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Monday, January 12, 2015

Nothing big for MLK weekend but I could have worse news

Some light snow here and an occasional snow squall there and very gradually we are regaining a bit of softness on the hill. The additional snow on Monday will help in this regard. We should receive 3-5 inches or so before it again turns very chilly. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will all be dry and should feature a decent amount of sunshine. Both Tuesday and Wednesday will feature sub-zero temperatures in the morning and teens in the afternoon. Thursday should be a little less cold with readings climbing into the 20's.

Unfortunately, I think we have to put the potential late-week and pre-holiday nor'easter to bed. The southern branch system is not displaying the kind of prevalence we need. In addition to that, lingering polar jet energy will prevent any such system from any type of New England impact. A weak clipper system Friday associated with this polar jet could provide another small accumulation followed by a chilly day Saturday.

The period beginning Sunday Jan 18 and ending Thursday Jan 22 is the time frame where the mountain could be under siege from milder temperatures. Without the support of any of the major teleconnection indices combined with strengthening jet in the Pacific means without a doubt some above freezing temperatures. The question is whether this particular setup results in a major and damaging thaw or whether the damage can be limited and a more productive alternative can be found. Some of the most recent information suggests the latter. The southern branch will rediscover itself and a storm will move into Texas and then advance toward the eastern seaboard by about the time of Jan 21. A very limited supply of cold air will be available but perhaps just enough to keep us in the game and provide us with a puncher's chance at something other than plain rain.

I did skip over some important details on MLK weekend. The chilly day Saturday could be followed by yet another round of light snow either late in the day or early Sunday. Sunday and Monday could feature temperatures in the 30's but overnights should remain below freezing. We then focus on the potential storm which still could turn into at least a brief thaw.

There are signs on recent the last few ensemble runs of more support from the PNA and AO after the 22nd. There is some major disagreement between the European and American ensemble about personality of the Pacific jet and how it might impact the pattern across North America but I am marginally confident that the month will finish on the colder side. The key is to get through the storm on the 21st and 22nd without a damaging thaw (and perhaps get some snow in the process) and we should be off to the races from there.

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