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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hoping we go one for two this weekend

Snow is at least part of the discussion this go round. It will be worth thinking about in the midst of what should be a mostly rainy or freezing rainy Wednesday across the Green Mountains of Vermont. The situation sets up as follows. The mainly wet system Wednesday will exit and leave with it one extra day of above freezing temperatures Thursday. The front associated with Wednesday's system is a very weak one initially but the entrainment of some polar energy will give this front some legs and invite a wave of low pressure to develop near the Gulf Coast and track very quickly northeast toward the New England coast Friday. It is less than 72 hours away and the track of impact from this storm remains unclear; in fact, the much more reliable European model is suggesting no impact at all (although the European wants to tell a whole different yet interesting story Christmas weekend, more on that later). The system however does have some potential and also has the benefit of a fresh supply of what limited cold is available from this deplorable weather pattern. The cold will drain gradually southward out of Canada as the wave of low pressure approaches Thursday night. Snow could be moderate to heavy for a time if the storm tracks close to Long Island or attains a stronger intensity than models suggest. Its quick movement however would keep snowfall totals generally in the light to moderate category if at all.

The European model, which has been eating the American Model's lunch all month is suggesting not at all. That being said, the European model maintains that storm development along the aforementioned front will be later in the forecast period. Christmas Day to be exact. The supply of cold air will be more stale but the pattern will be in the process of turning more amplified and could allow for major storm to take shape and one that could deal interior areas the bulk of the snow. The American model will have none of this however and is putting all its eggs in Friday's basket.

My best guess is that we go one for two here. If Friday's wave of low pressure fails to materialize it will leave the door open for the ignition of the second and potentially more potent wave Sunday. A stronger system and a snowier Friday could act to drive the front farther offshore by Sunday. I can't see two events in the 3-4 day stretch.

No reason to doubt any of the thinking beyond Christmas Day. The temporary amplification of the eastern trough is no match for the furious jet action in the Pacific. This is just been such a demoralizing scenario to start the ski year and there are stronger indications it will try and re-assert itself after the 27th of the month. This will mean another mild of push of air after the 27th and potentially another non-snow event before the new year. Ensembles are then suggesting the potential for temporary pushes of cold around New Years Day and beyond but it is vital we break the positive Arctic Oscillation and we have yet to see evidence of that.

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