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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Still hints of some snow Saturday but much better powder potential next week from two storms

The consensus for the upcoming weekend suggests that after a light accumulation of snow early Friday, there won't be much else through Sunday aside from flurries. This would obviously be a bit of a disappointment considering the period had enormous potential for us. Even at this late hour however, it would still not be impossible for a system to quickly get churned up Friday night into early Saturday and bring snow to New England. The mid morning release of the American model suggested such and the afternoon release of the Euro suggested some snow for eastern Mass and coastal/downeast Maine. If it looks looks like the proverbial powder pot is going to get stirred up on Saturday I will update via twitter. A fair assessment of the current data suggests a generally dry, blustery and chilly weekend with temperatures ranging from near zero into the mornings to near 20 in the afternoons.

Even if the holiday weekend is mostly powder free, the outlook for the upcoming 5 days following President's Day is worthy of much discussion. A much more active pattern will establish early in this time frame and should hopefully persist through at least the end of February. So far, there are two storms that have their sights set on the Green Mountains. I still expect both to be snow producers although the first is attempting to threaten VT with a warm push.

Storm number 1 will spin its way out of the Rockies Monday and become an overgrown adolescent, maturing to quickly and occluding over the eastern Great Lakes. The occlusion is important because it will slow the push of warmer temperatures into New England Tuesday. What I hope happens is that a coastal low forms when this system interacts with the Atlantic and allows snow to enhance over the high country of Vermont. There is data suggesting such and other data suggesting that the event doesn't amount to that much. The blocking over the Hudson Strait will I think prevent this system from being anything else other than a snow producer although there are models suggesting a turnover to sleet or freezing rain. In the end I think storm #1 is quick hit with a few inches at worst and 6-12 inches at best.

The second in this two storm series is a much stronger and capable system that should produce some epic powder in Colorado in the middle of next week. As it pushes into the southern Plains, it will gather moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and head northeast. This system is also likely to occlude a bit early meaning that its intensity will peak out before it reaches  New England. Nonetheless, this is a powerful storm and very capable of producing a foot or more powder before the last full weekend of the month. Snowfall from this system could persist for multiple days as instability could linger over interior New England allowing for additional terrain induced powder. The risk is that the storm confines its impact to areas well to the south.

Ideally, this move to an active pattern has the "trilogy" of storms including one more around the 26th or so of the month. There are hints of this in the ensembles but I don't want "the hobbit" style trilogy. I like many was very annoyed that this 1-book story was broken up to milk the cash cow. We would certainly welcome a Lord Of The Rings or an early Star Wars trilogy.

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