The sleet, freezing rain and rain will all be a memory as of Monday evening and this leaves us waiting and hoping for some good news before the holiday. Unfortunately it will not come from the "third wave" of low pressure, which will confine its impact to coastal communities Wednesday. We will see a few days of seasonable temperatures, generally below freezing but no major snowfall. Meanwhile, the cold weather will continue to intensify across Canada and act to freeze the Hudson Bay entirely within a few days - certainly a good development and the earliest freeze since 2007. The "evil empire" or the east-central Pacific Ocean upper ridge however will be the dominant player on our playing field and because of this, the bitterly cold arctic air will be forced more east rather than south and will have a difficult time being a major force in Vermont's weather over the next week.
As indicated in previous posts, another mild push of air will impact the region late in the week and into the weekend. The trend over the last few cycles of model runs has actually been a good one, lessening the intensity of the mild weather during the upcoming weekend and even hinting at a little pushback from colder air in eastern Canada. The concern however relates to the first in what should be a series of storm systems after December 16th. This first storm system is not likely to take a very favorable track and we might do best just hoping for a flatter, weaker storm that comes and goes with little notoriety. A stronger storm system, like the one the last European model is showing, is likely to bring another round of sleet, freezing rain and rain and perhaps a lot of it.
As we move beyond next weekend, it gets much more interesting. The "evil empire" shifts west allowing the jet stream in the eastern Pacific to weaken and the storm track as a whole to shift south. Meanwhile the ridge and potential block across Greenland should finally give us a long awaited assist. This feature should help to keep the NAO negative and keep things active and intriguing along the east coast. There are indications of at least two major storm systems between the 17th and Christmas Day and one or both could yield some significant snows, at least somewhere. There will be ongoing concern regarding the amount of available cold air by then. Much of what is so available now, will be scoured out of Canada by the 17th so we potentially could use some help in that department.