The update last night was somewhat unfulfilling in terms of answers and it was difficult to give a real good one in light of the data. The questions all surround Friday which then determines the fate of MLK weekend and as promised it is time to get a bit more definite with the forecast. Models today hammered out a peace treaty for Friday and it is as follows. We will have to concede that the storm which is expected to form along the Atlantic Coast late on Thursday will not be strong enough to produce any epic snowfall on Friday. The European model however has conceded that temperatures throughout the event will remain cold enough to keep precipitation in the form of snow. The expected result therefore is for snow to arrive within a few hours of midnight Friday and fall at a fairly intense rate although only for a short time. The snow could end not long after first tracks time Friday and amount to 5-10 inches. I know its nothing memorable but it will be enough to put MRG back in the New York groove (sorry I had to in light of my beloved NY Giants upset win over the Cowboys Sunday).
We have some additional TIS potential for the weekend as well. After a 12-24 hour break from accumulating snow, flurries will recommence and by the looks of things could evolve into a more heavier snow shower situation late in the day Saturday. I can't promise additional new snow by first tracks time on Saturday but on Sunday my guess is there will be new snow, enough certainly for another powder day. Sunday marks the day however where the serious arctic chill takes a firm grasp on New England. Accompanied by the wind, temperatures will struggle to get above zero Sunday and this will continue into the holiday Monday. It will make for a heck of a scene at both conference championship games (New England/Green Bay) but on the slopes I would recommend bundling up or getting your rear end into the bumps. I know in the 10 years I have been skiing at MRG I have never found a better way to get warm fast than by pounding myself in the bumps for 10 minutes. It can make -10 F feel like 20 F in a big hurry.
Lastly I must declare that my January forecast is going down in flames. I thought we were endanger of a 3-week unabated stretch of mild weather and in no way will that occur. There is a block forming across Alaska and this will grow and eventually stretch poleward and beyond. La Nina or any of the other seasonal indicators discussed in prior posts will not stop the 1-2 week stretch of fairly big time cold which will begin Sunday. As of now much of Vermont is at least 5 degrees above normal for January but by January 30th this average will be much closer to normal. In terms of snow, both models hint that the southeast ridge will do some clashing with the arctic cold leaving us with some storm potential. The one that stands out now is the middle of next week but revisions will be likely so stay tuned.