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Friday, March 29, 2013

Winter retreating but ready for a finale during the first week of April

Spring has been creeping its way into northern New England. Even the high elevations have seen extended stretches of above freezing temperatures during the day time in spite of some new snow. The UVM Mt Mansfield snow stake site is showing above normal snowpack as of now thanks to the late season powder surge. The average snow depth on Mt Mansfield, according to the site would suggest that snow depths typically peak around this week before beginning the long spring decline.

Winter however is still not done. Saturday should feature some exceptional early spring weather. Sunshine will help bring temperatures from the low 20's to the 40's and the visibility should be fantastic. Sunday will likely start out this way as well, but clouds will advance into the state quickly ahead of an approaching weather system. Precipitation will arrive during the evening and in the low lying areas, I think temperatures will be too warm to support any snowfall. Above 2,500 feet, a period of wet snowfall can be expected and the high elevations above 3,000 feet could receive a few inches by Monday morning. It will be a bit sloppy however as opposed to fluffy since much of Monday will feature above freezing temperatures and perhaps some limited sun. The late Sunday early Monday snowfall was not what I was referring to regarding winter not being done. The blocking is going to produce one more big blast of arctic cold and this one, will be rather impressive for early April. The front will arrive during the evening Monday and send temperaturs plummeting well below freezing by Tuesday morning. Only limited precipitation is expected with this arctic front, but there are indications that the boundary will become anafrontal, which means precipitation falls following its passage as opposed to prior to its passage. This would mean some new snowfall Monday night into Tuesday and this snowfall would be more of the powdery variety. Temperatures Tuesday through Thursday morning will also remain below freezing on the mountain which should ensure that the season is extended through the first full weekend of the month. Snow accumulations should remain on the lighter side ranging between 2 and 5 inches but there remains some uncertainty here so expectations might get some tweaking in the coming days.

The blocking which has driven the pattern through much of March is expected to subside and there are some strong indications of much warmer temperatures throughout much of eastern North America beginning April 7th or April 8th. Temperatures on the mountain will actually begin modifying by Thursday afternoon, April 4th but could turn above normal by the 7th and turn well above normal by the 8th or 9th of the month. This is the type of pattern change that could launch the region into spring rather abruptly and have some obvious impacts on skiing by the middle of April. Barring a change, the blog will likely be updated 1 or 2 more times before a final summary.


Pete Land said...

Hey Josh,

Long time listener first time caller. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your blog... I check it habitually throughout the winter and quote it frequently when discussing the weather with friends.

Hope you enjoyed the much-improved 2013 ski season.


Unknown said...

Ditto. Thanks so much josh. You really helped us nail a great week at MRG this winter.