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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Winter-like cold grips Vermont for the next week

The bulk of precipitation Thursday will remain to the regions south. The American GFS runs up through this morning had shown the formation of a deformation area across the Vermont and New Hampshire high country which in effect would produce a steady snow Thursday night and Friday. Some indication of this remains although at a lesser intensity. The higher resolution short term models also have some indications of snow although it would be of the lighter 1-3 inch variety. We won't be able to rely too much on low level instability to produce snow since there isn't much too speak of through the end of the week. Any snow would have to be "mechanically" induced through physically lifting moist layers of the atmosphere, a job typically done by a warm or cold front.

As for the weekend, the weather itself looks primarily dry but temperatures will be very wintry ranging from single numbers in the morning to near 30 in the afternoon. It may be balmy compared to January but 15 degrees below average is statistically significant for the season and will certainly prevent any material erosion of the existing base. Saturday should be the day to feature more sun (mixed with clouds and occasional snow flurries) and some gusty winds. Sunday may feature more in the way of clouds along with less winds. Sunday will also feature another late March snow event which is not expected to have any impact on MRG or northern Vermont (precipitation should again stay to our south) although we will keep an eye on it.

We have a better chance for weather during the middle part of next week. It would be the last system to potentially have an snowy impact on us during the resurgence of cold. We had successive runs of the European model show a very favorable track and some significant snows for us Tuesday and Wednesday. The cycle of model runs released close to noon today showed a track well to our south. This last system is our best chance and perhaps our last chance for big powder of the season as it is expected to warm to above freezing levels by the end of the week (April 1) followed by a little spring rain during the first weekend in April.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Snow makes a return and so does the cold weather

An innocent looking storm system across will quickly spread its moisture into Vermont Monday. This is a weather system that caused thunderstorms with sleet across the Great Lakes in spite of the fact that the storm only has a central pressure of 1010 mb. It is the clashing of airmasses that is acting as the ignition for the intense area of precipitation and as this area of precipitation moves east into the colder temperatures it will snow. The snow will fall mainly across the northern part of the state beginning during the midday hours Monday and persisting through Monday night. The 8-12 inches wiy ll be a nice little victory this late in the season as the snow will turn heavy for a time late Monday. At the base the snow will be of a wetter consistency but the upper half of the mountain should see powder. The snow will taper to flurries by Tuesday morning and sunshine will make a return.

We talked about another storm during the midweek period, another product of a major clash in airmasses. Like before it looks like most of the snow will travel to our south although a few recent runs of the GFS American Model have the region getting grazed with a few inches. We do now it will be very cold for late March with temperatures remaining below freezing for the most part through the end of the week. The cold weather may abate somewhat by the weekend but temperatures will remain below normal and we may get just enough instability for occasional snow showers.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring conditions have arrived but winter plans to fight back

Many areas in Vermont have seen a long awaited day of 50-degree temperatures. The warmth has corned up the snow and melted a large percentage of it in low lying areas. At high elevations however the snow depth remains healthy and well above average for this time of year and colder weather over the next week will ensure it remains that way. The question involves our chances for a late season snow.

As far as organized systems go, it's a mixed review. Cold weather will arrive in time for the weekend but the prevailing airmass is a dry one and the weekend will feature great visibility, a good amount sunshine and temperatures which dip into the teens during the early morning hours before rising close to or above 40 during the afternoon. By Monday another push of warmer temperatures will accompany the arrival of the next storm system. This low pressure center will travel up the St Lawrence Valley and will thus ensure that any snowfall is minimal at least initially. The moisture however will be moving quickly east and this could mean a period of freezing rain Monday. Colder weather will quickly become entrained in the storm as it moves east. This combined with some lingering instability could mean accumulating snow showers Tuesday as temperatures fall below the freezing mark.

Another system is likely to quickly cross the country during the middle of the week and it will be energized by a fairly violent clash in airmasses between the southward push of cold and the lingering warmth in the southern states. The moisture with this storm system is likely going to impact areas well to our south unfortunately. After a round of what we hope will be some accumulating snow showers Tuesday, dry weather will win the day for the later part of the week. It will however remain very cold with temperatures on the mountain remaining below freezing for an extended period of time. The cold weather will continue through next weekend which should provide the opportunity for another shot some new snow. Overall the teleconnection indices are very mixed. They are favorable at the moment but the NAO and AO will become conflicted within a week or so with the AO turning positive and the NAO remaining negative.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Powder Sunday in an otherwise unexciting week

A decaying area of moisture associated with a eastward advancing clipper system will help the region out a bit late Saturday into Sunday. It had looking a day or two ago as the energy and moisture with this system might move to our south but we will see some fluffy snow beginning Saturday evening and persisting through early Sunday. The snow may begin as rain in low lying areas and could fall as a wet snow even at the base. Colder temperatures on Sunday however should be able to change most of the snow to a powdery consistency by Sunday morning with a elevation sensitive 2-5 inches expected by the middle of the day.

The snow early Sunday is the last we can expect for at least a week or so. The cold weather on Sunday will last through Monday and into early Tuesday before temperatures make another surge into the middle and high 30's Tuesday afternoon. This will set the state for a fairly mild end of the week. Some showers are possible Wednesday but the front associated with any rain is a weak one and is not expected to bring any arctic cold south. This means temperatures are likely to reach the 40's Wednesday and Thursday and could best 50 Friday or Saturday. In short, it will be spring conditions late in the week and choosing days and times when it's not raining. The rain should not be a major concern however since whatever falls Wednesday will be light and although the rain threat moves up again next weekend, models are not indicating a significant storm.

The blocking continues to look more favorable after the 20th of the month although the ensembles at face value do not show a corresponding "cold" signal. At the very least however the blocking should allow for a greater variety of weather at least one good storm toward the end of the month.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yes rain is still unavoidable but we steal a powder day Thursday

With the snow under the single "preserved" one extra day there were some epic turns to be had Tuesday and it looks like plenty of skiers enjoyed it. On Wednesday it will be more of the same with great visibility, little if any wind and at the minimum, a half a day of sunshine before clouds from our next approaching system envelop the region.

Our next storm has been talked about for several posts and mostly in an unflattering way. Overall the storm still looks rather "unflattering" yet the surge of colder weather now firmly entrenched over the region will not give it up so easily this time. This essentially will equate to an extra day of great turns and some fresh powder as well as precipitation Thursday will begin around daybreak in the form of snow. The snow should fall steadily and for much of the day. The question during the day involves the personality of the snow Thursday since temperatures will gradually rise throughout the day as the cold air erodes. It appears for at least Thursday morning that the snow will remain dry with temperatures in the low to mid 20's. Later in the day temperatures are expected to approach the freezing mark and if the snow is still falling it will turn wet. Then we go to freezing rain and rain but not until 4-7 inches of additional snow and not until after closing.

The rain is going to be a steady one and at times a heavy one with over an inch expected. Temperatures will approach the 40 degree mark with dewpoints not far behind so it will not completely devastate the base, but over an inch of rain is significant and it will certainly leave its mark.

The rain will be over and done with Friday evening and will be replaced by flurries and snow showers Friday night into early Saturday. In the wake of all the rain comes a clipper system, a system that is likely to dump most of its moisture on the Great Lakes before diving southeast. There may not be much moisture available to us but whatever is left will fall in the form of snow showers on Sunday along with below freezing temperatures. The cold weather will perist through Tuesday and then we can expect a big thaw consisting of temperatures in the 40's and 50's and perhaps some more rain late in the week. The surge of warmth next week will coincide with a long awaited switch in our teleconnection indices. This should encourage some interesting weather for the last 10 days of the month but we will see.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Strengthening wave of low pressure delivers big snow for MRG

The third in a series of low pressure centers that have formed along this very slow moving front has brought snow to the region and a lot more of it than we would have thought a few days ago. The storm became stronger and more mature and models have picked up on this trend in the late going. The combination of heavy snow through Sunday night and temperatures in the teens and 20's is going to turn Monday into one of the better powder days of the year. This allows the last few days to fit very well into the traditions of New England weather-lore. An awful and depressing rain Sunday followed by one of the better storms of the year. Overall, the 12-20 inches will rank this storm close to the top for 2011 and below-freezing temperatures through the middle of the week should allow for a few days of good turns before our next system later in the week.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Big rains Sunday but some snow to follow for Monday

A large upper ridge is well entrenched across the east coast and this is allowing very mild weather to push well into interior sections of New England. We do have a storm trying to break this pesky feature down but it is running into a brick wall as it progresses east. The result will be an unfortunate rain which will begin Saturday evening and will be quite heavy for a time during the day Sunday. After over an inch of rain, a cold front will mercifully make its push through Vermont and bring colder weather and... a little winter weather Sunday night. The snow will come as a result from a wave of low pressure, one of many which will form along the above-mentioned slow moving front but this one will move to our right as opposed to our left. The transition to snow may be gradual with rain changing to a freezing rain and sleet mixture Sunday evening and then going to all snow by daybreak Monday. We could see a couple hours of fairly heavy snow before precipitation moves off to our northeast. Overall this system is an impressive one for its total precipitation. Over an inch of rain as I mentioned and then several inches of sleet and snow.

The return to winter in Vermont will last a few days but we can't rid ourselves of this extremely adverse pattern. The next system late this week will thus be forced to conform to the same guidelines as the previous two which will mean another push of mild weather and potentially more ice and rain. In the case of this upcoming week, the approaching weather system Thursday will encounter a more resistant form of cold air giving us a shot at some snow late in the week but its just a chance and the more likely result is something more undesirable.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tough headwinds continue to lay ahead

A amplified pattern energized by the current La Nina will continue to have the mountain playing defense. We did manage to fight off one non-snow event rather well this past Monday and a light dusting of snow Wednesday with some much below normal temperatures to follow for Thursday will keep winter on the front page for now. We may even squeeze a decent ski day out of Saturday as overrunning precipitation well out in advance of next disconcerting weather system brings some snow to the region. The snow Saturday morning could accumulate a few inches prior to first tracks time although we may have to iron out the details in a later post.

The muscle with this next system will be meandering across center of the nation Friday but unfortunately, the persistent upper trough in the west will get a major re-enforcing thrust of jet energy and will consequently allow for the southeast ridge to get a big boost. Mild air will flood the region and is likely going to do it at the low and mid levels of the atmosphere Sunday allowing for a period of rain following some possible ice Saturday night. As time progresses this storm will get stretched out a bit as it tries to break down the above-mentioned ridge. If it does so efficiently we may see rain change to a period of accumulating snow late Sunday into Monday.

We can expect a day or two of colder weather during the early part of next week but another similar looking system will look to take a similar track during the middle of next week. This system has a slightly better chance of delivering winter weather but the chances for an all snow event in a pattern such as this is low and I would expect some additional ice or a period of rain.