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Friday, January 15, 2016

No epic storm for the holiday weekend but 2 out the 3 days will feature accumulating snow

Our Saturday system is about one-step out of phase and most of the "juice" with the storm will remain along the coast or too far off shore for any big snow to occur across Vermont. Still, the conglomeration of low pressure centers, one too far off shore and the other which will travel into Quebec Saturday, will manage to bring another light snowfall to the mountain.  A refreshing 3-5 inches of snow will fall during the day, but temperatures will be within a few degrees of the freezing mark resulting in a wetter consistency to the snow at the base while snowfall should be powdery closer to the summits. There are some hints that precipitation Saturday could begin as a little mixed bag but I am confident that of a snow event after the first half hour or so.

Temperatures Sunday will return to the lower and middle 20's. The high country should continue to see flurries and an occasional snow shower but Sunday is the day where Vermont is in between pieces of jet energy and thus accumulating snow will be minimal if any. On Sunday night, a very potent piece of polar jet energy will approach, bringing with it a blast of modest chill, but more importantly a healthy layer of boundary level instability. I really like the way this setup looks Sunday night into Monday and most of the higher terrain in Vermont stands to do quite well in spite of limited moisture on MLK day. We should see a few inches of snow by first tracks time Monday morning a few more during the morning before the snow tapers to flurries/snow showers and temperatures drop to 10 during the evening. The holiday Monday is setting up to be the best ski day of the year for the northeast and particularly at MRG with 5-10 powdery inches. Just dress for the chill.

Flurries and occasional snow showers will continue all the way into Tuesday and some additional fluff is possible though this will be on the lighter side.  Temperatures will only reach the low teens Tuesday and will only gradually moderate for the rest of the week making it the coldest of the season so far. The Wednesday to Friday stretch is expected to be mainly dry.

Our next shot at a significant storm comes during the next weekend. The pattern seems to be locked into one that produces storms on about a weekly basis and I expect to be talking about one next weekend as well. Models have been on again and off again regarding any potential system and ensembles means are hinting more at a coastal impact. That being said, it is way too early to marry oneself to any solution. We have another chance next weekend (the 23rd and 24th) and need a few days to determine how good that chance is.

The MJO phase index describes the cyclic activity of low latitude Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean convective activity. It has a lot of say over the looseness and tightness of the middle latitude Pacific Ocean jet stream. It moved from warm North American phases in December to cold North American phases in January and is currently in a relatively cold phase right now by supporting a looser Pacific Jet. Over the next two weeks, the MJO is expected to either be neutral or just slighty supportive of a colder North American phase. Meanwhile, teleconnection indices will move from supportive to only marginally supportive. This will allow the El Nino, which is off its high's for the season to become a bit more pronounced and allow for the possibility of a period of milder weather around the end of the month. Still no big thaw is expected and there still is a chance for another storm around the 27th to 29th of the month I think.


Mike Donofrio said...

Your blog is fantastic, I read it regularly. I'm mainly a Bolton skier (family passes there). In general, how applicable are your observations to conditions over at Bolton? In any event, I'm definitely rooting for your snow totals over those I'm seeing on weather sites. Thanks a lot for the blog.

Charlie Hohn said...

I only xc ski and snowboard so I never go to mad river glen and I still find this blog super relevant and good.

Jared Miller said...

Smuggs was pretty decent this morning. Plus, this snow will make a great base! That's the story I am going with anyway.