looking correct and the first is more accurate in locations south of Vermont. For northern New England, cold air positioned over Quebec will compete for control and bring more classic Vermont April conditions. The limited sunshine and near 50 degree readings Sunday will be replaced by cloudiness, temperatures generally in the 30's on Monday and a period or two of rain. Though the rain will move out by Tuesday, the clouds will prove to be more stubborn and thus keep temperatures from climbing out of the 40's until very late in the day if at all. Wednesday will follow with readings ranging from the 30's during the morning to near 50 during the afternoon and this will be followed by cooler conditions as we approach the last weekend of the Mad River Glen season.

The blog will likely get one more general update next week which will discuss the weather details during the mid-April MRG finale. If some kind of storm shows up, multiple updates may be required. Though a powdery finale is unlikely, the pattern will be driven by the negative Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation (AO & NAO). This means below normal temperatures and the possibility of unsettled weather including snowfall. For now, we should keep expectations more general and expect sub-freezing temps at least in the mornings and no better than 45 in the afternoons. Conditions are also more likely  to be cloudy with at least one period for some type of precipitation.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Burst of spring-warmth expected for April 7-9 but winter appears less likely completely fade away

April begins and the deep snow across the Vermont high country remains. The month also arrives with a few inches of snow and Tuesday April 2nd will begin with temperatures in the high teens. There are some changes that need to be discussed regarding the overall weather pattern for the next two weeks but Mad River Glen and the rest of Vermont will stay in spring mode and some very warm weather appears headed our way around April 7th and 8th. The blog has obviously begun winding down for the season but will continue to be updated as needed, and as the impressively long Mad River Glen season continues. If we can continue to remain open through mid-April, I would imagine that we would be challenging some MRG Coop records as far as numbers of days in operation. I'll have to consult with the powers-that-be if such records are actually kept.

The current forecast suggests most of the rest of the week (through late Friday) will remain free of any heavy precipitation. Temperatures will begin each day in sub-freezing territory with the coldest morning being Tuesday morning. Each day is also indicated to feature at least limited amounts of sunshine and Tuesday should feature lots of sunshine. The one noteworthy weather feature that could completely change this short term outlook is a subtropical piece of energy in the jet stream that is expected to move to within 100 or so miles from Cape Hatteras Tuesday. Though this storm is expected to confine its impact to areas offshore or on the immediate coast as it continues to advance northeastward, the track has shifted slightly west in the last 1-2 days. Another 100 miles west and maybe we an introduce some snowfall to the forecast for Tuesday night into Wednesday but for now the forecast in that time frame is for some clouds and limited sun with a few elevation sensitive snow showers. The next weather question revolves around the later Friday/early Saturday  time frame when the next weather system may or may not move far enough to bring a mixed bag of precipitation.

Whatever weather does or does not occur early in the upcoming weekend will be gone by later Saturday and Sunday appears to be fantastic with temperatures well into the 50's after starting near 30. Monday April 8th appears even warmer potentially with temperatures surging into the 60's, something that hasn't really happened since October across the high elevations.

In the last update, I had indicated that the warm weather might be a more prevailing thing beyond the span of a few days. Data today suggests otherwise however with both the Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation forecast to turn negative as we move toward the middle of the month. Sustained warm weather thus looks very unlikely given that. There are no indications of sustained cold right now but these teleconnections certainly raise the chances that winter might be prepping for another significant encore between April 10th and 17th. We will continue to watch it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Mad River Glen and Vermont ski country is transitioning toward spring weather, but some early Sunday snow is very possible

Much of Vermont ski country has been basking in the glory of another epic March storm (our third such event in as many years) while I have spent the last few days neglecting the blog,  mostly due to travel. Sorry about that. The blog returns today at a transition point for Mad River Glen. Wednesday, March 27th will end up marking the transition to a more spring-like weather regime. Over the next two weeks, almost every day will feature above freezing temperatures and several days will see 50-plus if not 60-plus degree readings. We can see well into April now so such occurrences are to be expected.

Thursday is expected to start with some sunshine and end mostly cloudy. The corn horn should sound throughout the valley and most of the high country as well with readings soaring well into the 40's and 50's (after starting in the 20's) with an increasingly gusty south to southwest wind. Leftover arctic chill across eastern Canada will make a futile push back into New England Friday but will likely fail to make a substantial penetration into Vermont. The close proximity of this boundary will provide a focusing mechanism for a few weakened areas of light rain but most of Friday will just feature clouds, some minimal amounts of sun and more above freezing temperatures.

A more organized storm system is expected to make an eastward push toward the region toward the weekend. The track of this storm will allow Saturday to be fairly torchy and somewhat showery with temperatures well into the 40's and even 50's across low lying areas. If folks are looking to get out and ski Saturday, I would be very surprised if it turns out to be an all day washout. My guess is 1-3 hours of lighter rain and 1-3 hours where we see a few peaks of sun. The more organized area of precipitation with this storm is expected to arrive overnight Saturday or very early Sunday. A significant push of colder temperatures will accompany some of this precipitation, undercutting the prevailing area of mild air dominating the region Saturday. This will make the approaching cold front more "anafrontal" in nature and sets up a scenario where rain is likely to change to wet snow early Sunday. A few inches of accumulation is very possible early in the day and the rest of Sunday should feature temperatures mainly in the 30's.

The early part of next week and first few days of April appears dry and a bit chilly in a relative sense with morning temperatures in the 20's, and afternoon readings in the 30's. After that we appear headed toward a pattern that might consist of lots of above normal temperatures beginning with a few days where temperatures approach 60 late next week and a few more days where the same could occur in the following week. One push of cooler temperatures may interrupt the onset of Spring around the time frame of the first weekend in April but this appears to be a decidedly unwinter-like pattern for the first 10 days of April.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Wet snow Thursday night becomes more powdery snow by Friday night with 1-2 feet expected across the high country, less in the valley

During the last update I spent much of time getting folks "jazzed-up" (Herbie Hancock style) for the upcoming storm. We can get further mired in the fine print today which in summary reveals that though we still are likely to get a superb event, the best since MLK day I still think, we are not in that bullseye area. The juicy coastal system will phase and subsequently bomb, but will also track over interior southern New England, thus placing the Adirondacks in the more favored corridor. That said, the storm will still deliver a dose of powdery goods Friday night into what will be a blustery Saturday.

Precipitation will arrive Thursday night as a mix of rain and snow in the valley locations and a gloppy wet snow at higher elevations. At some point during the overnight hours, the wet snow will become heavy and accumulate 4-8 inches above 2,000 feet and about 1-4 inches below that. As the low pressure center continues to intensify over Connecticut/Mass Friday morning the heaviest precipitaiton is indicated to shift west toward the Adirondacks and precipitation in the low lying regions may change to a very light rain or dissipate all together for a time. This period beginning around 9 AM Friday and ending about 2PM  is the warmest part of the storm and temperatures will likely hover above the freezing mark below 2500 feet and at or just below that mark above that.

Later in the afternoon, the storm will continue to wind itself while heading into the Maine, and the colder, moist conveyor of the storm will gradually work its way from the Adirondacks into the Green Mountains. This is where the fun begins with temperatures gradually cooling into the 20's on the mountain and snow recommencing and in a drier form above 2500 feet while snow begins as the wetter variety in valley areas. Snow should continue in rather consistent fashion from Friday evening to mid morning Saturday, bringing 8-14 inches to the high country and 4-8 inches to valley locations. This will mean some wildly different snowfall totals depending on elevation ranging from a very gloppy and dense 6 inches along to the valley floor to 1-2 feet of the drier stuff above 2500 feet. Saturday will be blustery with 30-50 mph northwest winds at the summit though temperatures should stay below freezing across most of the mountain even if readings eclipse the freezing mark in low-lying areas. I continue to watch the data as it comes in and there is still some hope that the storm track is a bit further east. Should this be the case, it would greatly improve the Friday outcome, essentially nullifying much of our time above-freezing and allowing for the Thursday night snow to continue through much of the day Friday (though it would still be of the wetter consistency).

Sunday's temps will be in the twenties to start but soar to near 40 during the afternoon. It might be dry enough to preserve some of Saturday's powder at the highest elevations but this can be difficult to assess and will likely depend on the amount of sunshine (which looks pretty good). The upcoming week appears similar to the last update. Arctic will advance southeastward Monday and some snow (and a few inches of accumulation) is likely to accompany this colder push of temperatures. Tuesday appears very chilly with readings as low as 10 during the morning and only near 20 during the afternoon. Afternoon temperatures Wednesday will climb back toward the freezing mark before milder more typical late March weather prevails for later in the week. The "corn horn" will eventually sound next week but it might take a while.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Bombing storm to strike Vermont late this week. It will start wet and gloppy and finish big and powdery !!!

The forecast for the end of the week got more or less thrown on its head by the "Bombs Away" situation. This is what makes Vermont weather (and the rest of the northeast) so exciting. A few tweeks here and a bit more energy there and suddenly something really big happens and that really big something subsequently has ripple effects and ramification on the entire evolution of weather events over the course of several days. Terrific news for us powderhounds overall, but this amounts to a massive amount of forecast changes over the next few days and a lot to blog about.

The Wednesday weather situation looks about the same with sunshine, a cold 15-degree morning, a warm 40-degree afternoon and very little wind. The southeastward moving clipper system also looks about the same Wednesday evening as it brings a disorganized area of rain and some snow to the eastern Great Lakes region, Ohio and Pennsylvania included. What looks entirely different is a potent low pressure area off the Carolina coastline Wednesday evening. This feature looks stronger by Thursday morning and entirely intent on phasing with the incoming jet energy from the aforementioned clipper. Instead of an innocuous period of elevation sensitive snow Thursday, the strengthening coastal storm will be consolidating the available energy and most of the moisture. Most of the day Thursday will thus be free of significant precipitation and temperatures will warm into the 40's under a mostly cloudy sky.

The precipitation arrives in earnest Thursday evening with marginal temperatures. Too marginal in fact to support snow in low lying areas and supportive of only a wet snow event across the high country. The phasing of this storm is in fact so impressive, that the coastal low will get dragged inland across southern New England and bombing system will ultimately track over Boston Friday or so it seems. This means a very elevation sensitive storm Thursday night into early Friday and a lot of glop even where it is snowing. Accumulations will range from near zero across valley locations to several inches of the gloppy stuff above 2500 feet by Friday morning.

This however is where things improve. I've been going to the "Bombs Away" well a bit too often but since we haven't had a "bomb" in a few months I felt it was necessary. I've been thinking however of another song in relation to this storm from the amazing and somewhat forgotten artist Herbie Hancock. HH had an awesome era of jazz/fusion/funk in the mid 70's that has proven highly influential and one of those great songs was "Hang Up Your Hangups".  After hearing it covered this past year by another one of my favorite bands, I got to thinking that Vermont needs HH to rewrite the title "Hang On To Our Hangups". This is something that hasn't happened a lot in recent months but storms that "Hang Up" in the maritimes of Canada are truly worthy of the hall of fame treatment. The bombed-out Canadian maritime, stalled-out storm will quite literally open a highway for moisture starting at the Gulf of St Lawrence and ending over the Green Mountains. Many times, this turns out to be the most effective way to produce the epic powder in the northern Green's and those frequent occurrences very much separate out the northern and southern Green Mountains in the snow climatology department.

The strengthening low pressure area Friday will gradually help to cool the lower layers of the troposphere and turn any rain to snow across low lying areas and turn any wet snow to powdery snow across the high country.  The period beginning late Friday and extending into Friday night appears to be solid gold. Consistent snow, some of it quite heavy, gusty north to northwest winds and gradually cooling temperatures. Friday morning's temperatures will likely remain in the middle 30's at the base, cool to near freezing by the afternoon and then drop into the 20's during the evening. By Saturday we should be looking at over 2 feet of mostly powder above the mid-station and a foot of the powdery stuff closer to the base. Ultimately this will be the best score for us since the MLK storm, but its important to get at it Saturday. In spite of what will be some gusty northwest winds, temperatures will be cold enough to keep the powdery conditions in place throughout the day. Sunday's temperatures will start around 20 but warm into the 40's, thanks to the warm afternoon March sun.

As I mentioned the bombed-out storm is a big event and has ramifications on the pattern even beyond this weekend. A large ridge across the center of the country which for a time was predicted to be the major player in the weather next week will get held up and a re enforcing area of cold will descend into ski country across Vermont Monday. We could see a bit of snow as the cold air arrives Monday and we will certainly see another 48 hours or so of sub-freezing temperatures extending into early Wednesday.  The later part of the week continues to look spring-like with some "corn-horn" potential. The very end of the month continues to look potentially stormy but doesn't appear especially cold.

Was really hoping we could get one more good one however and it looks very much as if this will materialize. Be patient, conditions will be gloppy and wet for a while Thursday night at the onset of this storm and only gradually improve Friday. Accumulations will struggle to exceed a foot in many areas because of the warmer temperatures but I would not be at all surprised to see 3 foot totals near the summits. We also got some Herbie Hancock sprinkled into the blog today. He's an American musical treasure and perfect illustration of why our music blows away so much of the competition. We have such a differing array of people from so many different places bringing all that good cross-pollination magic to music. Diversity is good, take pride in it, don't fear it.