Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

MLK Weekend breakdown

We couldn't quite bring everything together perfectly for Friday but the combination of a clipper system passing through Quebec and a storm moving north along the Atlantic Coast will still provide very nicely for MRG. Snow will begin just prior to daybreak on Friday and continue for about 6 hours potentially becoming heavy for a brief period of time. We should see 1-3 inches by first tracks time Friday and 5-8 inches when snow abruptly tapers off during the afternoon. Temperatures in the 20's will be cold enough to support our powder day but warm enough for comfort so get at it !

The Saturday and Sunday breakdown
Rather than taper to flurries, I expect that the snow on Friday will end altogether as mentioned above. This occurs because the area of strongest upward vertical motion which will be over central Vermont early Friday afternoon will quickly be replaced by an area of strong sinking motion by later in the afternoon. Flurries are likely to re-develop Saturday morning but new snow between closing on Friday and opening on Saturday will be minimal though there should be some untracked Friday snow in our usual MRG nooks and crannies. Some key stability parameters will change substantially as the day progresses Saturday allowing the flurries, mentioned above, to intensify into heavier snow showers as conditions become favorable for TIS. Accumulations are likely late in the day Saturday into early Sunday and some fresh untracked powder should greet the early risers on Sunday (An additional 4-8 inches). The arctic plunge will have with both hands by early Sunday and temperatures will struggle to make it above zero on many sections of the mountain. Stiff winds throughout the day will make it feel well below zero.

After a chilly but relatively dry MLK Monday we get our next chance for accumulating snow on Tuesday. The best way I can describe the snow on Tuesday is that it results from the atmosphere trying to modify too quickly. Anytime arctic air has a firm grip on New England and then is quickly pushed out, warm advection precipitation, usually in the form of snow is the consequence.

Lousy fundamentals return but we remain unharmed through Jan 27
Now there are still some problems with the pattern fundamentals and the latest round of medium range models are suggesting that these problems can't simply be ignored. The return of arctic air this weekend is in direct response to the block over Alaska which extended northward almost to the pole. This feature however is expected to weaken and migrate south and westward back over the Gulf of Alaska. This position would refocus the brunt of the snow over the central Rockies very late in the month and make it difficult for Arctic air to make continuous pushes into the United States. Fortunately, we should be able to navigate through these aforementioned issues through about January 27th. The snow on Tuesday should be followed by a reinforcing shot of arctic air later in the week. At that point the models diverge quite dramatically though both agree on more snow for late in the week. I'll get more specific on that late week chance of snow in the next update but even the disconcerting long range indications should not damage what appears to be a solid last weekend of January for skiing.

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