Even without the presence of legitimate arctic air, the Green Mountains are outperforming and securing a very positive start to the season. The nearly 40 inches of snow that has already fallen at Mad River is almost half of the seasonal total for last year. Incredible. We've managed to procure a good chunk of the snow with only minimal help from the prevailing weather pattern. That however is about to change.
We've done incredibly well on snow the last few days with marginal temperatures, making this forecaster look rather foolish. Additional snow is expected Tuesday night into early Wednesday. This is a storm that will do most of it's damage, from a precipitation standpoint, over the Mid-Atlantic States. A decaying area of moisture is expected to reach interior New England and impact all Vermont and precipitation will be all snow in the central and northern Greens but accumulations will be in that lighter 2-4 inch range, similar to what we saw Monday. Not bad though, all things considered, not bad at all.
The meat of the cold air in our reoriented weather pattern will arrive Friday. Terrain induced snow showers and a few snow squalls can be expected as the jet stream amplifies across the east coast late on Thursday and continuing into Friday. The driver of the southward push of arctic air is a block in the jet stream which will develop near the Bering Sea. Actually, over the last few days, ensembles have forecasted the center of this critical weather feature to set up a bit farther east over western Alaska. This will allow the cold to be a more significant player through about the time of the winter solstice.
That said, mild air will continue to fight for control of the weather along the east coast of the United States. Vermont along with the rest of interior New England are in the best shape to avoid much of the mild air but following a cold and wintry weekend, which should at least a few inches of terrain enhanced snow, we should see temperatures moderate for the early part of next week. Somewhere in that Tuesday/Wednesday time frame (Dec13-14) we could certainly get a significant weather event. Could be snow, could be snow and a mixture of other stuff but we will need a few days to figure that all out.
Some brutally cold December temperatures are possible for the very end of next week (Around Dec 16). The cold should continue into that weekend and then there are hints that the pattern relaxes a bit. No indications as of now though of a complete shift toward unrelenting warmth but simply a move from cold back to normal. More snowfall is certainly possible as this happens so though I can't claim to have any inside information, I am sure that there is talk of getting parts of the mountain open given what we expect in the upcoming two weeks.