Snow has rapidly overspread interior New England and it is now time for the rubber to meet the road. This initial batch of precipitation is a bit more potent verses some my own expectations from a few days ago. I have no issues with this since the stronger upward motion associated with this precipitation will help keep the marginal temperature profile in central and northern Vermont generally below freezing. We still could see some sleet mix with what should be a period of moderate to heavy snow between mid-morning and late afternoon. Temperatures at the base will hover near 30 which could make the snow a bit wetter but I suspect temperatures on the summit will be cold enough to support the powdery stuff we have come to enjoy. I would not at all be surprised to see 6-10 inches simply from this initial burst of snow and all of this will come before dark Wednesday.
The big concern I have with the forecast involves the track of what will ultimately be a disorganizing low pressure center. Initially the storm is a more well-defined elongated low pressure area stretching from the southern Great Lakes to the New England coast. While the storm is in this "well defined" phase, the mountain will get its heavy burst of snow Wednesday. On Wednesday night and Thursday, the low pressure center will try and consolidate over southern New England as advertised but will gradually attain a more disheveled appearance. Although the area of lowest central pressure will pass south of the mountain, it will track close enough to the mountain to potentially allow the conveyor of moisture to push north of MRG. Models are having a very difficult time pinpointing this all important conveyor of moisture. There are models suggesting we are in the sweet spot and there are other indicators saying that the best snow falls north and east of the region. Various NWS offices seem to be interpreting the data in different ways and the forecast seems to lack coordination from one territory to another. I understand this is a lot of "mumbo jumbo" and the passage of the occluded storm is still expected to allow snowfall to be favored over the mountains Wednesday night, Thursday into Friday. The location of these important moist conveyor will simply determine whether we are on the low end of the 15-30 range or the high one. I can still maintain that both Thursday and Friday should be good days to ski. The Champlain Valley, the southern New England coastline, Rutland and Albany are all places that should not do particularly well from this storm. Accumulations will be more minimal and it is reflected in many of the forecasts that we all have access to. This event will be a significant one for the high country and even the base and summit of MRG could see contrasting conditions for a time.
Conditions will be drier for the weekend but flurries and snow showers will continue as this slow departing storm continues to have its progress slowed by blocking over the Hudson Strait. Valley locations will see more in the way of sunshine and should also see readings creep above freezing. There does appear to be indications of a storm early next week but this system is likely be guided well south of the region by a suppressed jet stream. A jet stream that should also ensure that early March is rain free and includes temperatures that support maintenance of our new and improved base.
Beyond March 5th, we continue to see good news. The overall weather pattern will be anchored by a trifecta of favorable teleconnection indicators. The result could mean a more widespread outbreak of cold for eastern North America and a major amplification of the jet stream that could include a big east coast snow event around March 8th or 9th. What a difference a year makes though. Last year at this time we saw clear indications of a major record breaking March melt down. This year we are seeing indications that wintry weather will persist through the mid part of the month. Enjoy the storm.