Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An improved outlook

Some big improvements in the forecast to detail. We still have nuisances that are resulting from the overall pattern and some of those nuisances are still move of a headache. As I mentioned though in previous posts, there has been a very impressive area of cold that has developed over Canada and this is proving to be a major force and a positive one as far as us Vermont skiers are concerned. Below is an abbreviated depiction of North American temps and seeing such a widespread area of -30 degree readings across the western provinces of Canada marks a very impressive start to the winter season.

http://twister.sbs.ohio-state.edu/imageg.php?dispimg=surface/ustemp&imgname=Current+Temperatures+(F)

So the surge of warmth remains on schedule for tomorrow obviously and the mountain should see temperatures rise into the 40's. This warm-up could have been worse in terms of duration and intensity and what also could have been worse is the rainfall later Monday which now, according to our trusty computer guidance, is only expected to total around a quarter of an inch. Tuesday will be dry but we are back in the chill and awaiting our next shot at natural snow.

All three teleconnection indices are either neutral or unfavorable for us and the pattern overall places all the cold and most of the snow in the central or western sections of the United States. Even coastal sections of the Pacific Northwest from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver are seeing significant snowfall as of Sunday morning. That all being said, arctic air covers most of Canada and the eastern ridge now appears as if it will get beat back and flattened as this week progresses. Much of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast will remain quite mild but latitude will give Vermont an edge and we hope that in the end MRG can be on the winning side of an all out war between the warmth to the southeast and the very cold aforementioned arctic air in Canada.

Active pattern taking shape with 3 wintry events possible in a 6-day period
The specifics include many fine details in what should be an active pattern. The first chance for snow comes Wednesday, a simple case of overrunning where warmth from our southeast sub-tropical ridge is trying to erode the existing New England cold. The result is an area of snow that should persist through much of the day before ending as some sleet or freezing drizzle later in the day. 3-5 inches is a very realistic expectation for this event with an inch or so possible by first tracks time. Next weekend gets even more interesting with two systems on the dinner table. The pattern is such that small changes in the overall long-wave pattern structure will yield profound changes in the track and intensity of both these storms. At this time, the first system on Friday, looks to be another overrrunning event with a surge of warmth from the southeast will induce a zone of snowfall somewhere between interior New England and Quebec. There are still indications that too much mid-level warmth could crush our chances of significant snowfall early in the weekend and cause more of an ice event but I am much more optimistic than I was a few days ago. The second event is also iffy also but could be occurring at a time when the overall ridge/trough configuration across the U.S. is temporarily repositioned in a more favorable way for us as we approach the winter solstice. The upside with the second system is quite high were it to occur since it is a question of snow or nothing as opposed to snow or ice.

And then we move to the Christmas holiday and will still unfortunately be dealing with the ramifications of a rather unfavorable set of pattern variables. If I would have to guess, I think it is likely we will have to deal with at least one system that will bring precipitation other than snow. With that said, cold weather should remain on the playing field; in fact, we could see the coldest weather of the season around the time of the 22nd or 23rd and I would expect arctic cold in some capacity to exert some influence on the region through the rest of the month. It will help in our effort to bring new natural snow to the mountain. I know some don't like the cold when hitting the slopes but for us it is a necessary ingredient when some outside extraneous forces are working against us. Think snow and lets root for the best !!

1 comment:

susan said...

Josh, hoping for the same weather that we had last Xmas week. Best I have had in recent times. It will stay cold and it WILL BE SNOW!