Temperatures struggled past zero Thursday but should moderate through the weekend though interior New England, specifically northern Maine, will be the nation's cold spot. Of more importance is the intermittent light snow throughout the day Friday which will likely yield 1-4 inches of very low density fluff to the mountain. The culprit for this is the last disturbance associated with the exiting polar vortex. Flurries could continue through Saturday but accumulations will be minimal and it will instead be mostly cloudy and cold with daytime temps near 20. Another weak area of low pressure will push through the Great Lakes Saturday and approach early Sunday. This is a putrid looking system but some limited moisture and its proximity to the region will allow for another extended period of light snow Sunday into early Monday. The colder temperatures will continue to support snow of the fluffy, low density variety as described above and accumulations could thus be higher ranging between 3-7 inches. This also could make Sunday or Monday a good day to reserve for MRG before we go off our own little fiscal cliff (although that might be a bit over the top).
In the last few updates, I have spent some time "dooming and glooming" about the pending adverse turn in the weather pattern. At the very least, we are in for a tough stretch next week but there are ways we can limit the damage and potentially move back toward a more favorable pattern as soon as the 14th or 15th of the month. Regarding the latter, the ensemble packages have been quite ambivalent but I am hoping the models/ensembles hash out their own little fiscal cliff deal and provide us with some sort of soft landing and although such hope can be dangerous, their are ways this could happen. More on that in a bit. The rough stretch I alluded to begins during the middle of next week and could involve 1-2 rain events between Wednesday and the weekend of the 12th-13th. There is some lingering arctic chill in eastern Canada but the weather pattern will make it very difficult to allow for any involvement. At best, the first batch of precipitation could include some freezing rain, but at some point we are going to have to face the 40-50 degree music and rain.
The Pacific evil empire is the primary culprit behind the turn toward warmer temperatures and the likely rain. By the 12th and 13th of the month however, height rises (jet stream ridging) will expand to include the Aleutian Islands, the North Pole and Greenland. This is another ring-around-the-rosie scenario that forces some very cold air into North America toward the middle of the month. The dilemma for Mad River Glen is that the cold is favored in the wrong location - the western United States. Still, the negative AO and NAO is an appreciated ally and the GFS ensembles have responded by showing a much earlier return to colder weather and winter weather events then the European Ensembles. I think both packages of information are guilty of succumbing to respective biases but the trend today was to at least open the door for some better possibilities for the second half of January.