Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mad River is off and running - Challenges lay ahead

A fiercely negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) brought some big time love to Vermont and helped give MRG one of the earliest opening day's I can remember this decade. It was also a big slap in the face to the seasonal forecast but I have no problem with that. The prospects for new snow over the next few days including the weekend do not look great as the atmosphere will become fairly stable as a ridge in the jet stream becomes established across the southeast. As I mentioned in the previous post, the southeast ridge is what La Nina does best and it forces the mountain to go on the defensive in terms of protecting its base and keeping temperatures below freezing.

Specifically for the weekend, we do have a the passing of a very benign weather system late Friday. It would obviously nice to squeeze out a few inches prior to first tracks time on Saturday but a dusting to 2 inches is the most reasonable guess I can make. Saturday's temps may approach 30 in the afternoon. On Sunday, we will be blessed with some great visibility (either clear skies or a high overcast) but low level cold will push temps to near zero in the morning while afternoon readings only approach 20.

By early next week, the baraclinic zone will be directly over Mad River Glen and much of Vermont. To put it plainly the baraclinic zone refers to the region where warm air is directly clashing with cold air thus producing a big contrast in temperatures over a relatively narrow region. It also is the region where overrrunning precipitation is often focused. The challenge involves keeping all this precipitation in the form of snow which could prove to be quite difficult. The best I can do in terms of offering out specifics now is to say that precipitation, if we get any, on Monday and Monday night will be in the form of snow. By Wednesday a much more organized area of low pressure will approach along this baraclinic area and threaten to push more warmth into central and northern Vermont. Models are suggesting that we do have a chance at keeping enough low level around to prevent a move to above freezing temperatures and plain rain. It will be tough however to keep precipitation all snow during the middle of next week. Again, we are playing defense.

By late next week and into the weekend, we are back into more widespread cold and also some instability. This means that some accumulating TIS is likely before the weekend of the 14th and 15th. There also is a chance that we are impacted by a more organized weather system. We can't really expand on that however until the next update. Enjoy the snow and the early December skiing !!!

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