For all you big city folk that have seen too much snow melt away this Christmas then check out my favorite Vermont weather cam. It is none other than the "Coles Pond Weather Cam" - http://www.robertlyonsphotography.com/webcam/index.php complete with a snow stick and what appears to be a Christmas Wreath. If your watching Thursday afternoon you should be able to witness some heavy snow as what I referred to as a "weak" or "weakening" system impacts central and northern Vermont. This aforementioned system is in fact a fairly benign one but it does deserve credit for bringing more moisture to the north country than I expected. The accumulating snow will end by 11 pm Thursday evening but 3-6 inches of fresh powder will be the end result and will turn Friday into a winning day. Temperatures Friday afternoon could touch or even exceed freezing during the afternoon at the base so first tracks is the way to go.
Friday Night into Saturday System
The system set to impact the region Friday night into Saturday is a stronger one. It is also a very close call as far as outcomes go. The storm will take the lousy St Lawrence Valley route and when combined with the limited amounts of available cold air it is hard to get too optimistic. The storm will however try and re-center itself along the Maine Coast Saturday morning and will mitigate the push of warm air into northern New England. Furthermore, model cross section temperature profiles leave room for hope. My best stab at the situation is this. At no point during the storm will temperatures be warm enough to allow for plain rain, so long as it is precipitating hard enough (the explanation for this will take too long so I won't try). Instead, precipitation will be mostly snow late Friday night with some sleet mixed in on occasion. Total accumulations will range between 3-6 inches again but temperatures could be too close to freezing to support powder. Usually temperatures need to be 30 F or below to support powder at night and 27 F or below for powder during the daylight. When the snow or snow/sleet ends early Saturday then we could see a period of drizzle Saturday morning into the early afternoon with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark.
The New Years holiday period - forecast still hard to pin down but I will try
Sunday will be slightly colder (14 F during the A.M 28 F P.M) which then brings us to the days surrounding the New Years holiday. Overall it looks good for MRG but its a head-ache for us prognosticators. The three day period beginning on the 31st and ending on the 3rd of January appeared to me like a two course meal for MRG (getting some impact from two separate systems). That interpretation appeared as it would be the incorrect one yesterday although the European model continues to occasionally suggest that as a possibility (including in its most recent run). So the revised outlook will consist of this. There are still two systems - a southern branch system that may or may not bring precipitation (snow or a mixed bag) to MRG New Years Eve followed by a powerful Pacific System which will attack from the west-northwest and bring both synoptic snow and TIS to MRG during the January 1st-3rd time frame. This second system marks the temporary but sizable jet amplification which will occur in this same time frame. It will mean a return to some very wintry weather in Vermont but again its temporary.
No change on the outlook for January
I have no good news for the period after January 4th which means everything in my last post regarding that time frame still applies. The pattern is in fact dangerously similar to January of '06 and like that one could turn out to be one of the milder January's on record. Consistent with the title of the post, I have little to no room for negativity and there is certainly room for excitement regarding the next 7 days which needed and still probably needs some serious clarification.