We got 2-3 inches of sleet and occasional bursts of snow Tuesday and Tuesday night. I'll give NWS Burlington the nod for the better forecast though some areas south of us did receive the thump snow of upwards of 6-8 inches that we were hoping for. Areas north of us ironically, saw the freezing rain that the National Weather Service was forecasting. We were lucky to avoid most of that and the sleet will provide a very nice foundation for the upcoming pattern which already looked promising and looks even more so today. To be honest, the sleet actually ski's a little better than glop snow but that's just my personal opinion.
The short term has some snow in the forecast also. A weakening system in the Midwest will approach Wednesday night into Thursday. Moisture associated with this system is decaying and will become rather disorganized. That said, some mixed precipitation in the early morning Thursday will evolve into occasional snow showers as the system brings some marginal instability to the region. The combination of moist flow and the limited instability will continue to bring snow showers to the high country, especially in the northern part of the state into Friday. I think ski country north of Waterbury performs a bit better out of all this but MRG should get some accumulating snow as well. Right now, 1-3 inches would be my expectation for Thursday and another 2-4 fluffy inches Friday. Temperatures will start out Thursday in the 30's and should hold near or below the freezing mark for much of the day on the mountain. Readings should drop into the 20's on Friday.
Guess what, the snow continues into Saturday with additional fluffy accumulations likely. The occasional snow showers could even continue into Sunday and Monday although accumulations appear less likely over this time frame. One of the lessons here is that sometimes it is good to get the colder weather without the help of the polar jet which will be absent in spite of an east coast trough. The polar jet can be stabilizing force in the lower troposphere and can limit the type of snow showers we will inevitably receive in the coming days. During the middle of the week, you guessed it, we are likely to see more snow from a clipper system which finally bring true below normal temperatures to interior New England for Thursday and Friday. The clipper though will indeed bring additional accumulations of snow as it gathers moisture from the unfrozen Great Lakes aggregate.
As we move into the month of February the PNA index will be the only hold out. It will move back into negative territory and prevent much of the southeastern U.S. from experiencing any sustained extreme cold. Other indices are looking more and more favorably. The best development over the past two days is what appears to be the development of a large high latitude block in the jet stream over the Bering Sea and a push to move the Arctic Oscillation into slightly negative territory. The combined forces of this and the weakened Pacific jet stream favors cold weather over New England well into February and I feel much more confident of this today than I did as of the last update. In some ways I hope the PNA continues to stay somewhat negative as it did for much of the first two thirds of December as to not allow the Polar Jet to completely overwhelm us and eliminate our chances for snow.
Its been a rough stretch of January folks but we are officially through and the next several weeks should be fantastic. This is well deserved, I know some people have waited way too long for a stretch of decent weather and some snow. There are some trails at MRG that me along with many others haven't skied since March of 2015.