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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Looking into March and our last chance to make something out of what has been very little

Friday was the 7th straight day of bad news so I decided to wait one extra day for an update. Finally on the 8th day some better news. "Better" is of course the more relative term as opposed to the categorical  "good" or "great". "Better" in this case does mean some snow and an improved outlook for the later part of the upcoming week.

The northern most part of New England is perhaps the only place on the east coast to escape the thrust of milder weather which already encompasses most of the eastern seaboard. Mad River Glen interestingly, sits right on the boundary of winter and spring on Sunday. By the end of the day, temperatures will creep above the freezing mark but travel south 100 miles and readings will be way up in to the 50's. Travel north 50 miles and readings might stay in the 20's. There is some snow associated with the boundary and a garden variety storm system which is expected to travel too far to our north for any significant snows. Milder air does eventually push into the northern half of the state Monday and some brief period of rain is possible ahead of the approaching cold front early in the day.

The aforementioned boundary will continue to be the focal point for weather activity as the week progresses but it looks like, as of late Saturday, that this activity will be of the more frozen type. Cold weather pushes back into the region, just barely on Tuesday and a storm system will gather strength in the Ohio Valley and make a northeastward push. Once again, its close, one again, a slight northward shift and we get shafted yet again. As of now though the storm is projected to move from Pennsylvania to somewhere close to the New Hampshire seacoast. This track has the mountain mostly snow, perhaps one of the better ones of the year but I want to be careful here. This also is a garden variety system, we have mostly struck out on these as well this winter but we have a chance to score a decent 8-14 inch hit on this one but it's not etched in stone.

Cold air settles into the region late in the week allowing for a few days with potentially powdery surfaces. There is a formidable southern branch storm which threatens the Carolinas and portions of the Mid Atlantic Friday but looks to be another miss for New England. The weekend to follow simply looks dry and chilly to start and dry and seasonable to finish which in early March typically means that temperatures can sneak above the freezing mark during the afternoons.

There is dissension in the ranks of medium range models with how the weather plays out after March 8th. The European and it's ensembles is suggesting an all out capitulation and lots of spring-like warmth. We would lose all the support from the important teleconnection indices such as the AO and PNA and after a winter such as this, the season would be in dire straights. Both the Canadian and American ensembles agree on a gradual trend toward milder weather but keep some of the fundamentals supporting a cold pattern in place, including the AO and PNA. The European has struggled this winter and the MJO forecast of phases is relatively clear in its support for a weaker Pacific jet through about March 15th so I am inclined to think we can keep winter alive after the European is hypothetically killing it. Hard to be optimistic given our recent turn of events but I think that is a reasonable view based on data available right now.


80sMetalForever said...

when would be the day to ride if the 8-14 did hit, weds? keep up the good work bro

billski said...

None of this gloominess should keep us from skiing~

billski said...

OK wise one. NWS is calling for a high of 35 in Montpelier on Wednesday. Since this is a valley forecast and the temp diff between summit and base is typically 5 degrees, who's to say we won't see all snowon the mountain. Barring some bizarre temperature inversion. Inquiring minds want to know.