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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Snow next week, question is how much ?

It's an ugly scene right now across much of Vermont. Not a lot of snow on the ground, above freezing temperatures with rain falling is a nightmare gone bad as far as I am concerned. Winter returns to Vermont by late Thursday but new snow won't arrive until very late on Saturday, probably after the ski day is done. This is not much of a weather system Saturday but the limited amounts of moisture will be enough to produce a few inches by Sunday morning. Any new snow is great but our focus by Sunday will shift to a potentially bigger system.

We have considerably more clarity today regarding what should be an interesting week of weather. Another notable southern streamer will begin making a turn up the Atlantic Coast on Sunday while a vigorous clipper system advances southeast out of the western provinces of Canada. These two storms are about a day out of phase unfortunately and are not expected to combine forces at any time. The clipper system is capable of enough of providing its own fireworks. It should make use of the relative warmth in the Atlantic Ocean and deepen, becoming a fully mature nor'easter by Tuesday. Snow should impact a large portion of the northeast by Tuesday and continue to impact all of New England in some fashion on Wednesday. A healthy pool of instability should allow terrain enhanced snow to continue through much of Wednesday. Accumulations from this system are yet to be determined. The strength and ultimate track of this storm remain a question but given the position of the jet ridge in western North America, Vermont is in a good position to be a snowy beneficiary of whatever evolves out of the Tuesday/Wednesday storm.

Though this appears to be a colder period across much of eastern North America, temperatures will remain close to seasonable levels in Vermont (classic El Nino) in the 7 days beginning this Saturday and persisting through the President's Day holiday. In the wake of the midweek storm, another potentially potent clipper system could add to the new snowfall on Friday and bring with it a blast of below normal temperatures for the early part of the holiday weekend. This cold is then expected to recede by President's Day itself and temperatures again may turn above normal after February 15th.

The jet stream is again expected to tighten in the Pacific pushing the EPO back into positive, adverse territory. This is not an encouraging development for the back half of February but yet again we will keep the AO as an ally and this might help to thwart the adverse impacts of a more energetic jet in the Pacific.

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