Cold air is now re-entrenched across the region atop widespread deep snowcover stretching from the snowbelts of New York northward to Quebec, eastward to Maine and southward toward the New England coastline. The weakest of disturbances will speed its way through Quebec Friday and spread flurries or very light snow into the region Friday night. The disturbance won't bring too much in the way of accumulating snowfall for Saturday but does mark the advance of more arctic cold. This cold high pressure center will set up shop over Quebec by late in the weekend funneling a fresh supply of sub 15-degree air over the region. As this is happening, milder air will make a northward push into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic states setting up a very healthy looking baroclinic zone across New York and New England Sunday and Monday.
We had discussed this in the last update but it is worth nothing again. Models had, for several update cycles, allowed the arctic cold to overwhelm the pattern, suppress the storm track to the south thus suggesting a mostly dry and very chilly weekend for MRG and company. Remembering the enduring quote from New England native Stephen King allowed the SCWB to employ some needed skepticism.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.”A couple of days later, and the arctic cold appears far less overwhelming, our Sunday/Monday event appears far less suppressed and the forecast is suddenly looking more and more snowy. Surprised ? Not me and probably not many SCWB readers either.
Overunning events resulting from those aforementioned baroclinic regions can be very productive even if they lack a certain "je ne sais quoi" on a weather map. Snow will advance eastward well out ahead of the main area of low pressure and potentially reach the mountain by very late in the day Saturday. Though perhaps lacking in intensity, the snow could be steady for a while and accumulate several inches between Saturday night and Sunday. Models indicate a possible break in the precipitation late in the day Sunday but as the main area of low pressure finally reaches the coast Monday, snow could re-intensify and accumulate several more inches before calling it quits Tuesday. This is potentially a long duration of snowfall and certainly won't be the most intense snowfall rates of the season. In addition, there remains some uncertainty regarding the track and eventual evolution of this conglomeration of weather. The trend however is certainly encouraging and I am personally optimistic of at least 6 more inches and possibly more than a foot over the period beginning late Saturday and ending Tuesday. By the next update on Saturday, I think we can say with greater certainty how we might do. Until then, I will tweet out some quick updates as the information comes in.
Dry weather and a brief period of more comfortable temperatures prevails for the middle of the week. Readings might actually climb above 20 for a few days, something we have yet to achieve the first 5 days of the month. A serious looking, polar induced jet amplification takes New England by storm later in the week. We know if will bring another brutal round of cold for late Thursday but can the associated clipper system grab a hold of anything in the southern branch of the jet and spin something interesting up ? Given some long odds (5-1 or 4-1), I certainly wouldn't bet against it.
The cold weather late next week should continue through the weekend, likely reinforced once before the president's day. After that, there are all kinds of signs of storminess in that long holiday week. Now for the disclaimer. This is two weeks out and I understand lots of folks eye this period for skiing given the nature of school holidays and such. It looks very encouraging this week but the long range ensembles, which show a continuation of many of the same features that have driven the recent success such as a large western upper ridge and a negative, anti evil empire EPO have been less than accurate. Many of the models have struggled to hit the mark 4-5 days out so two weeks is a lot to ask.