Winter will begin to finally loosen it's grip on New England and it will do so a bit sooner than expected. In the short term however, a series of weak clipper systems will continue to deposit light, fluffy snows on the mountain. Saturday will be a mainly dry day with temperatures in the 20's but light snow should begin Saturday evening and continue into Sunday. Though this system has limited moisture to work with, it will be unstable enough Sunday for some terrain induced snows and total accumulations of 5-10 inches. Valley locations will see only an inch or two of snow from all this so don't be fooled by valley specific forecasts, Sunday should be at least somewhat powdery on the mountain. Temperatures will also rebound well into the 20's Sunday after the latest round of sub-zero cold. A second clipper will follow quickly on the heels of the first on Monday. Light snow will recommence and accumulate a few inches before tapering off Monday evening.
The fluffy powder that is expected over the weekend and on Monday will be the last before the region gets its first taste of spring thawing. Almost all areas with the exception of the high summits will see temperatures above the freezing mark Tuesday afternoon, perhaps as high as 40. Wednesday should also be a day where temperatures push up towards 40 but a disturbance marking a weak push of cooler temperatures could bring flurries or snow showers back to the region Wednesday evening. Later in the week, a much more benign push of cold will keep temperatures closer to 30 for highs and teeens for overnight lows. Warm days of an even greater intensity are then possible during the period between the 13th and 17th of the month. One day of 50 degrees and a period of rainfall is also very possible during this time frame.
A tightened jet in the Pacific and the breakdown of the large western North American ridge is the culprit for the weather pattern shift. Recent data however is indicating that this shift will not be permanent. Across the U.S. a massive upper level ridge will dominate the country for a period of about a week but by the 17th or 18th of the month will begin to consolidate over western North America yet again. This will allow below normal temperatures to return to New England around or just before the time of the Spring Equinox. Climatologically speaking, late March is considerably different than January, February or even early March so a sustained round of bitterly cold temperatures should not be expected. More winter weather though and limited snow melt though is likely for the last 10 days of the month. More on this in the days ahead and specifically if this period could include more significant snowfall.