Its nice to get the 1-3 inch snows no doubt but the mountain is in dire need of quantitative precipitation or a base building storm with "staying power". On December 21st I was skiing parts of the mountain I typically don't touch until late January and to see the single still closed on Jan 2 is in a word disheartening. We are of course seeing gradual improvement. Colder temperatures have been loosely locked across New England by much more favorable teleconnection indices. Around the time of January 10th we should see the NAO, AO and PNA all supporting a cold regime. Given that temperatures are now in the -50 to -60 category across a big section of the Yukan Territory, I certainly would support the notion that the Upper Midwest and interior New England could be in for some major league chill between the 10th and the 17th of the month. Until then however we need snow and as now now there appears to be a few small events and maybe one bigger event.
January 7th and the rest of the week
Flurries and snow showers will continue through much of Saturday thanks to lingering instability from the passing clipper system. From here we will watch a storm in the Rocky Mountains fail to gather moisture and any kind of strength as it moves east. It will be another "dud" by the looks of things as the powerful Jet will flatten this ripple. After a comfortable January Sunday, we should see some light snow from this Sunday night amounting to another light accumulation. The January 7th event continues to be the system to watch. We should watch this storm begin to gain strength along the Gulf Coast Tuesday and it will suck some serious moisture into its personality as it moves northeast through the day. The powerful January jet poses challenges for this system as well. We are not seeing any split in the flow next week and it is thus difficult for systems in the Gulf of Mexico to make a serious indentation in the weather before they move out to sea. This system will need to send its moisture far enough north into the cold air if it intends to deposit any serious snow on interior New England. It will make every effort to do just this on Wednesday but it will be a quick mover and snowfall will be somewhat limited as a result. Snow will arrive late on Tuesday evening and continue sporadically through Wednesday. Temperatures for a short time may be warm enough to support a period of sleet but I think we can avoid freezing rain. Right now, our biggest need is the moisture and a base and this is our best hope for just that even if a period of sleet occurs. A preliminary guess would have snowfall/sleetfall totals in the 6-12 inch category.
Slight risk for a storm Jan 10th as the serious cold arrives
We do get cold after our January 7th winter event but its garden variety January cold consisting of high temperatures in the teens and low temperatures a shade below zero. A brief moderation is possible going into the weekend before a widespread outbreak of very serious chill impacts much of the eastern United States just in time for a big round of NFL playoff football (should be fun to watch). The widespread cold does occur as a result of a big jet amplification which stems from the teleconnection alignment I was talking about. Any big jet amplification such as this can be the trigger for a big east coast storm but the timing of many small details can greatly impact the bigger picture. A storm for the weekend of the 10th and 11th is possible but not likely. Very cold weather from January 11th to January 18th is very likely and although we are safe from rain and ice threats, the polar jet will be strong enough to suppress the southern branch and our big moisture supply. Quick moving clipper systems and oragraphically induced snows will frequent the mountain and we will have to depend on that if we can't get a big dump on January 7th or January 10th.