By the time most of you will be reading this, the few inches of glop Sunday night will have turned to a somewhat windblown layer of powder. Temperatures will turn very cold so hopefully the snow consistency is good enough to be considered a powder day for those of you that venture on the mountain. The focus now has to shift very quickly to the New Years day period and another rapidly evolving weather situation in the days that follow New Years. It is amazing how fluid the weather forecasting has been this year and we should expect that to continue. It has been somewhat easier to predict temperatures relative to normal in a general sense but day-to-day weather specifics has been a challenge outside of the 5 day window. Forces the SCWB to earn its money with more frequent updates I suppose.
This will be a very cold 6-day period as has been discussed previously. Temperatures through the upcoming weekend will struggle to get above 20 at any point and we will have several mornings at or below -10 and at least 2 days with wind chills well below zero. We had hoped to get some new snow out of this very bone chilling ordeal and its looking more and more likely that this will indeed be the case. The first snow will come New Years eve from an upper air impulse that will produce some terrain enhanced snow. Snow accumulations from this will be on the order of a few inches and unlike the glob, will be a very fluffy variety. If we are lucky, we will get a somewhat powdery New Years Day.
The "BC Bomber" that has entered the equation in this very evolving weather picture arrives Thursday Jan 2. This system has been discussed but its potential before now has been somewhat underrated. Pretty much all of the major medium computer models are now on board that the system will gather some limited amounts of Gulf moisture, deepen and then strengthen rapidly off the Atlantic Coast. Models disagree with the intensity of strengthening and the track and it is this question which should now be the prevailing debating point as to how much powder actually falls Jan 2/3 at MRG. The European model is the dream scenario because it is suggesting an all out explosion south of Cape Cod and a 1-2 footer for much of Vermont. The Canadian and GFS suggest a more modest deepening with this system, a flatter system overall and confine much of the heaviest snowfall totals to coastal sections. The final answer might have to wait until New Years Day to be answered but we should at least look forward to some modest powder Thursday into Friday. Timing of course will have to be fine tuned in the next few days.
There is some additional fine tuning that is required on what appears to be shaping up to be a volatile week beginning Sunday January 5. There are some potential trouble spots, some more potentially bone chilling arctic air and maybe even some additional powder. A bit of the "all of the above" which was my favorite multiple choice answer on those old high school exams but perhaps not so much when it comes to winter weather.