Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A few inches here and a few inches there, it could be worse

A couple inches of snow certainly helped but it would have been nice to land that big one. We couldn't quite pull it off. Now La Nina is going to drive this train and do so in high gear. Temperatures will be on the mild side of average for the next 5 days or so but we should avoid an extended thaw. We should also see a series of weaker systems bring the chance for snow or mixed precipitation.

Both Sunday and Monday will feature dry weather and at least some sunshine, particularly Monday. Clouds should make a return later Tuesday in advance of the first of these aforementioned weather systems. It will not have a lot of moisture or cold air to work with but the push of mild weather also appears weaker than I had feared. Temperatures should sneak above freezing Tuesday afternoon and then hover around the freezing mark Tuesday night as light snow begins to fall. It will be another instance where wet snow falls over the low elevations while we get a more powdery accumulation near the summits. I don't expect much but we will take it where we can get it.

After a brief dry period later Wednesday, another system, with a little more moisture should bring what looks to be snow but possibly mixed precipitation to the region Thursday. These disturbances in the jet stream look like Alberta Clippers but they are getting propelled by the strong Gulf of Alaska ridge and intense jet in the eastern Pacific. The jet is also causing Pacific air to run much of the eastern part of the country over, thus the mild weather. Fortunately though we are not seeing a strong southeast U.S. ridge and thus we avoid the big thaw. With Thursday's system, temperatures will again be close to freezing. If we don't get precipitation to mix with sleet or freezing rain we could certainly see a few inches.

The last weekend in February into the following week looks extremely changeable. That is saying a lot since New England in February/March is typically very volatile. The good news involves the weekend. Ensembles are now all on board suggesting a major eastern U.S. trough amplification. It actually caught me a bit by surprise to see what appears to be a major and widespread shot of arctic cold interrupting a mediocre pattern. In addition, the third in a series of these weaker weather systems could again spread snow or mixed precipitation into the region either Friday or Friday night. This "third" system may actually get ignited somewhat by the amplifying upper air pattern and strengthen past the "weak" stage.

Cold weather should dominate for much of the weekend but it will be temporary in nature. An amplifying trough in the western half of the U.S. will result in a mild push of weather in the last few days of February that will be hard to fend off. This should also be temporary but it result in a bit of rain. We have managed to avoid that for much of the month believe it or not.

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