I know many are waiting for the needed"refluffing" but the mountain has remained open and although the expert terrain has some technically challenging conditions, if you conquer that stuff you can about conquer to the world. I was hoping our weekend event would result in some old fashion dense "atlantic powder". We certainly have the cold air but unfortunately it does not seem in the cards. The storm will ultimately track up through the St. Lawrence Valley and thus bring it's push of mid-layer tropospheric warmth into most of Vermont by early Sunday. Still, we still should get a nice burst of moderate to heavy snow Saturday night as a healthy plume of moisture moves into New England. If all goes according to plan, the mountain could receive 3-6 inches before precipitation changes to sleet and freezing rain in the very early morning hours Sunday. Temperatures will then creep closer to the freezing mark and perhaps even exceed the freezing mark for a few hours Sunday. The ski day Sunday will therefore not be a powderfest but should have some new frozen precipitation to ski in. Overall Sunday will be a little damp and slushy before much colder weather moves in Sunday Night.
We can still look forward to a very wintry week following the mild Sunday. Monday will feature temperatures in the teen along with some snow flurries. Tuesday should then start in cold and tranquil fashion with sub-zero temps but clouds will advance into the region from a somewhat disorganized clipper system and some snow should overspread the region by the evening. If this particular system, a pure polar jet product, can get it's act together a little and have a constructive interaction with the Atlantic Coast it might provide the mountain with some significant snows. Right now though it looks like a light accumulation Tuesday night. Terrain induced snow showers and snow squalls should impact the region Wednesday. An unfrozen Lake Champlain will make a contribution as well and should allow for a burst of snow before temperatures turn extremely cold Wednesday night. By Thursday, readings will be in the -10 to -20 range along with some blustery northwest winds. The extreme cold continues through Friday morning before temperatures moderate slightly. By late Friday the next weak weather system could spread some light snow or flurries into the region.
There are some strong indications in the longer range that the pattern will "soften" following the outbreak of extreme cold late this week. This means that the polar jet will again recede and the threat for extreme cold in the period between the 10th and 20th of January is minimal. Does this mean another thaw however ? There have been a few hints of here and there but no resounding indications as of yet. With the help of the southern branch of the jet and even small amounts of arctic or even just Canadian air, a soft January pattern can be productive. We are not expecting a huge tightening of the jet stream in the Pacific and although the NAO is unlikely to provide much cooperation during the middle of the month, there are also signals of some ridging along the west coast. This would help keep the overall pattern "honest" for January as opposed to an all out thaw. The key in my view is the southern branch. We need some help from this segment of the jet stream which has quieted a little in the last week to 10 days and should remain quiet through our upcoming cold week.