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Sunday, January 27, 2008

La Nina rears its very ugly head and takes out some anger on east coast skiing

Honestly, I delayed the update in hopes that things might appear better for the upcoming 10 days but face the music we must and get through it we must. We have a lot of things conspiring against us and although the weekend turned out quite good, it was Cape Cod which ended up feasting on that coastal storm which I had hoped would provide for more signifcant powder on at least one of the two weekend days. I took that as having had our nose rubbed in you know what. So the dirty fundamentals consist of a weakening high latitude block in the jet stream over the Aleutian Islands of Alaska which put the trough and all of the arctic and ultimately much of the snow across the western half of the nation. Once the block is gone we will be left with a very broad almost dome-like ridge over the mid-latitude Pacific while the pattern remains extremely unsettled across the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and the Yukon Territories. La Nina has its footprints all over this and we are going to get quite stomped on over the next 10 days with upwards of 3 events that will include precipitation other than snow.

Wednesday's rain event
Little if any snow can be expected Monday and Tuesday but the good news is that the approaching storm will not have a Vermont impact until Wednesday and believe me the way this sucker is tracking we want nothing to do with it for as long as possible. Monday and Tuesday should be quite comfortable from a temperature and wind standpoint We could get some freezing drizzle Tuesday night but precipitation from Wednesday storm should come in one very short but rainy chunk early Wednesday. Its should only total about two tenths of an inch and temperatures may only make it into the low 40's and for only a brief period time before colder weather makes an abrupt return Wednesday night. This incoming airmass does have arctic origins and is the remnants of what is currently some bone-chilling cold over Montana. I had hoped and am still hoping that a period of instability in the wake of Wednesday's storm would allow for some TIS for first tracks time Thursday but I am not optimistic. At the very least, it will be cold, below normal in fact, and this cold will be needed to fight some of the demons that the next system is set to bring Friday.

If all goes well Friday we still could save the weekend

It would be a mistake Friday to write the storm off too early. With arctic air on the playing field there is always hope and even as is I don't think the push of mild air will be strong enough to change precipitation to plain rain. Given the pattern though and the consensus of model data showing the track of the storm through Lake Huron and northeast from there it is accurate to say that we face some serious obstacles. In the end, I think it will be a moral victory of sorts if we can keep the precipitation in the form of snow or sleet and avoid the freezing rain or rain. This is very possible; in fact, precpitation is likely to start as snow and may accumulate a few inches before going to sleet for a time and then back to snow. This would mean that the glass-half-full outlook consists of a semi-powder day Friday (morning only). Another part of the glass-half-full outlook includes some TIS for Friday night and early Saturday thus saving the weekend. The glass-half-empty outlook includes the freezing rain and all the ramifications/consequences of it and there is no need to go into details.

Long Range

Without a fundamental shift in the prevailing pattern, and there is no reason to expect one through as late as February 9th, it would be wise to keep expectations in check. Furthermore, the system which may threaten to bring precipitation to much of the east coast early next week has trouble written all over it. In addition to all the problems cited in the opening paragraph, the AO (Arctic Oscillation) has made another serious run into positive territory which would indicate that Arctic air is going to want to retreat to the poles rather than impact the mid-latitudes. Needless to say it doesn't appear promising but stay tuned and we will see how this plays out over the next few days.

2 comments:

Magilla Gorilla '96 said...

Dr. Fox,
I am a believer. I live in Maryland and have two kids. The ONLY weekend I can make it up to my personal MECCA (MRG) is this freakin weekend (with my dirtbag buddy from Jersey). I read your outlook for this week last week and then watched the other forecasts (tv, weather channel.com, etc) and they eventually came into agreement with what you said. PLEAAAAAASE, for the love of all that's good, do all you can with your crazy voodoo-weather stuff to make my sole frickin weekend away from work and kids to not suck the big bone in the sky.

Yours in love of General Stark's knob...

-Gorilla

http://gorillasadventures.blogspot.com

matt said...

Cmon Josh make it snow!