Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back from the dead !!!! MLK storm turns me into a fool

And although weather forecasting is far from an exact science, it should, at least in part, be judged based on one's ability to stick to a forecast rather than waffle back and forth from one idea to the next. I particularly hate writing an event off too early, particularly one that we had discussed at the SCWB in great detail a week ago. In the end, all the "he said and when he said it" stuff is irrelevant. I will gladly lay down and play the fool if it results in a snowy MLK day and powder on the slopes of MRG.

So, if your keeping score at home, this is I think the 5th or 6th time a system in the southern branch has defied some of the medium range model guidance and tracked farther north, farther west and proven to have a greater impact on the northeast. For coastal areas the impact will be rain but we across interior New England just barely, by the scariest of margins have enough cold air to get the result we are looking for. Absolutely amazing that in the current pattern, with a upper ridge positioned where it is currently positioned, that this can happen, but it could and the trend suggests that it will.

Both Saturday and Sunday will feature relatively mild temperatures relative to normal January levels in Vermont. Saturday's temperatures will exceed the freezing mark at the base and the flurries we might see at the middle and upper parts of the mountain could be sprinkles at the base. Sunday will be dry, and clouds enveloping the sky as the day progresses and afternoon temperatures near the freezing mark. El Nino, meanwhile will be at work again, energizing another juicy southern branch system and sending it our way. The atmosphere is very marginal for snow and the nature of snow and the amount of snow will be sensitive to elevation. Precipitation may even start out as something other than snow but as precipitation becomes heavier toward Monday morning, this should allow for the snow to both fall and accumulate. By first tracks time Monday much of MRG could see over 6 inches of snow. With near freezing temperatures the snow at the base could be wet as opposed to powdery but conditions could be powdery on the upper half of the mountain.

The news is also better in the long range. Recall the concern about all this energy piling up in the Rockies and the negative results were all the energy to stall there. In fact, this energy will indeed progress through the Rockies and keep the southern stream of the jet stream very active as one might expect given the El Nino's continued strength. This will mean a very active time as far as storminess goes and this could include MRG depending on the track of all these systems. Following MLK day it looks to be mostly dry for a few days but potentially stormy beginning Thursday and persisting into at least Friday. The supply of cold air is certainly a concern because it is very limited. Temperatures will be slightly above normal during the middle of next week and we are going beg for some home grown Canadian chill positioned over Quebec and Ontario in order to keep precipitation in the form of snow Thursday into Friday.


Kristen S. said...

Your (and others') forecasts are making me veeeerrrryyyy nervous for Jan 25-27. I'd hate to drive 9 hours only to be pelted with rain and freezing rain on the slopes! I'll be doing my cold weather dances in earnest for the next week.

Jonathan said...

As Martin Luther King almost famously said, "I have been to the mountain top and I have seen the promised powder."

quirky said...

Hi Josh,
Love reading the blog and your insider view of MRG mountain weather. Don't beat yourself up too bad or feel like you need to pick a long term position on the forecast and stick with it, that would be silly.. As you already know, things change and change quickly, you have to change with it. I work in the high tech field and my favorite saying is "well, that depends" I think that saying pertains to your area quite well. Change a variable here and there and you have a completely different outcome. Keep up the good work, and keep the posts coming, as newer information is always the best information.
Sean Quirk

Joshua Fox said...

Well Kristen,

I plan on skiing those days myself and traveling a long way to do it. The nice thing is that I am brining my buddy Keith who is like a snow god. Every time he shows up its an automatic 9 inches of powder at MRG.

Kristen S. said...

Joshua - that's fantastic! Make sure he doesn't back out....see you on the mountain!