Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Another potential VT storm bites the dust as very cold, and mostly dry weather expected to prevail through March 5th

Absoutely, positively, no love from the models late yesterday or today. This after a Thursday where we underperformed on snow squalls, struggling to receive an inch at MRG while low lying valley locations such as Albany seemed to fair better. Needless to say, this put a double sour taste in my mouth this morning and thus the update today is somewhat of a microcosm of the season. Amazing how many things in life work that way. Remember how the Red Sox epic choke of 2011 culminated. They proceeded to blow a late inning lead while Tampa Bay rallied to win and reshape the playoff picture on the last day of the season. It was as if the whole thing was scripted (you almost knew what would happen before it happened !). The weather picture for the upcoming weekend reminds me of that. No, it hasn't been a terrible season, as a whole it still could end up being better than the last two. But states such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and most of southern New England are at 200-400 percent of normal snowfall. Much of Vermont is still below normal and in spite of brutal and persistent cold over the last month, the Mt Mansfield snow stake remains below average. It seems totally devoid of fortune, a wordy phrase for "unlucky".

We are fairly accustomed to the cold weather so the mid 20's Saturday afternoon and little wind will almost feel tropical. The day as a whole is still way below average and comes on the heels of an incredibly anomalous Friday where temperatures were nearly 20 below average on the mountain. Clouds will be on the increase later Saturday and some snow Saturday night could total 2-4 inches by Sunday morning.  There is so much precipitation across the country this weekend and early next week, but the 2-4 inches is the grand total for the mountain through the middle of next week. This is a pathetic outcome to be perfectly blunt; but like I said, very consistent with the behavior of the whole winter. When we've been locked into cold thanks to these very powerful PV events, storms become overwhelmed by the polar jet and often suppressed southward. As it stands late Friday, even southern New England is in danger of missing the best of the Sunday/Monday storm which promises to bring more heavy snow to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and northern Virginia. Meanwhile, arctic cold will reestablish its grip on the mountain Sunday and keep daytime temperatures in the teens once again. Interior New England will actually be ground zero for the next major outbreak of cold which will be caused by a powerful arctic surface high pressure center which will gradually build over the state early this upcoming week. Temperatures Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings will be in the -10 to -20 degree range and since this is early March, these readings will be perilously close to the lowest in "recorded" history. I have always hated the term "record low" or "record high" since "recorded" history and real history only differs by only about 4.54 billion years. In other words, I am sure these things have happened before !

The strong arctic high will actually remain in control of the weather through the end of the week but will lose its ferocity by Thursday afternoon. There have been hints of some overrunning snow late in the week, a plausible outcome in any warm advection scenario. As mentioned, there is a stronger southern branch storm that should evolve into a full fledged coastal storm for the southeast U.S. coastline. Unfortunately, this storm is entirely disconnected from the jet during this time frame and will receive no additional support from the receding polar jet. The storm is thus expected to drift out to sea causing little snow for anyone.

The weekend of the 8th and 9th looks as if it could finish interestingly with another and briefer pattern amplification expected. Temperatures during the weekend could, for at least part of the time, climb above freezing but not by much. As this is happening a storm may or may not gather strength in the nations mid-section and move toward the east coast. Yes, there have been some hints at something big along the U.S. northeast coast line Sunday March 9th into Monday March 10th but I am not feeling optimistic today. General pessimism and low expectations could prove to be our best weapon against future disappointment. Quite honestly that is a lousy attitude but I am going for a the "kiss of death" in reverse.


Becky Castle said...

Josh--I want to compliment you on your great blog. I don't even have a chance to ski at MRG very much, but am a regular of your blog! Everyone totally appreciates your work. Thanks, Becky

Jesse Stowell said...

As a Madriver skier that lives in the Valley, I've become a big fan of your blog this year. I really appreciate the long term outlooks - especially nice on a year like this one!
Have you ever considered "Bloggin' for Sap Runs"? Similar to skiing, a specialized forecast of when the sap will run would be super helpful to maple syrup producers - especially for small scale / backyard sugarin'.