Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A nice 6-12 Wednesday, but is the "big one" poised to unleash it's fury on the 9th/10th ?

Our midweek storm is on track and on target. The system will strengthen along the Gulf Coast Tuesday, move into Tennessee Tuesday night and then quickly transfer much of its surface energy to Jersey coast Wednesday. The system will show some initial potential and certainly has the moisture to move from a  "good" to "great" event when the effects of this storm finally reach VT and vicinity. Ultimately however, this will turn out to be a flatter, very garden variety storm for Vermont although a much needed and much appreciated snowfall. The snow will arrive in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday with a period of heavy snow in the early part of the ski day. Once the storm effectively transfers to the coast however, a relatively strong jet stream will guide much of the moisture and energy out over the ocean. Snow intensity will thus lessen later in the day and taper to flurries during the evening. The best upward motion associated with this system will actually be situated in the southern half to two thirds of Vermont and New Hampshire with sleet and ice across Mass and interior Connecticut. Mad River Glen is thus on the northern edge of what I think will be the best snow. Accumulations will likely be in the 6-12 inch range and the overrunning, frontogenetic, nature of the snow will keep the density a little higher. Most importantly, absolutely positively no rain or ice to deal with.

Thursday should be generally dry, chilly but only slightly blustery. Temperatures will struggle to get out of the teens but February-style sunshine should be a comfortable addition to the ski day.  Expect more clouds over the high country Friday with similar temperatures and some instability flurries and snow showers.

My attention today has turned toward a potential storm this upcoming Sunday and Monday the 9th and 10th of the month. There is a more potent amplification in the jet stream that is expected around this time, and the jet does not appear to be overwhelming enough to crush a potential storm would one develop. And as it turns out, one such storm should develop, forming again along the Gulf Coast and advancing northeast toward the Virginia Tidewater. I gave a shout out to the American GFS model over the weekend (via twitter) since cycles of this model run showed this system exploding through its maturation process and dumping upwards of two feet of snow across interior New England late Sunday into Monday. The heavy snow potential hinges on the storm tracking close to Cape Cod. The other two major medium range simulations (the Euro and Canadian) have hinted at glory, but as a whole, track this potential big system at least 100 miles east of Cape Cod and would thus mean lower snowfall totals. This clearly has the potential of being one of those season-defining best snows of the year, but to fulfill some of those American GFS fantasies, the storm will actually need to deepen much more efficiently than what is indicated by the Canadian and Euro model packages. Each scenario is different, some storms we would prefer to stay flat with minimal deepening. In this instance however, a mature system will effectively hug the Atlantic Coastline and throw mammoth amounts of moisture across interior New England. All we can do at this point is just hope.

Looking farther into the future, there is a blast of cold that should impact the region in the wake of any snow early next week. The cold shouldn't exceed anything we haven't seen already this year and should moderate by the middle of the week. Another weather system is then expected to approach the region later in the week with more potential snow just prior to the weekend of the 15th and 16th. President's week lies beyond the 16th and their are signs of a tightening of the jet in the Pacific. The result should mean a moderation in temperatures although at this time there are no glaring signs of a major New England thaw. The AO appears to be slightly negative with a neutral NAO and a strongly negative PNA and thus our "favorability" index is negative.

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