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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cold air to relent this weekend but no big snows or rains until around the time of Feb 12

Vermont is back in the grip of some reasonably strong chill although as the saying goes "its all relative". Cold air has graced us with its presence in a much more intense form already this winter so I would say we have acclimatized. Still temperatures will plummet to -10 Thursday morning and struggle into the single numbers during the day making Thursday the coldest of the week. Snowfall will be limited to flurries throughout the week as it appears the lowest unstable layer of the atmosphere will be too shallow to support terrain induced snows of any magnitude.

Temperatures will make a nice recovery this weekend, possibly touching the 30-degree mark Saturday and into the 30's Sunday. Aside from the flurries, we won't get any new snow on Saturday and we will have to settle for the higher-angled February sun which should be prevalent throughout much of the day. Temperatures will hover near the freezing mark Saturday night into early Sunday thanks to the first of two pushes of milder temperatures. A weak weather system will pass to the north and may bring some light snow Saturday night that could even evolve into a light rain at low elevations Sunday morning. A light snow accumulation is possible by first tracks time Sunday but the snow could also be wet in nature and the milder day time readings during the day Sunday could further soften the base.

Negative NAO must save our snow next week
The prevailing overall pattern for the weekend into the early next week consists of a negative NAO of considerable strength but with most of the mid-latitude jet stream energy in the west. This allows for the push of milder temperatures over the weekend which will be followed by a return to colder readings Monday and Monday night followed again my a second push of milder temperatures Tuesday or Wednesday. This second push of mild air precedes a more interesting weather situation as a sizable weather system may cross the country. The fear of course is that it will reach interior New England as the relative warmth peaks and the result will thus be rain. This is a valid concern but as I mentioned in previous posts we can lean heavily on the negative NAO in such circumstances and the blocking could very well act as an important ally. The possibilities include a great variety of outcomes but if I can make a preliminary guess then I would venture to say that some rain to heavy snow type of event is very possible and quite possibly the most possible of all outcomes.

President's Day weekend looks active at an early glance
I will also stick with the notion that the date of February 12th will mark the start of more active weather which should continue into the weekend of the 14th and 15th. This would mean a second or follow-up storm within a day or two of February 15th. President's day skiing thus as a lot of potential and a very early look at President's week appears to have promise but it is a long way off.

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