It will take more than luck to get a powder day Friday or Saturday. Very dry air and the low and mid levels of the troposphere combined with a rather unfavorable shearing environment will make terrain induced powder very unlikely for the re-opening of MRG. The pattern, as promised, has turned quite favorable but the fruits of mother nature's labor usually waits, sometimes up to a few weeks. I would remiss however were I not to mention the trouble lurking in the southern branch this weekend. The same branch of the jet stream responsible for the rain across the Gulf Coast and lots of it. This is a very common byproduct of El Nino and it has been very evident so far this winter. The southern branch of the jet stream will prove its worth this year on more than one occasion. One possible occasion could come late this weekend as energy in the southern branch creates a significant precipitation producer over the Carolinas and Virginia. Models suggest this system goes out to sea from here with little impact on the northeast. I think models may suggest this time and again with many systems this year and on one or two occasions these systems will turn out stronger, amplify the pattern more significantly and surprise the northeast with big time winter weather. It is unlikely this happens Sunday evening into Monday but its worth watching how models handle this system going forward.
Our next system and one certainly worth our attention arrives around the time of Christmas Eve. It is a more organized system which will exit the Rockies during the middle of the week and progress east. The track of this system will be farther south than a similar system last week. It nonetheless appears to be our best chance for significant snows. It is a bit early to prepare for a big event as many things will change as the looking glass is de-fogged. I am optimistic however for a nice little Christmas thumping. Santa still owes me for 2005 so perhaps he will deliver the goods this year.
No change to the very optimistic balance of the month outlook. Expect a few more opportunities for snow through the duration of the month and a very minimal chance for rain. Not going to say it can't happen but the chances this year are substantially less than in any other Christmas holiday blogged here at the SCWB.