The old adage "be careful what you wish for" is what first comes to mind regarding our Sunday night event. The storm was a hot prospect a few days ago potentially turning into a big early season snow event. Unfortunately everything is came together a bit too fast. The primary storm center back in the Midwest is too strong and became so too fast and is thus sucking energy away from the coast and flooding the eastern seaboard with mild air at key levels of the atmosphere. Mad River will still make out just fine out of all this. Precipitation will start as a period of snow this evening, accumulate several inches before changing to a mix of sleet and freezing rain sometime within a few hours of midnight on Monday. The layer of warmth responsible for the change to "non-snow" is a fairly potent one and it will be interesting to see how warm Mt Washington gets since the inversion should encompass the summit. My guess is the observatory there will be 5-10 degrees warmer than the base of Mad River Monday morning but we will see.
Light snows and some light accumulations across the high terrain can be expected later Monday, Monday night and into Tuesday stemming mostly from the upper trough induced instability. Dry weather can then be expected Wednesday into early Thursday and temperatures could climb into the 40's by Thursday afternoon as mild air makes a brief appearance out ahead of an approaching cold front.
The pattern has been generally cold across southeastern North America over the past few weeks mainly due to the fortuitous global positioning of upper ridges in troughs. I remain very optimistic going well into December although fundamentally the above mentioned global positioning of ridges and troughs will undergo some changes. The most glaring is that the ridging and blocking will make a high latitude migration. By the tenth of the month, two areas of ridging will be noted one across the Bering Sea and another across Northern Europe. The two features will force most of the most intense cold to the North American side of the globe and will be centered over Canada by the middle of month making frequent intrusions into at least northern areas of the United States including northern New England. This is a different pattern than the prevailing pattern of the last two weeks where the center of the cold was deep in the southeast. Most of Canada in fact has a had a very warm month of November with much of the country running 3 degrees above average or more for the month.
As far as snow is concerned we should also fair quite well. A few rain showers could precede the turn to colder weather late on Thursday. Terrain induced instability snow showers should then grace the mountain going into the weekend and may provide the necessary shot in the arm for an opening at MRG. It will be a pattern consisting of a relatively inactive southern branch and a powerful polar jet so our snow beyond the 7th will result mostly from clipper systems. They could prove to be quite frequent however with accumulating snow on the mountain once every two days either of the terrain induced variety or from the clippers themselves. All told I would not be surprised to see some of the best December skiing since 2000 by the time we reach the 15th or the 20th of the month.
It will be a good month to be unemployed ;)