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Monday, February 22, 2016

A week full of promise completely disintegrates while another week of promise emerges

Has the news gotten any better. No, it certainly has not; in fact, it appears as if there will be some insult to the already injured. The excitement started about a week ago with a storm which threatened to bring snow to even parts of the Mid-Atlantic. Now, we expect the big weather system to track up through Ohio and across the eastern Great Lakes. This is nothing short of a debauchery, fitting in well with much of the rest of the winter season so far in Vermont. There are some positives in the outlook, but its admittedly difficult to not drink the cynics kool-aid at this point. We will outline as many details as we can nonetheless and keep at it until we can't keep at it anymore.

After a chilly Tuesday, a wave of low pressure well ahead of the passage of the much stronger low pressure center will spread precipitation into the region Tuesday night. Some of this will actually be snow and a few inches of that mixed in with some sleet is the expectation by Wednesday morning. Temperatures will hover within a few degrees of freezing during most of the day Wednesday. Freezing drizzle and light freezing rain is likely for a time but as the low pressure center intensifies and travels up past the Ohio Valley, temperatures will nudge above the freezing mark in many areas and precipitation will become mostly rain and intensify. The heaviest of the rain falls Wednesday night into early Thursday along with temperatures in the low 40's.

Terrain enhanced snow showers and bursts of some heavy snow are still possible particularly early Friday but I am disappointed even with how this is evolving. I was hopefully that the storm, even with its lousy track, would be kind enough to stall in the Canadian maritimes. It will move at a slow pace but continue to travel northeast and thus limiting the opportunity for terrain induced snows. Still, 3-6 inches across the high country is still possible even as valley locations stay strike out.

A clipper system advances southeastward fast on Saturday bringing with it some arctic chill. The track of this storm has also shifted northward according to the most recent model indications and the limited moisture associated with this storm may very well stay north of the Canadian border. Still, we should see some additional snows even if it only amounts to a few fluffy inches.

The good news involves the outlook for next week. In spite of drowning in a sea of bad news, the pattern remains generally conducive for new snow. There is a weak upper ridge which is positioned in western North America and this is expected to strengthen and evolve into a large scale block at high latitudes allowing the Arctic Oscillation to advance well into negative territory. The MJO meanwhile is expected to support a weakened Pacific jet stream. These types of developments normally conspire to produce wonderful results but I don't think any powder lovers are feeling too optimistic. Models are indicating decent chances for snow on 2 occasions next week; one at the beginning of the week from a Pacific system and another potentially big storm at the end of the week that could yet again track anywhere.                          

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