If you can remember back to your days in Physics class (or for some of you that may still be yet to come), recall the lesson on interacting waves and the meaning of destructive and constructive interference. When jet phasing is mentioned in the blog the analogy is most appropriate and it refers particularly to the constructive interference part. Jet phasing is often times very exciting to us skiers as talk of a big storm is often a big part of the discussion. The jet phase this weekend is certainly no exception as the amplification this weekend will spawn the rapid development of a low pressure system along the Gulf Coast. This storm system will be a big and in some cases violent weather producer as I fully expect a major severe weather outbreak in portions of the southeast including damaging tornadoes.
The storm and its possibilities
By the time this storm begins impacting northern Vermont it will quite a beast but size is not everything, we still need a somewhat favorable track and an adequate supply of cold air. In this case both leave something to be desired. Model guidance, with the exception of the Canadian model seems convinced that the center of the storm will take dead aim at interior New England. Meanwhile, the cold weather continues its 2007-2008 Midwest bias and is not where we need it to be while precipitation is the heaviest. In spite of all this, it will not take a major shift in the track to greatly improve the outcome. If the current consensus has the the storm tracking from Harrisburg, PA to Fryeburg, ME and the ideal track would have the storm tracking from Atlantic City, NJ to Boston, MA then we are not talking about a great distance. A shift of less than 200 miles to the east would in fact make all the difference.
So now to the specifics which are of course contingent on some of the above lingering questions. Thursday and Friday at MRG will both consist of some pleasant afternoon skiing as temperatures warm to well above freezing along with light winds. Clouds will be on the increase late on Friday and precipitation will arrive late on Friday evening. If the storm were to follow its current indicated course then any initial snow would change to a sleet/freezing rain mixture during the overnight and to plain rain or drizzle by first tracks time Saturday. The precipitation on Saturday would be showery in nature and could include a clap of thunder as the front associated with this powerful storm nears MRG. A storm track more to the east would include more snow of course and much less of what was detailed above. Even the more adverse track however would include the eventual invasion of much colder temperatures and a significant period of wrap-around precipitation. Would it be enough to turn Sunday into a powder day even if we crap-out on Saturday ? Absolutely yes although Sunday will be quite blustery and as I mentioned much colder (temps in the teens).
Long range notes
A clipper system of uncertain significance will be the next weather item of note during the middle of next week and this will be followed by milder weather and perhaps another non-snow precipitation producer around the time of March 15th. With that said the long range is starting to take on a different look as for the first time this season we are seeing indications of what could turn out to be a major block over Greenland. Such a feature could be the catalyst for a big finish to the end of March and easily could push the seasonal snow total to over 300 inches. And yes I am aware that there are those mocking the seasonal forecast of 200 inches and would prefer to revert back to the farmers almanac which is fine with me btw. Just remember that I have said many times that the seasonal outlooks are about 55 to 60 percent accurate which means rolling the dice is almost as good (this is pretty much what is done at the farmers almanac).