The east coast blizzard was so close but yet so far. The big snow was more or less "a ridge away" with locations in the hills west of the upper valley receiving over a foot yet MRG got less than 4. Meanwhile another New York city mayor is getting crucified over the seemingly slow clean-up in New York city. He would not be the first to suffer through political misfortune because of a blizzard. In 1969 John Lindsay, the then mayor of New York had his political career ruined because of slow clean-up efforts following a major winter storm. 10 days later MRG got one of its most historic winter storms, so we can only hope for a repeat performance although there are no indications of this as of yet.
Instead, the weather will turn mild for a few days heading into the New Years weekend. Wednesday and Thursday will feature more sun, less wind and remain winter-like with temperatures in the single numbers during the morning and upper 20's to low 30's during the afternoon. We should also have some good visibility on both days. On Friday, temperatures should warm past the freezing mark softening the existing base and on New Years Day, readings could reach the 40's. This all results from a temporary relaxation in the pattern, driven mostly by Pacific Jet energy in the west which is expected to crush Colorado with snow and some big chill for them in the last days of 2010. The good news here is that we do expect this warm-up to be of a dry variety. Some showers might be mentioned in the forecast for Saturday but most of the day will be dry and the front which will be responsible for any rain will not bring a lot of it and probably not until Saturday night or early Sunday. Temperatures will then fall back under the freezing mark by later Sunday.
In my last update, I was encouraged somewhat at the expected shift of the PNA to positive and the appeared re-positioning of the ridge-trough pattern west by early January. All this will happen for about two days and then to my surprise another monster blocking feature will form across the Davis Strait and eastern Canada. In addition to this will be the formation of another ridge in the Bering Sea. Both these features will be the most significant on the upper air map by January 5th. This is very similar to much of what we saw in December. It wasn't a bad pattern overall but right now we are remembering it for a big rain event in early December and the big miss this past weekend. It did however yield over 80 inches of early season snow to the mountain which is a good total in the early going. If we can repeat that and avoid the rain, this upcoming month will be a pretty good one. That being said there are no significant events on the horizon and additional snow (of any significance) is not likely for at least a week. Talk of a storm may resume for the weekend of the 8th and 9th but we have a long way to go yet.