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Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year brings interesting pattern and a possible late week winter storm

We are in the midst of a New Years snow binge. Perhaps not an epic one by historical standards but it was good to see so many people out Friday making turns. I know "single" line can get long but we appreciate your patronage and the snowfall futility last year makes the folks at MRG even more grateful for customer loyalty this year. I've said it before but its hard to find a better place to be on a powder day than on the single.

We have more snow on the way for New Years Eve 2017. A clipper system will bring its moisture to the region and snow should be falling by the middle of the ski day. Don't expect anything epic here but another 2-3 inches of fluff is not a bad way to start the year. Flurries will continue through part of New Years Day and temperatures will be quite comfortable, hovering around 30 with a few peaks of sunshine.

The lousy part of our forecast picture revolves around the weather for Tuesday. Another strong storm system in the northern plains will bring another round of blizzard conditions to portions of the Dakotas and northern Minnesota. This system will travel well to our north as it approaches and we have a limited supply of available cold air to begin with. Mercifully, the storm will move quickly and spread its moisture into the region during the morning on Tuesday. Temperatures in some areas will be cold enough to support a period of freezing rain but most places will have to endure a period of above freezing temps and some melting later on Tuesday. Arctic air is expected to consume much of the country by Wednesday and will send temperatures below freezing at MRG by the middle of the day. Snow showers will also return Wednesday and dust the mountain with a small accumulation.

Big questions and lots of discussion is being generated regarding the weather situation for later in the week, specifically Friday/Saturday. Much of the country including Vermont will be enveloped by arctic cold but the one weak spot in this pattern is along the southeast coast. Here, we should see milder air attempt to make another push northward as a storm system exits the Rockies, moves through the Mississippi Delta region and advances northeast from there late in the week. Models are providing no agreement whatsoever on the eventual result of all this but there have been a few hints of a significant east coast storm; furthermore, with the polar jet focused on the western states and only a weakened area of high pressure over eastern Canada, the door is open for this storm to make a big turn up the coast and provide substantial snowfall to interior New England. Other indications have suggested a limited impact across mostly the Mid-Atlantic states but I am skeptical of those solutions.  Certainly a situation worth watching in the coming days.

The longer range outlook continues to be dominated by that strongly negative PNA. As mentioned in the previous post however, other teleconnection indices, especially the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will turn more favorable.  Add it all together and you still have most of the cold focused on western North American but unlike the recent stretch of weather, some of this cold should control a good portion of the northeast, particularly New England. With milder air across the southeast, the situation is ripe for winter storms that should, on a few occasions take aim at New England. I expect some productive results and at least one big storm before the middle of the month but the chance of mixed precipitation and even a little bit of rain is not impossible either.


1 comment:

Arthur Davis said...

PNA. Wish I knew what that was. For others who wish to know what all these acronyms mean:

http://weatherchatroom.forumotion.com/t70-amopdoensoqbonadaopna-what-the-hell-does-it-all-mean