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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Euro cries wolf again and Vermont misses yet another storm

Hype for an east coast reached yet another fever pitch but it was as if many had forgotten the last 6 weeks. It is important to preface the following statement by saying that the European model and its ensembles have had many terrific calls and have many times pinned down specifics on some of the most important weather events in New England ahead of competing information. The last 6 weeks has been a complete abomination for the Euro however with several false alarms. In a year so devoid of snowfall in Vermont, crying wolf is certainly not going to win any hearts and minds.

Barring a miraculous turn of events in the 11th hour, the Sunday/Monday storm is a miss. Even the most optimistic scenario has the storm farther east by about 100 miles. The cape and even Boston could still receive some snowfall but much of New Hampshire and Vermont including the Green and White Mountains will receive next to nothing.

Chilly temperatures will still dominate the region and in fact may thwart the coming milder push of temperatures for a few days. Some snowfall is in fact possible on Tuesday and Wednesday across northern New England thanks to a nice overrunning zone established by the mild push of temperatures battling the existing cold weather. Snowfall accumulations could amount to a few inches before temperatures finally climb above freezing Thursday and perhaps reach the 50's on Friday.

Assuming nothing crazy happens, the blog will conclude with a seasonal wrap-up sometime next week before going into spring and summer mode.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sunday-Monday storm still not likely but remains in play for now

Winter makes a multi day cameo appearance in a month that has been generally middle. Rain and snow showers later Thursday become snow showers Thursday night producing a few inches of accumulation across the high country. Friday will be a rare blustery, sub-freezing day along with a few flurries. Saturday is high and dry with temperatures topping out right around the freezing mark after starting out in the 5-10 range.

The potential storm is still in play. The European model suggests a decent sized storm close to 980 mb tracking just east of Cape Cod. Vermont would be on the western side of some heavy snow while portions of New Hampshire get clobbered with well over a foot. This is the best case scenario for Vermont and includes about a 6-12 inch snow late Sunday into early Monday. Other models have been and continue to be further off shore with this system and weaker as well. The European has been living in its own fantasy-land with many of these systems over the last month-plus so I am extremely reluctant to sell my soul to another one of its snowy solutions. That said, it does have some support from its ensemble members as of early Thursday morning so it remains worthy of watching.

Though cold weather will linger through Tuesday March 22nd, the pattern continues to look extremely mild from the 23rd to about the 30th of the month. This could include another 1, 2 maybe even 3 days of readings in the 60's in this stretch. Ensembles do show the build-up of a ridge along the west coast around March 31-April 1 and this could lead to an outbreak of colder weather around that time.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Winter is on life support but will try to make one big last gasp this weekend

To be perfectly frank, I am ready to put the 2015-2016 winter season in the rear view mirror. March however, is typically the best part of the MRG season and in many years is the snowiest of all the winter months in Vermont.

We are still in the midst of a stretch of milder weather which will persist through a good part of the week.  With the help of some sunshine on Wednesday, temperatures might again make a run at the 60-degree mark but clouds and some rain very late in the day might thwart that effort. Cooler weather will begin to slowly work its way back into the region Thursday; in fact, leftover moisture might result some limited snow across the high terrain while light rain falls in the valley locations.  Friday begins a limited multi-day stretch of colder weather, perhaps the last such stretch this month.

Though Friday and Saturday look dry along with temperatures just below the so called "normal" threshold, a storm system will try and organize during the weekend combining jet energy in the plains with southern branch moisture in the Gulf of Mexico. Whether or not this all comes together correctly remains a question but there is a decent chance for some sort of east coast event Sunday the 20th into Monday, March 21st. Yes, one of the scenarios does call for a decent interior New England hit. The storm system would lack the strength to be historic storm but could produce as much as 12-18 inches of snow. That would be the upside. The downside is another in a litany of misses for Vermont this year.

Cold weather will continue to grip the region through the 22nd but will give way to more mild weather for the last week of the month. The limited blocking that was supporting the cold weather around the Spring Equinox will deteriorate plus the jet in the Pacific is expected to tighten. The storm late this weekend may be the last chance for a significant taste of winter though as Eric at MRG said, stranger things have happened.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A mild and somewhat rainy upcoming two weeks still expected

Nothing new or exciting to report as of March 7th. Pattern is still poised to turn very warm and stay that way for a better part of the next two weeks. Readings might get close to the 60-degree mark across valley locations Wednesday with 50's across the high country.  A front will drop south out of southern Canada late Wednesday and early Thursday bringing the chance for some light rain and temperatures that are less mild. Later on Thursday, a more organized wave of low pressure will move along that same boundary of temperatures and spread significant amounts of rain into northern New England later Thursday and Thursday night. It's ironic because this particular storm will take a relatively favorable track for snow but the pattern will have gotten so warm by late this week and available arctic air is so limited that the results, predictably, will be another swing and a miss. There is a chance that rain changes over to a period of snow across the high country early Friday leading to a wet accumulation, but that is after about an inch of rain.

The pattern does appear to want to return to normalcy around the time of March 20th. This is very late in the game however and lots of damage will have been done both from rain and from warm weather. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Winter to make a retreat and a reappearance is not on the horizon

It's going to be difficult to keep SCWB going barring a dramatic change in later March. The snow stake at Mt Mansfield illustrates the situation perfectly. It is right there with the worst winters going back to 1954 which spans 60 years. In 1980 and again in the Super Nino winter of 1983, the snow situation was similar, but both years featured snowy periods in March or early April salvaging some minimal dignity. This year appears to want to go the way of 1956-57, which after a awful December, January and February, faded completely in March. If anyone has the great Crosby Stills Nash and Young's live album - 4 Way Street, Neil Young introduces one of his songs by saying this - "Here is a new song guaranteed to bring you right down, its called 'Don't Let It Bring You Down'. It sorta starts out real slow and fizzles out all together." This describes the winter of 2015-2016 perfectly.

There is really no snow in the forecast over the next week and I am not sure it gets much better beyond that. One organized weather system will pass well to the regions south Friday. This means more snow for the Mid Atlantic, a region that has actually seen above normal snowfall this winter. Another much weaker system follows on its heels Saturday night into early Sunday but this too will pass well to the south of us and minimal if any snow is expected. The last of the cold weather from the present arctic intrusion will then vanish Monday and give way to thaw which is expected to persist for several days.

The European model remains a bit warmer than the American GFS model going forward but both models share in the belief that the thaw will mark a major retreat for the current winter season. Temperatures in the 60's are possible during the middle part of the week and although cooler weather is expected for the weekend, nothing categorically cold is expected (below normal temps) and snow is certainly not expected. It is possible for the pattern to take a dramatic turn in later March. Spring in New England is especially unpredictable and full of twists and turns but I would be surprised to see significant snow or cold of any kind through about St Patrick's Day which looks out about 2 weeks.