The summits have been whitened once again thanks to snow showers over the last few days but the January batting slump continues into early February in spite of much colder weather and a generally supportive pattern. For the time being, activity in the pattern is coming from clipper systems originating in Canada with little moisture. These types of systems have been known to do favors for MRG in the past but we are not getting enough now. Sunday's system will consolidate its energy off the coast robbing interior sections of New England of the limited available moisture and confining any snowfall Sunday to flurries with little or no accumulation
More flurries can be expected Monday but again we are not expecting any significant snow. Two additional clipper systems will track through the Great Lakes but the Jet Stream is likely to guide both to the south and east thus making it difficult for any moisture to work its way in our direction. The first such system is weak and much of its moisture will be rung out over the Appalachian Mountains. The second has a chance of strengthening along the Atlantic Coast but barring a major change, snow from this system will be on the minimal side, amounting to the 1-4 inches either Wednesday or Wednesday night. It will remain very chilly in this time frame with temperatures Monday and Tuesday only in the teens during the day and 0 to 10 below at night.
We had mentioned the return of the "evil empire" or more technically speaking the return of a mid-latitude upper ridge in the eastern Pacific and a tightening of the jet stream above this ridge. The consequences of this will ultimately be another period of adverse weather but the cold weather appears ready for a bit of a fight as opposed to an easy retreat. This sets the stage for what I hope will be a bit of excitement late this week as a more organized hybrid clipper-pacific impulse tracks quickly across the country. This storm will have a bit more moisture a bit more energy and a weakened but not decayed area of cold as ingredients. Most importantly, the track of this system, assuming no major changes over the next 4 days or so will have the spine of the Green Mountains getting snow Thursday night into Friday. This is not by any means going to be an epic snow but 5-10 inches of powder is possible, just in time for the weekend.
Two major ensemble packages have diverged in recent days on handling the pattern toward the middle of the all important month of February. Both however seem to agree that a push of warm weather will scour most of the latest round of cold out by either late next weekend or by the 11th of the month. At this time, some sort of weather system coming from the newly awakened southern branch of the jet stream will approach the region. This system will have lots of moisture, lots of energy and could be quite strong as it takes aim at New England but will have little if any cold air. As a result, precipitation could be a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain or could just be plain rain. A potent and well organized southern branch storm can break down a mild weather pattern on its own and create its own legacy. This happened in the Christmas storm of 2002 and as much as I would like to provide as much kindling as possible for that possibility it is not a good bet right now. The American ensemble package has the pattern reverting to a positive PNA regime by the 13th and thus has colder weather back in the picture quite quickly. The European ensemble has been holding out and is flooding the nation and even New England with Pacific air for much of that week.