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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Potential Christmas storm looking more like a "meltdown"

I almost felt that we had some authentic "mojo" this year, the chaos of New England weather can put the kibosh on those good vibes very quickly. I sincerely wish I had better news for the Christmas holiday but I don't today. We knew it was going to be a stormy week, a week with some potential but it looks today like mother nature could take us to the woodshed.

In the short term the mountain will be fine. Snow on Wednesday night into Thursday will amount to 3-6 inches and we will temporarily rid ourselves of the dreary dampness. Bluer skies should arrive Friday will be accompanied by seasonable temperatures and this will be followed by a fantastic visibility day Saturday, again with seasonable temperatures.  By the end of the weekend, we could see some clouds move into the region but even Sunday should be precipitation-free.

All the action comes during the upcoming Christmas week. There are still two weather systems worthy of mention but the 2nd will hog most of the headlines. The first will do a slow lollygag along the Gulf Coast this weekend and try and gather some energy as it reaches the Atlantic Sunday. I had much higher hopes of this system honestly, as did many others in the meteorology community. For now however, it appears this storm will struggle to attain any significant strength and although it will proceed up the east coast Monday it will only bring limited moisture into New England early in the week. I am not giving up entirely on this system but current indications are for a limited accumulation if anything at all.

After that is when our headache might begin. The 2nd in the series of southern branch features will follow closely on the heels of the first, but the 2nd will make it's eastward progression just as a major piece of Pacific energy is cascading southeast out of the Northern Rockies. This is an extremely unfortunate turn of events if it were to play out this way. The two systems will phase in the middle of the country, way, way too far west for our liking. A storm will thus explode in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region and the storm could be strong enough to suck extremely warm air from the Atlantic Ocean through all New England and even deep into Quebec. There could be wind, high dewpoints and a lot of rain, all of which contribute to the dreaded meltdown which we really wouldn't want. I am seriously calling for a lifeline on this, especially since the list of ingredients could have produced some exceptionally positive results if we could simply mixed all this stuff together a little differently.

Is there a way out ? Please ! It was such a resounding statement from two of the major computer models today that I am cowering in fear right now. I hate rain on Christmas anyway and I double hate it when it's melting snow. Yes though, I will keep the slight possibility of a way out. My hope right now is that the southern branch feature can haul ass early next week, get well out in front of the trailing Pacific energy and thus allow for a later amplification. The storm in that case might be able to jump to the coast before exploding and flooding us with warm air. If your planning to ski on Christmas day or just beyond, my advice would be to join me in prayer in that regard.

The trend toward a colder pattern, anchored mostly by the emergence of blocking across Alaska and the Yukon and a much looser Pacific jet remains on track around Dec 27-28. The new "colder" pattern could also be accompanied by more storminess as there remains indications of split flow in the jet. We should be able to keep this going through the early part of January as well so at least we have that.

1 comment:

Charlie Hohn said...

If it plays out the way some of the models are showing I think there would actually be destructive flooding. The base of the snow seems to be all ice so it will shed any rain and add lots of melt also. Not good at all. At least the river ice isn't thick yet but I still think it could be bad bad news.

Of course the models have been all over lately. It's definitely not a sure thing. Heck, it could still end up as a snow dump. Or another slop dump like the last storm.