What once looked like another potentially ugly thaw will actually be a net positive for the Mad River Glen base. This and an increasingly positive outlook for the next 10 days should make for a lot of happy faces amongst us powder hounds. An occluded Midwest snow producer brings its precipitation to the northeast Monday morning. Although this storm produced some decent snow totals in the Dakotas and Minnesota, precipitation across interior New England will consist of a mix of sleet and freezing rain. By the end of the day, the wintry mix will be all but over and temperatures in many spots will fail to eclipse the freezing mark. There is a pool of instability and some limited moisture behind this system and it will allow for terrain induced snow showers through much of the day Tuesday. Temperatures will generally stay in the 20's but we could actually see 4-8 inches from the snow showers at least on the mountain while partly sunny skies prevail in valley locations.
We continue to see indications of a midweek east coast system in the models but this storm should move out over the open waters of the Atlantic before it evolves into a big snow producer for anybody. Across interior New England, Pacific air will allow temperatures to remain in the moderate category and with the help of any sunshine, particularly in the valleys, readings will climb above freezing by a few degrees during the day. On the mountain, temperatures should stay mostly below freezing although the stronger February sun angle is certainly capable of softening the snow near the base.
The upcoming weekend deserves most of the attention right now since all indications are now pointing to a major jet stream amplification. Models are disagreeing only in the results of such an amplification. Is a major storm a product of this amplification or do we simply see another surge of colder weather. What I continue to like is that both the European and Canadian Ensembles show clear signals of a late phasing of two systems near the New England coastline. Subsequently the system is indicated to get caught underneath the blocking over the Davis Strait and thus continuing to produce snow for the interior New England high country. There is a big contrast between the kind of storm we saw this past weekend and what potentially could occur for the upcoming weekend. A later phasing system such as this doesn't produce big snows for the I95 corridor except perhaps in Maine. This type of system is typically better for the interior mountains but all of this will obviously depend on a normal array of uncertainties.
A couple of days of colder weather are likely to follow any storm this weekend but temperatures should again moderate somewhat. The pattern will continue to be anchored by the negative NAO and the "evil empire" across the Pacific though this empire will set up closer to Hawaii and thus be less adverse for us. As mentioned in the last update, we did see this type of set up in late December and the results were quite good. The American model has produced a major storm on several of the recent runs around the 20th and 21st. The model typically performs quite poor in this time frame but I wouldn't at all be surprised to see more new snow late that week.