And since the SWCB is funded by nobody, it allows the writer to make some politically incorrect prognostications. Like to suggest that the holiday week defined by the period between Christmas and New Years will be one of the best such periods ever perhaps similar to 2002. It is a risky proclamation to say the least but the crystal ball can look very hazy sometimes and this may be one of those times when one can make out a few things through the haze.
A brief mild break in the weather will end Tuesday with a few inches of wet snow. Much colder air will bring another inch or two of fluff Wednesday but the end of the week will be remembered for the coldest weather of the season so far with temperatures in the single numbers during the day Wednesday and Thursday and below zero temperatures at night. The polar vortex responsible for the cold will more or less get forced under the blocking in the jet stream this weekend and although the cold will modify slightly, some below zero wind chills will remain. We won't be talking about any organized weather systems this weekend although there will be weaker disturbances rotating around this upper air vortex and will likely deposit a few inches of terrain induced powder.
The pattern will turn active beginning around the time of December 22. It may take a few more days for such a change to manifest into actual big snows for the mountains but if systems in the southern branch remain out of our reach, we should still be on the receiving end of a barrage of clipper systems. The combined forces of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oscillation should allow for even bigger things however such as a more profound jet stream amplification and a major east coast system. There shouldn't be a shortage of systems passing through the Rockies and moving across the southern half of the country the last 10 days of 2009. We would just need one of these to systems to catch an injection of energy from the Polar Jet and away we go.