Finally we can make some progress sorting out this New Years holiday forecast mess. And it certainly seems as if the still pending and adverse January pattern change has been easier to predict and even detail verses the happenings of the next few days.
New Years Eve - A powder day ?
Yes, we have an excellent chance for a few inches anyway. This is the first in a series of two storms that will never come into phase but impact MRG at different times in the New Years holiday period. This first system is generated from the nearly stationary and decaying front which will be draped across the southeast on Sunday. Low pressure will form in the Virginia Tidewater area and proceed northeastward. The track of the storm would seem too far south for any precipitation to reach central and northern Vermont. The area of upward vertical motion with this system however will extend northwestward more than usual allowing the precipitation shield to likewise expand over our beloved location. It is not a guarantee, but snow, assuming my thinking is correct, will begin around midnight on the 31st and continue at a mostly light intensity through mid morning before tapering off. The snow is capable of accumulating 2-5 inches. I am hoping it will be enough for a few freshies at first tracks time but this remains a tricky system capable of producing a few suprises both on the positive and negative side as far as us skiers are concerned.
New Years Day
It will remain dry from late New Years Eve through early New Years Day which means no new snow at first tracks time on January 1st. Snow will not be far away however. The second, in this series of systems appears like an Alberta Clipper on the surface map but is actually a product of this consolidated Pacific Jet talked about at length in the blog. It is also a very dynamic system and is the catylist for this temporary but not insignificant pattern amplification. Synoptic snow from the system arrives in the mid to late morning time frame new years day and should continue for the rest of the ski day. By January 2nd, the system should clear the region but there are indications of a favorable TIS set up allowing for more accumulating snow. Needless to say that January 2nd should be a very winning day since conservatively speaking I can predict 5-10 inches of new snow by opening.
Very unfavorable fundamentals continue to loom large starting around January 4th. When looking at the actual behavior of the weather, it has exhibited the ability, at least so far, to fight off the adverse impacts of the prevailing pattern. This is somewhat different than in 2005 where the weather showed zero resistance to the move toward a milder January. The actual weather when compared to expected weather can actually say quite a bit about the seasonal characteristics for what will in this case be the remainder of the winter. The problem however is that the fundamentals such as the consolidated Jet in the Pacific and the unfavorable teleconnection indices have strengthened considerably and the medium range models now suggest that the move toward much above normal temperatures are now less than a week away. My best guess is that the 20 days starting January 4th and ending January 24th are around 10 degrees above normal for interior New England and that the umbrella will be needed on more than one occasion. Although I must say that when it rains in January I refuse to use an umbrella as a protest to mother nature.