43 degree dewpoints, heavy rain and a tarnished MRG base is not exactly putting me in the Christmas spirit early this week. The Sunday/Monday storm turned into a fiasco and a major setback to what was a promising start to December. In truth, this resembles much of what was expected this winter, a roller coaster ride of weather results and in this case it was 30 inches of snow followed by over an inch of rain. The proverbial "silver lining" does exist and the high terrain of northern Vermont should make a rapid and an eventual full recovery.
Rain becomes light snow by Monday evening as temperatures slowly make a return to the freezing mark. We will then watch the sequel to last week and hope the sequel is as good as the original. Sunday's big rain-maker will get caught underneath all the high latitude jet stream blocking and a second piece of energy with a fresh supply of Atlantic Ocean moisture will migrate northwestward toward interior Quebec. Moisture from this system will arrive Wednesday and this should occur after an initial few inches of backlash snows Monday night into Tuesday. Snow totals between Monday night and Thursday will be in the 8-14 inch range and the high elevation areas will have a big edge.
Heavier snow showers will taper to flurries later Thursday and continue into Friday. Much of the country will have experienced some well below normal temperatures this week but readings in Vermont will be very ordinary ranging between the teens and low 20's. By this weekend, a weather system will be tracking into the Tennessee Valley and will bring both rain and snow to the Ohio Valley. Most of the model runs have taken this system well out over the Atlantic Ocean but we did get a European run this afternoon which allowed this system to develop into a major coastal storm and a big snow producer for most of New England. Its worth watching for sure but we should wait for more evidence before getting our hopes too elevated.
Even should any hypothetical late weekend storm turn into a "non-event" we should remain optimistic as the pattern remains anchored by a very negative Arctic Oscillation. The negative AO will peak in the next 7-10 days as a massive block covers the Baffin Bay and much of the southern Arctic Ocean. Another weaker block will remain in place across the Bering Sea. Much of the U.S. will thus remain in the firm grip of below normal temperatures as a result of all this. Temperatures across Vermont will remain close to normal but smaller disturbances should allow for powder possibilities through the Christmas holiday. Stay dry this Monday, new snow and a return to winter is not far away.