The last few days has been MRG at its very best. Conditions that are worth hiking up the mountain for when the Single Chair goes on a wind hold and enough snow to cover some normally very visible landmines. As of Sunday morning, the terrain induced snow machine has kicked into gear and the fluff is starting to accumulate. With high confidence, I can say that if you want to enjoy the powder, get out here over the next 5 days which promises to be a very wintry and surprisingly very cold week for early March. All of the recently fallen and soon to be fallen snow will remain on the ground for the all important Telemark Festival on the 10th and 11th but the mild weather will arrive and most likely so will the rain which has managed to avoid MRG for an amazing 55 days by my count.
Mountain fluff through Tuesday morning when it will turn very frigid
That oragraphic fluff that can so magically turn us into better skiers will accumulate nicely Sunday and Sunday evening and should set up Monday well for another powder day. Total accumulations by Monday morning may very well climb into the 4-8 range although some of this snow will be skied during the day Sunday. There is a very potent jet impulse however which will rocket southeastward out of central Canada Monday and bring with it another burst of heavy snow late Monday and Monday night. This will mean more terrain induced powder but also some windy and extremely cold conditions for early March by Tuesday. I just looked at a plot of temperatures for North America and there is an impressive arrangement of -40 to -50 degree temperatures across the Northwest Territories of Canada and the airmass poised to invade us Tuesday will bring with it some of this frigidness. High temperatures Tuesday will struggle to make it above zero on the mountain and temperatures Tuesday night and Wednesday may fall into the record category atop the deep snowcover Wednesday morning. The March sunshine can help to mitigate the effects of the chill a little since it isn't always hidden behind Stark Mountain but I didn't want to downplay this cold because its one of the more impressive invasions of arctic air I have seen in March. Furthermore, a clipper system which will pass to our south Wednesday will act to re-enforce the cold through Thursday before temperatures finally moderate significantly Friday. I recall Thursday that I had prognosticated 2-3 feet over a 5-day period beginning last Friday. We are at about a foot now and we can easily do another between Sunday and Tuesday morning thus putting us in my predicted range. I am happy to report however that very little if any of our impressive base will be lost for the upcoming Telemark Festival.
Telemark Festival Details
The Telefest details are as follows. Friday will see some cold temperatures in the morning but any sunshine will go to work and we will undergo the routine March afternoon snow softening. Now Friday could feature more clouds than I am giving it credit for which would limit the afternoon warmth. Warm advection is often accompanied by high cloudiness although at this time models are suggesting a good deal of sun for Friday. At this time models are also showing the potential for a very mild day Saturday with the possibility of some rain late in the day. With our base though, corn snow and spring conditions will be just fine so long as we can stay out of the rain and we may do that for most of the ski day although its early, very early to be specific. Some colder weather will then return on Sunday, hopefully accompanied by snow showers although my glass appears half empty on that possibility at least now. A full update on Telefest weekend will come Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.
The big March picture
It has been storminess central for Alaska, British Columbia and Alberta over the last few days and over the upcoming weeks. This has resulted from pattern consisting of a large trough over which has oscillated between the northeast Pacific Ocean and the western provinces of Canada. This is undoubtedly a less than desirable force ski weather here in Vermont but we have held it together impressively thanks blocking in the jet stream which has oscillated between northern Quebec and Greenland. The all important AO has been running close to neutral but has refused to go strongly positive, thank you, and is expected to remain neutral over the next week or so before re-assuming its negative state by the middle of the month. This would suggest that winter is unlikely to vanish rapidly into the night. Ensembles suggest that between the 9th and 14th of March, we could see some very mild days and perhaps some rain to go along with it. By the middle of the month however we could be back to seeing a mixture of mild March days and an occasional powder day.
The Quick Summary
Full of powder through Tuesday but very cold, even record breaking cold is set to set to invade for the middle of the week. Our luscious base remains in place for Telefest when it gets mild and hopefully does not rain while the lifts are open.