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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Light snow very late this weekend but the mountain will have to fend off a major push of mild air next week

Temperatures through the rest of February, will finish just as they have for the rest of the month, very cold. Both Friday and Saturday mornings will be below zero and the strong late February sun will fail to push readings above 20. Dry weather also prevails both of these two days and the combination of sunshine and relatively calm winds will make for some comfortable days on the mountain. Clouds advance back into the region for Sunday and snow begins later in the day. I don't think too much snow falls during the ski day but 3-6 inches is certainly possible during the overnight hours setting the stage for a powdery Monday. The late Sunday system is a clipper which will grab some left over moisture from one of a few big Rocky Mountain systems. This is been an absolutely awful, awful year for skiing out west. It's been warm and dry since January, but the snow this weekend into early next week could be very heavy, amounting to several feet in a few places and should make for one of the better weeks of the season beginning this Friday.

Cold air, of a lesser intensity returns later in the day Monday March 2nd along with sunshine. This is a very different pattern and we are going to get challenged, big time, by a gigantic push of warm air during the middle of the week. Models have been all over the place with the midweek weather system. A few runs yesterday pushed the entire storm well to our south but successive cycles of models (overnight Wednesday and the subsequent cycle Thursday) track a low pressure center well into Quebec later Wednesday allowing mild air to breech the chill which has dominated New England for over a month. Let me go on record by saying that I am skeptical of the recent trend in the models, at least for interior New England. There remains a lot of cold air across the eastern provinces of Canada next week and it will not give way without a fight (not this year anyway). That being said, a storm tracking up toward the St Lawrence valley is looking more likely and this means snow giving way to sleet and freezing rain. The Thursday afternoon run of the Euro suggested 45-degree temperatures and a period of rain and I am not inclined to believe that as of now. A period of icing though is certainly possible and a small period of above freezing temperatures is also possible. Given the model variability, don't be surprised to see additional changes. Though the data didn't trend our way today, it could in future days and a relatively big "all-snow" event is not yet out of the possibility range.

Another temporary round of cold weather is expected to follow for late in the week but the overall pattern is expected to remain. Many will attribute the change to the MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation) which favors a tightening of the Pacific Jet and the dreaded "evil empire". Thus  the European and American ensembles are hinting at another round of warmth around the time of March 9th-13th. Hopefully there is some snow in the period just prior to this around the time of March 6th-8th.

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