The extended January thaw has faded abruptly in to the fog of terrain-enhanced upslope snow. We've seen more of this type of snow this year than in the last several. It's fluffy, it ski's beautifully and we don't have to wait for the next storm for a powder day. A total of approximately 16 inches of snow has fallen since Thursday on the mountain and more snow is in the forecast over the next 10 days.
We are still watching our feisty clipper system for the middle of the week. The track of this storm has trendedfarther south since we last discussed this feature and the corridor of heaviest snow has shifted to a zone from southern Michigan to across much of Pennsylvania and southern New England. Models agree that some of the moisture associated with the clipper will find its way into Vermont. This occurs after a snow-free and seasonable ski day on Tuesday. Light snow should begin Tuesday night and persist through at least part of Wednesday. Another 2-4 inches is my best guess for snowfall from this system. In its wake, stronger arctic cold will bleed into the region and as this happens, terrain enhanced snowfall will occur late Wednesday, Wednesday night and Thursday; in fact, flurries and snow showers should continue through the early part of the upcoming weekend. For now, lets say additional accumulations are possible in the period between Thursday and Saturday but stability parameters look a little less favorable than they did late last week. There is some lingering moisture however so I would expect at least some additional snowfall, just not the big totals that we've seen the last 4 days. Temperatures will generally be in the teens during the daytime hours and falling to the single numbers overnight. Over the weekend, we could see some below zero readings but without as much wind.
For those planning on watching the Pats in another Super Bowl this upcoming Sunday, you'll miss some great skiing at MRG but we are not expecting big snow. The storm we are watching has the potential to bring snow to the region very late Sunday night into Monday. There is some splitting of the jet stream with the large block positioned over the Bering sea this weekend and an innocent looking system will undercut this block and bring some light snow to the Rocky Mountains. The big question from here is whether one of any number of polar jet disturbances can "spark" this system and help produce something much bigger by the time it reaches the east coast. Models are producing varying results but such outcome is certainly possible. Even if the system fails to develop, some snowfall is likely from the clipper system that would have failed to phase with the aforementioned weather feature. Later in the week, another potential storm will face a similar set of questions and will present another opportunity for big results. I just hope we can cash in big on one of these opportunities because the blocking over the Bering sea will fade by the 10th and 11th of February and the split flow will fade with it.
Some concerns were expressed after February 10th and this sentiment continues today. The beautiful looking blocking structure over the Bering Sea appears to diminish and as this happens, the jet stream in the Pacific strengthens associated with an EPO index that turns positive. Ensembles are not showing an ominous "evil empire" looking jet structure in the Pacific yet; in fact, the American Ensembles have yet to even climb on this train. Both the Canadian and European ensemble members do show the polar jet stream retreating however to a degree. At this point, I would certainly wager that winter will lose any tenuous grip it had on the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States but I am not so sure about New England but we will soon find out.