Our weekend system is on track to deliver a well-deserved powder day to the weekend warriors out there. I don't there were any of that variety last year. Snow is expected to arrive at or just before dawn and a fall at a steady rate for several hours during the ski day. Accumulations will be modest and certainly short of anything epic, making the 4-7 inch prediction I made a few days ago still relevant. Most importantly, I think we keep the freezing rain or drizzle out of the ski day. Models actually suggest that the atmosphere won't support any ice until after the best initial area of precipitation producing "upward motion" moves out of the area during the evening. Temperatures will again start out near 10 degrees and climb to about 20 by evening.
I expect that we see a minimal period of icing Friday evening but models have converged on the idea that temperatures will rise quickly through the 20's and reach the freezing mark overnight. My Sunday morning, our next significant area of precipitation will move through primarily as rain. By the way, Mt Washington saw temperatures at the summit reach -35 F Friday morning but could see readings close to 40 Sunday morning along with rain which would be a 75-degree temperature rise in a roughly 48-hour period. Even the Himalayas can't brag about weather like that !
We might see a little snow as precipitation ends Sunday but conditions are expected to dry out quickly and temperatures will again turn dramatically colder. That cold weather will again send temperatures below zero Sunday night but readings will gradually moderate reaching 15 Monday, the 20's Tuesday and near 30 Wednesday. Aside from a few flurries Wednesday, no new snow is expected in this time frame. On Thursday, we do have an interesting little system to watch. I alluded to it briefly in the last post and it appears that this little guy will have enough vigor to make some noise. We also appear to have just enough cold air also although not by much. Precipitation from this system would arrive Thursday and potentially provide some snow to the mountain for skiers late in the day or by early Friday. It still doesn't appear like a big storm but with the polar jet receded somewhat, the system will have some room to develop, so long as it doesn't move too far north and erode the minimal amount of available cold air.
Ensembles are still screaming for a potential thaw in the period between Xmas and around the 28th and the teleconnections that we talked about in the last post also support such occurrence. Some of the data is beginning to hedge on the intensity of mild air and would suggest that it might only be a 1-2 day onslaught of temperatures capable of eroding our hard-earned base. At this point however, I would guess that we will see some rain between the 26th and 28th of the month. It would make it the 6th straight year with rain somewhere between December 21 and December 28th at MRG.