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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Looking hard for the snow in what will be a very chilly week

Winter is back at MRG with snowflakes flying and temperatures dropping. And with arctic cold in firm control of the weather in VT for at least the next 10 days or so, the question revolves around potential snow as in "when" and "how much". We got some from our Sunday/MLK day clipper but the mountain needs  significantly more to get us toward 100 percent open.

Light snow on MLK should persist through much of the day amounting to another inch or two but temperatures will plummet through the teens as the next round of arctic cold descends on New England. Tuesday and Wednesday will be mostly dry with temperatures near -10 in the mornings and only near zero during the afternoons. Another clipper system will divide one shot of polar air from the next. This system has the capability of blowing up on the New England coast and delivering some snow to the region but it will probably be the wrong part of the region. As mentioned in the last update, the polar jet operates at a higher speed and can take systems out into the Atlantic very quickly. That being said, this is still a few days away and if this system can dig a little bit more, it could take a turn northward and bring us a bit of the good stuff. It will remain very cold through Friday with temperatures remaining well below zero at night and struggling to climb above zero during the day.

It should get more interesting this upcoming weekend and chances for snow should continue throughout the last full week of January. The weekend snow will be the result of another clipper and although this limits some upside potential with the storm, we will take the snow anyway we can get it and I expect another few inches here. The polar jet will take a final swing at the region early next week, potentially bringing the coldest weather of the season. This will be the the last hurrah so to speak of this positive PNA cycle and the western North America ridge will lose some of its intensity. As this is happening however, there is evidence of some serious splitting in the flow in the Pacific. This will open the door for some significant weather systems to impact much of the country during this last full week of the month and into early February. I think the first big chance for snow comes some time between the 29th and 31st of the month.

The cold weather should also subside somewhat by early February and although there are some indications that we swing back to a milder regime again, I think the pattern should stay much more interesting. Ensembles, at least two of them anyway, are showing that the once western North American ridge will migrate west and north and will keep the AO on the negative side and this should help prevent any thaws and hopefully keep us on the snowy side of passing low pressure centers.

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