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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lots of extreme cold with upgraded snow potential next week

We will take all the snow we can get but Southern New England needs a break and it looks like they will miss most of this next clipper (Clipper #1 from the last update). This storm will blowup off the coast but likely far enough south and east so that the heaviest snow is averted. For us, snowfall will be light as the moisture-starved system approaches but will be persistent through most of Thursday and Thursday night. The light and fluffy consistency of the snowfall will allow accumulations to exceed 3 inches and still could reach 6 or more with a little help from the combined effects of Lake Champlain and oragraphy.

A reader responded in the last update, seemingly a bit hot and bothered that I didn't point out specifics regarding the upcoming brutally cold outbreak that is expected across snow covered New England during the upcoming holiday weekend. The intensity of the cold is remarkable and will ensure that February 2015 will be one of the snowiest AND coldest in recent memory across Vermont. The first blast of cold Friday will keep temperatures sub-zero through the day on the mountain  with 20-below wind chills. This followed by a Friday night where readings fall to near -20. Clipper #2 (from the last update) brings the second and even stronger blast of cold and will likely bring the coldest readings of the season to Vermont and surrounding New England. This blast of cold could cause an outbreak of the coldest readings in "recorded" history with readings struggling to get to -10 on the mountain Sunday and perhaps as low as -25 Monday morning. To be fair, the combined effect of the very strong northwest winds and cold on Sunday into Monday will make the the 2-day period one of the coldest I can remember at MRG.

Clipper 2 is a vigorous system, loaded with potential and will help to re-amplify an already impressive jet stream. Because the pattern is so"loaded" if you will, much of the energy with Clipper #2 will be south of the region and I am expecting New Jersey, NYC, and much of the Southern New England coastline to be ground-zero for snowfall on Sunday. We could see some limited snowfall Sunday but the story will be the cold weather overall (thus the reader was right to point that out).

I would not let the very cold weather and missed snowstorm Sunday get you down however. As I hinted, the pattern will relax just enough early next week and open the door for a promising looking weather system. This system may not be a true "southern streamer" since the jet isn't split across the very dry Western United States. It will have healthy amounts of Pacific energy and moisture and gather some additional gulf moisture as it hits the southern plains Monday. Today's modeling took the storm farther north today which is a good thing (though I don't want too much more in the way of a northward trend) and the snowfall potential has moved up accordingly. We are still 6 days away from this storm and expectations will change but we could easily get side swiped with another 5-10 inches or do as well as a foot-plus.

More cold weather follows the Tuesday/Wednesday system next week and this cold will make it's initial entrance farther west and will not be as intense across New England in the later part of this holiday week. Nonetheless, it will remain well below normal. In addition, ensembles today indicated with greater certainly that the PDO-induced pattern that has dominated eastern North America and New England in particular will remain. Snowfall potential and outbreaks of cold weather are likely to continue through the weekend of the Feb 21-22 and through the remainder of the month.

I want to thank the individual (Greg) for returning my pass the other day after it apparently fell from my jacket. The whole episode illustrates just what a unique place Mad River Glen is. The liftee noticed my pass was missing and rather than boot me from the line, he simply asked me to get a replacement after doing a run on Paradise. When I returned to the ticket counter, I found that Greg had actually turned the pass in and I continued to enjoy the very powdery conditions with hardly an interruption. This kind of thing just doesn't happen at any mountain but it's the  kind of trust and honesty that prevails at Mad River. Wish it did across the rest of the world. Cheers and thanks Greg !


Mike said...

No reason for readers to be responding hot and bothered, the SCWB this year has been great, probably more accurate and more helpful than the NWS forecasts for that matter.

Daniel Bombardier said...

Live and die by this blog! All my friends think I'm the weather nerd, but I'm really just a walking, talking Josh Fox parody. I always wander to myself whether Opensnow has ever made you an offer….

Gauss said...

As I think I've said before, the SCWB is the second best thing about winter.