It was a question of a few hundred miles and it looks like that question will get answered in the wrong way for us powder hounds. Ideally, a low pressure center tracking between Boston and the Cape yields the best results for MRG and our surroundings. We have seen a convergence in the consensus of information over the past 24 hours and this is suggesting that the low will track at least 100 miles east of Cape Cod and the swatch of snow associated with this will be confined to eastern Massachusettes the southeast third of New Hampshire and coastal Maine. Its certainly is an unfortunate turn of events since sources of fresh powder over the next week or so appear limited.
Storms passing east of the Cape have been a recurring theme this month. The culprit for this lies in the prevailing pattern which has consisted of a mean ridge axis oscillating between the Dakotas and eastern Montana (a bit too far east for our liking). We have been saved on three consecutive weeks by the high latitude blocking to our north and east which has trapped many of these systems out over the Atlantic and moisture has been allowed to rotate its way back into the Vermont and New Hampshire high country. In this case the pattern will begin to undergo some changes and the position of this mean ridge will progres east and Pacific Jet energy will unload on the west. This "progression" in the pattern will also help move our storm out to sea at a very brisk pace and prevent moisture from this system from rotating back into the Green Mountains. In the end we may escape with a small of amount of snow Monday but our chances for epic powder are quite low at this point.
The middle part of the week will be mainly dry as I mentioned. Temperatures will be on the chilly side early in the week with readings close to zero both Monday and Tuesday morning and rising only into the teens during the day. Readings should rebound nicely Wednesday and Thursday however easily reaching the middle 20's during the afternoon and possibly approach the freezing mark. It will be very blustery early next week thanks to the strong off-shore storm but winds will subside somewhat during the middle of the week.
I scratched the surface a bit talking about some of the changes in the overall pattern and these changes will have a profound impact on the outcome for New Years weekend and beyond. Our Bering Sea block will vanish over the next 5 days or so and this opens the door for the Pacific Jet energy to unload on the west and for a big warm-up across a broad area of the eastern half of the U.S. including New England. The warm-up will be short-lived but there is a storm in here that will threaten to bring some unwanted ice and rain to the region during the first few days of the new year. We will keep some of the blocking in eastern Canada and some of this will extend back into western Canada allowing the PNA to turn positive for the first time in quite a while by early Jan. It will thus turn colder quickly in what should be an active start to the year. The pattern should consist of a active Pacific Jet, some arctic or at least Canadian air on the playing field and a few systems crossing the country over a 7-10 day period. If we get a more decisive turn in the PNA and the blocking across Canada eases somewhat it would open the door for some signficant weather systems to track in our direction but its a long way off. For now, Merry Christmas !