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Friday, February 8, 2008

Sunday's powder prospects, some storm potential for next week - things are looking up at MRG

The Saturday/Sunday skinny on the powder is as follows. A weather system will race east through Canada and strengthen thanks to a deepening east coast trough and a southward plunge of arctic air. The system appears somewhat like an Alberta Clipper although it originated over the Northwest Pacific and has been responsible for some epic snow conditions in the Canadian Rockies. MRG will share in the good fortune however. In spite of the limited available moisture, we will see snow begin close to midday on Saturday with a light accumulation possible before lift closing. The passing of the storm will allow conditions to become quite unstable over the Green Mountains and certainly ripe for a period of TIS (upslope snow). The period of deepest instability is limited and the incoming arctic cold on Sunday will act to suppress some of the snow showers by later Sunday afternoon. Nonetheless, we should see 6-10 new inches of snow for first tracks time Sunday and a few inches during the day will bring the weekend total to 8-12. Temps will be in the 20's with limited wind on Saturday. On Sunday temperatures will begin the day in the high teens and drop from there. The wind on Sunday will become a factor. I do not want to get into the business of predicting wind holds but wind chills will be below zero.

Controversy/confusion during the middle of next week
It will be quite chilly Monday and Tuesday although not record breaking since the arctic chill will be modified somewhat by the unfrozen Great Lakes. Look for high temperatures in the teens with low temps below zero Monday and Tuesday. Then comes the controversy as the European and Canadian models indicate some serious snow potential Wednesday and Thursday while the American model shows some light snow Tuesday but with the main avenue of moisture remaining south of MRG during the middle of the week. This marks another in a rather crazy transition from the thinking a few days ago where it looked as if we could be in for trouble. The ensembles in fact are yielding a warm signal for the period Wednesday to Friday but as was the case this week, arctic air is proving to be a formidable ally this year (much more than I expected). The cold hasn't been enough to send temperatures below normal but the cold which has prevailed across much of Canada the past two weeks is strong enough to throw the expected pattern into Chaos and turn a would be rain storm into powder (realize that it was 70 degrees in NYC with dewpoints of 55 so the danger was very real). In concluding, I am obviously somewhat uncertain but always love to go with the European when such disagreements arise so the storm potential is real and more powder is a possibility particularly on either Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Presidents Week Speculation (I don't have much for you here, sorry)
The other nice thing about late next week is that the AO is expected to go slightly negative thus encouraging a southward movement of arctic air into the mid-latitudes. We will see the positive results of this late next week into the weekend. After that there are no real strong signals for Presidents Week. The indices appear neutral. The Pacific appears more active than I would like (but it has all year). The indication according to the ensembles is that there are no signals of below or above normal temperatures. So the moral of the story is that we should be happy that we are making out so well in the short term and will continue to do so (it appears) through next week thus setting us up nicely for February 16th and 17th.

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