We are getting close to February which means it's "crunch time" as far as the ski season goes. It certainly will be "crunch time" in this ski season since we are approaching a much more active period of weather. The region will have some tepid support from a loosely negative AO but the long wave pattern will refocus much of the cold on the western or central third of the country. In short, this means that storms which form as a result of the often mentioned split flow scenario will take aim at interior New England and should bring lots of precipitation our way.
Given how this year has progressed and given some of the model data, there is going to be some understandable consternation. Each of the next several winter weather events will involve a mild push of air which will try and dislodge some well entrenched arctic cold. This type of battle can be a fruitful one so long as we avoid the ice or rain which sometimes briefly accompanies these storms.
The above paragraph was the disclaimer. The weather itself should consist of continued relative cold and mostly dry weather through Thursday. A decaying boundary should then spread light snow or flurries into the Green Mountains Friday which could result in a light accumulation. The snow should be accompanied by a big temperature moderation as readings could inch close to 30 during the afternoon hours. Most of the daytime hours Saturday will be dry with seasonable temperatures and light winds, but this new and much discussed pattern will begin to manifest itself during the weekend. The first results will come in the form of a garden variety storm system which will travel from the southern plains right into northern New England Sunday. With this storm will come a push of milder temperatures that will make an attempt to penetrate the region. A period of primarily snow should be the primary consequence Saturday night with a 2-6 inch accumulation by Sunday morning. If the storm were to track farther north, a period of sleet or freezing rain could occur prior to daybreak Sunday after the snow. Most of Sunday should feature temperatures near the freezing mark with flurries .
The storm that should consume most of our attention is a weather system that might impact the region around the time of Wednesday February 4th. This storm will move out of the southern Rockies early next week and will have a considerable amount of time to gather lots of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico before it tracks northeast, again, toward New England. This storm could bring a massive amount of precipitation with it as it tracks northeast, and with the correct infusion of upper air support, could become one of the bigger winter weather systems to impact the region this year. The range of possibilities though remains pretty wide a week out however. The storm could hug the coast and deliver the region only a glancing blow with snow as some recent runs of the American model have suggested. The aforementioned pattern supports a more inland track and one that could deliver interior New England either a big snow storm or a snow to ice event. It will be typical New England weather drama but we should have a decent chunk of cold to work with, both in front of, and in back of this storm so I am hopeful for a very positive result.
Another in a series of these weather systems could then impact the region around the weekend of the 8th and 9th. This happens after another stretch of cold weather at the end of the first full week of February. We said goodbye to an absolute folk music legend yesterday in Pete Seeger. What a full life he lived and I was lucky to be included in a very small slice of it. My mother helped to organize a benefit concert at my future high school and he was gracious enough to dine with us in our home after the show. I was 10 at the time and completely oblivious to the fact that we had hosted a living legend. Thanks for all your poetry and music PS, it was and will be an inspiration.