Winter !!! Unfashionably late again but it has made an appearance as the entire state of Vermont has finally been whitened by a garden variety winter storm. A bit of fluff this coming New Years weekend should enhance some of the new found positive vibes. This update contains mostly good news but a little bad also the pattern is gradually moving toward a very optimal one with "gradual" being the key word.
The snow/sleet/ice foundation on the mountain will get a little wet at low elevations as temperatures sneak above the freezing mark on Wednesday and Thursday. The midweek weather system that had threatened to spread more wet weather into the region Wednesday night and Thursday will not completely come together. What we should see from that discombobulated storm is some elevation sensitive snow that might accumulate a few inches near the summits by early Thursday. Temperatures will drop to sub freezing levels New Years Day and Saturday with more flurries and snow showers. Best chance for some additional accumulating snow comes Saturday night into Sunday as an impulse drops straight out of Quebec. Snow squalls are likely in this time frame leading to a few inches of accumulation especially on the upper parts of the mountain. The impulse will also bring a brief shot of arctic chill to the region sending temperatures down to the single numbers Sunday night and Monday morning.
The little bit of bad news relates to the weather next week. Although from a big picture standpoint, we are evolving toward a colder and snowier pattern, we aren't there yet and don't as of yet, have the support of all the key teleconnection indices. Following our little burst of chill Sunday night into Monday, we will see more mild weather during the middle of the week. Perhaps not a major thaw but a few days where temperatures sneak back above the freezing mark. The mild weather will be brief but hopefully it doesn't culminate with any rainfall later next week. Unfortunately it's a possibility though models have yet to come to any real agreement on it.
Much better agreement exists regarding what follows beginning around the 8th or 9th of January. A pattern driven by several key teleconnection indices that will produce much colder and snowier weather for a large portion of eastern North America. The Arctic Oscillation will finally make the critical negative turn and will thus allow significant amounts of arctic air to move southward. The southern branch of the jet stream should also continue to undercut the large ridge in western North America, keeping the threat for big storms alive; in fact, there have been hints 1 or 2 during the last few cycles of model runs.