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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cold ? Yes. Snow ? Yes. Deep snow ? Maybe

The "Mad River Glen" homepage suggests I am calling for 3-7 inches of snow Wednesday. Such a forecast should earn me a citation for "wishcasting", a term coined by the nerdiest faction of the Meteorology community and reserved for those that forecast what they want to happen as opposed to what is likely to happen. I did actually predict 3-7 inches of snow in the last update Sunday evening, but it was over a two day period beginning Wednesday ending Thursday. The snow comes from two separate clipper systems and most of that should fall late Thursday from the latter. Wednesday's clipper appears almost completely devoid of moisture but the mountain could get an inch, maybe two at the summit from what could be a brief burst of snow during the morning. Thursday's clipper isn't particularly rich on moisture either, but this is a much more dynamic system. Some early sunshine and sub-zero temps will give way to clouds and eventually some snow showers. There is a fairly decent layer of instability associated with this clipper so some snow squalls are likely. The high country should do the best with upwards of 5 inches north of Stowe and 2-4 inches at MRG. I am very impressed with the cold weather, not only over the next few days but over the next 7-10 days. It's one thing to have temperatures in the single numbers during the day during January but quite another to see 36-48 hours of sub-10 degree readings in late February or early March (where high temperatures even on the mountain actually get close to freezing). It looks like we could see multiple such stretches and very few opportunities through March 10 for any melt.

Beyond Thursday there is about a 3-day battle between the bitterly cold arctic air brought on by the most recent PV attack and a temporary upper ridge that will establish itself near the southeast U.S. coastline. There will be strong temperature boundary or front that will stretch from the southern plains to the Atlantic Coast, waffling up and down the coast in fact around passing low pressure centers of varying intensities. The waves of low pressure, and there will be at least two, should bring the chance for several periods of snow. The big question involves what area sees the best snow and how much falls. Light snow from this setup should begin Saturday and continue into at least part of the day Sunday before arctic cold reestablishes a firmer grip on interior New England. What should be the last wave in this series is the potential storm we have been discussing for almost a week. This storm has the most potential as far as snowfall totals go but the track remains uncertain. It looked up until this morning that we were establishing some consensus for a decent hit Monday 3/3 into early Tuesday 3/4 but the midday cycle of models Tuesday took everything farther south and showed something less than a decent hit. There is a lot on the proverbial playing field, but in the end we should see at least a few inches of snow this weekend into early next week and hopefully quite a bit more.

The end of next week appears drier but lingering energy in the southern branch will try and brew up a coastal storm. This is long shot but at least its another shot. Cold weather remains in a big way with high temperatures in the teens or twenties and maybe even lower for a day incredibly. Around the time of March 9th or 10th, we could see some more snow from at least a semi-organized system.

1 comment:

Mark Gantner said...

Josh, why does it seem to ALWAYS rain the moment the temperature rises above freezing, but rarely snows when it drops below freezing? Just wondering :)