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Friday, January 16, 2009

MLK weekend snow arrives faster than initially expected

And in addition some late day Friday info is indicating a sizable accumulation. This is our friend the "Manitoba Mauler". It does as I mentioned before have the support of some potent jet energy. It also is expected to draw at least a limited amount of Atlantic Ocean moisture as it approaches and this could greatly the boost the amount of skiable snow for late Sunday into MLK day. Most importantly however is that the snow is actually expected to begin in the early morning hours Sunday with 1 or 2 inches by first tracks time. This turns Sunday into one of the better days of the year to ski because the snow should fall at light but continuous rate throughout the day before falling at various intensities into the night and into MLK day. We should continue to see flurries throughout MLK day but the lower troposphere lacks some the instability for a major upslope event. Overall I would expect 5-10 inches of new snow Sunday and Monday. It will be chilly but not nearly as extreme as recent days as temperatures climb into the teens during the day and with the exception of Saturday morning where temps will be near -15, readings will stay above zero at night.

The Tuesday question
The upper trough along the east coast will become very sharp as I mentioned and is conducive for some explosive "cyclo" or "bomb-o" genesis. Models are having a difficult time with all the different undulations in the jet stream and what may evolve when some of these undulations interact with the relative warmth of the Atlantic Ocean. We do have some agreement regarding Sunday's system but changes are still possible late in the ball game. Models have diverged dramatically regarding a second system with a possible late Monday or Tuesday impact. The recent american model has suggested a big east coast and particularly a New England event by Tuesday other indications suggest a storm well-off shore and a blustery, chilly Tuesday and Wednesday .

Late next week and beyond
We are still anticipating a temperature moderation as next week continues to progress but temperatures should remain below the freezing mark and the threat of any rain or freezing rain has diminished somewhat although not entirely. The moderation is supported by the breakdown of the positive PNA regime which has successfully caused a temporary snow drought for our friends at some of the western ski resorts. This will change by late next week as the pattern turns active there. In the meantime we expect a new area of arctic cold to develop across northern Canada and continue to be a major factor in the weather even with no east coast trough. There is a risk for ice after Jan 25 but I would place my bets on a generally active pattern and a few big snow events similar to the pre-christmas powder-fest.

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