Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Storm musings and the weather in the week that follows

Winter is blooming at Mad River Glen. Cold temperatures, snow showers and squalls has the MRG community itching for opening day. The only thing that might be better is some big storm excitement and it just so happens that we have some of that as well. We can't ask for a much better set up either. We have a reenforcing fresh short of arctic chill clashing with a viable southern branch system. The Low pressure system will strengthen in the Ohio Valley and make the jump to the southern New England coast, ultimately moving in the near vicinity of Cape Cod before exiting into the open Atlantic. Snow from this system will arrive Saturday evening and persist through midday Sunday with the heaviest snow likely falling in the pre-dawn hours Sunday. If there was a trend in the cycle of model runs today it was that the storm has a somewhat flatter and weaker appearance. The last American model released Wednesday evening strengthened the storm to a shade under 1000 mb while the European model Tuesday showed a storm close to 980 mb walloping Vermont with 2 feet of snow. This somewhat fickle behavior in the models is very typical a few days from the storm and is a big reason to not sell your soul to the snowiest model. At face value, models today showed a modest 8-12 inch event with some of the heaviest snow falling falling across southern Vermont, the Berkshires and much of New Hampshire. I would not sell my soul to this solution either, at least not yet. It is still possible to get a stronger storm and upwards of 20 inch snowfall totals. Stay tuned !!

The amplification in the jet stream associated with the weekend storm will help keep temperatures on the chilly side of average through about Tuesday or Wednesday. After that, things could get really crazy. If you have been following the blog at all at this early date in the season, we had discussed the Bering Sea upper ridge and its tendency to produce volatile weather across the eastern U.S. including wild swings in temperatures from warm to cold and vice versa. As we move toward late next week, we could be faced with just such a scenario. The jet stream will again amplify but do so over the western and central part of North America thus sending a huge surge of warm temperatures up the eastern seaboard. Arctic air will try to fend off a chunk of this warm push late next week and next weekend (12/21 and 12/22 ) but this could evolve into a thaw or an ice storm or a rain to ice to snow situation. After our big storm, I am hoping for none of the above honestly and maybe we can find a way out of all those scenarios. Time will tell. This battle between some warmth along the eastern seaboard and arctic cold over Canada should continue into Christmas week and could result in a noteworthy event near the Christmas holiday.

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