Happy 2008 everybody !!! And there is no better way to ring in the new year than with the 8-10 inches of powder from the New Years Eve dump. Part II should be almost as friendly. This system is approaching straight out of the Great Lakes and therefore did have the opportunity to suck moisture from the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic. It is however, as I mentioned in previous posts, a dynamic system and marks the deep jet amplification that will bring the full force of winter back to Vermont although only temporarily. Snow from this system will begin no later than the early afternoon on New Years Day. It will persist through most of the evening and accumulate 5-10 inches. I expect that much of this new snow will be untracked at 8 am on the 2nd so the early risers will get a well deserved reward so be there !!! I was hoping for additional accumulations Wednesday due to TIS. Stability parameters however suggest that snow on Wednesday will fall only as flurries and will not accumulate much. Although the airmass which follows in the wake of our New Years Day snow is quite cold aloft, the low level instability needed to produce TIS only extends a few thousand feet up in the atmosphere or not enough for significant additional accumulations on the 2nd. Additional snow or no, Wednesday will still be one of the best of the year at MRG so far. Get ready for the chill however as temperatures on the mountain will hover around 10 for much of the day and conditions will feel colder by the afternoon as winds increase out of the northwest.
The "very cold" relinquishes its grip by the weekend
Temperatures Wednesday night will bottom out near -10 and then rise only to near zero during the day Thursday. On Friday the weather will begin to undergo some rapid changes. Much of the day Friday will feature high clouds and there could be some light snow for a period which stems from the rush of milder temperatures which will try to make the push into Vermont. The clouds will prevent readings from climbing to above freezing levels at MRG Friday but any more sunshine this upcoming weekend should allow for temperatures to reach the 35-40 range during the afternoons.
Mild weather likely to break some records next week
The mild weather next week will flood all of New England next week like the rush of water from a broken dam. I hate to say it but a 10-day temperature forecast produced by typing MRG's zip code into "weather.com" will not do the mild weather any justice. My guess right now is that temperatures reach the 50's (at least 10 C for you Canadians) on three separate occasions during the week. I would not at all be surprised if readings reached 60 in some of the more low lying areas of Vermont. Record high temperatures will fall like domino's next week all across New England, Quebec and Ontario. Could I still be wrong ? Maybe concerning the intensity of the warmth, but it is very unlikely that we escape some serious damage thanks to next week.
Some additional thoughts on the rest of January
My forecast of 10 above normal for Vermont remains unchanged for the period beginning January 4th and ending on the 24th. There are indications of some much needed changes in the Pacific beginning as early as January 12th however. The strong jet in the northeast Pacific has been fueled by the combination of the ridge northeast of Hawaii and the trough in the Gulf of Alaska. This combination is shown to break down however after the 12th and give way to a ridge which will cover much of the Northeast Pacific. This is hardly an ideal pattern since this long wave configuration still places much of the more unsettled weather (snow) in the Rocky Mountains. Still, a split in the jet stream should ensure that the threat of record breaking warmth (of a multi-day variety) only lasts for a week (next week). I'll expand more on this in the days ahead but for now there is lots of powder to enjoy and only a few days to do it so do it and happy new year once again.