When it was cold this month we missed on a lot of the snow and it has since turned mild and there is little snow on the horizon for the foreseeable future. Winter 2016-17, which got off to such a promising start, has tanked with the new year and though I remain optimistic of a much better February, we are faced with a very tough upcoming 10-14 days.
Wednesday was our first real mild day, a comfortable one, which featured 40-degree temperatures and sunshine. Wednesday night and Thursday will feature sporadic rain and temperatures could climb toward the 50 degree mark on the mountain. We are only expecting about a third of an inch of rain (give or take a tenth) but it will be the continuation of the mild breezes and excessive temperatures that will do the most damage. Colder, arctic air will make a return for the holiday weekend but with very little if any accompanying snowfall. The cold air is actually undercutting the prevailing ridge in the jet stream that has taken up shop along the east coast. This "undercutting" of the cold provides a stabilizing force in the atmosphere and thus greatly reduces the prospects for terrain enhanced snowfall. Temperatures will start Saturday below zero before rising toward 20 by the afternoon. Sunday will be a few degrees warmer and both days will have little wind, lots of visibility but unfortunately little if any new snow.
The dreaded tightening of the jet stream in the Pacific will take place over the weekend and the effects of this will be felt next week. The index that measures this "tightening", the EPO is indicated to be off the charts "positive" by the middle of next week which is nothing short of catastrophic considering there is little to no support for cold coming from any of the other teleconnection indicators. The warm-up will be widespread across much of eastern North America with a large area of much above normal temperatures developing across the Midwest, Northeast and most of eastern Canada. At MRG, temperatures will start the week in the teens but readings will rise above freezing during the afternoon. From there, we are likely to see some limited rainfall in the Tuesday/Wednesday time frame and a continuation of very mild weather for the duration of the week after that. It is the worst 7-10 day outlook we have seen for snowfall all season I am sorry to say.
I did save some good news for last. There are clear signs in the longer term of some improvements in the pattern beginning around the 23rd. The tightening in the jet stream is in fact suppose to be temporary and even the negative PNA which has plagued us now for 3 weeks (4 counting next week) shows signs of shifting course. The pattern shows signs of splitting in the long term and though we do not have the mechanisms present for a massive arctic outbreak, we will have a series of storms. There are indications of a potentially major east coast system between the 22-24 of the month. Most places will be too warm for snow I imagine but interior New England could see some rain to snow situation. If that doesn't materialize into anything, the prospects for both colder weather (at least relative to the next 10 days) and snow start to look a lot better. Sorry for the crap news folks, try and survive the mild onslaught