I've been waiting and hoping that the information out there would converge into something very big for the mountain Thursday. Unfortunately, for our late week storm, the consensus of data suggests a loose more disorganized conglomeration of low pressure centers that will push through the Ohio Valley and off the east coast before intensifying into anything significant. I throw the word "phasing" the blog like I would throw a frisbee (which is a lot) but for most of our potential winter storms, the process is critical in determining whether we are "in" or "out" of the best powder. I like to think of phasing as the jet stream and the weather at the surface achieving a perfect harmony like a Jerry Garcia with his electric guitar and Phil Lesh on bass (I think Phil would be the Jet Stream and Jerry might be the winter storm). Phasing occurs quite often in New England because many of the necessary ingredients are always present such as jet stream energy, the accessibility of moisture and the ambient clashing between cold dry arctic air and a relative warm moist Atlantic Ocean. The best storms in Vermont phase early, but often not too early (as they did many times last year). These storms more frequently track very close to the coast or even inland and interior areas of New England are the best spots for the big snow.
The surface map is a tinderbox right now and one good injection of upper air support would mean big things for MRG and the surrounding region. Such support does come but it will come just a little later than we wanted. Snow will expand into New York State and much of New England but unless something changes, the storm will ultimately consolidate its energy off shore and pull the heaviest snowfall to the coast and eventually out to sea. Anyway, that was a lot of rambling for a paragraph and a half and in the end, WE SHOULD A POWDER DAY THURSDAY. Light snow should begin around day break and continue for a good part of the ski day. I think this is a 3-7 inch event, but when it comes to questions of phasing LOTS CAN CHANGE. The Valentine's Day Storm of 07 reached hall of fame status but was not expected to be until very late in the forecast period. Thursday and Friday will be two of the coldest days New England has seen in some time. Temperatures will be near zero all day Thursday as its snowing and below zero all day Friday. Saturday morning's temps could be near -15 F but readings should moderate to more tolerable levels by the afternoon then warm into the 20's Sunday.
Another storm is going to require our attention by late into the weekend into Monday. This is another interesting one and perhaps a storm that might phase too early. The Euro model is indicating a one of those classic "bowling ball" trough's and one for the ages as well. These types of events are dangerous for New England ski country as they send 50 degree readings north to Quebec while sub zero temperatures hit the Ozarks. This is not the consensus solution yet however as other medium range models suggest that potential "bowling ball" never achieves perfect symmetry. A partial phase and a more squashed system could mean some powder for Sunday into Monday. The Euro does bring at least a chance for rain however. The arctic cold that follows this storm could be very memorable as readings, particularly in parts of the Mississippi and Ohio Valley's get well below zero and even challenge records. We saw cold of this intensity in '09 but nothing like that since. The "evil empire" is showings its face as we move beyond January 10th although ensembles have performed horrendously so far this winter so I won't expand on any of those details until later.
Lets hope at least some of this storm pans out. Happy New Year to everyone and think powder !!