Winter is back after the brief hiatus Wednesday and it looks like another decent stretch of sub-freezing temperatures along with LOTS of snow potential. Details are coming into view but at a very slow pace. In summary, we have some snow this Saturday, we have an excellent chance for a significant snow Sunday/Monday and a chance for another significant storm later in the week. It doesn't get much better than that over a span of a week.
Some serious chill is gripping the region and the airmass responsible will bring temperatures below zero Friday morning and keep temperatures near zero during the day along with snow flurries. While Vermont is in the deep freeze however, mild air will be pushing east and attempt to displace the cold weather we are currently experiencing. This attempt will be a failure I am happy to report; instead, the clashing airmasses will create a nice overrunning surface to support an outbreak of light snow which should provide a light accumulation of 1-3 inches. Temperatures will climb into the 20's Saturday but will be substantially colder than the 60-degree readings a couple hundred miles farther south.
The overrunning surface and temperature boundary discussed above will lay the ground work for what will ultimately evolve into a significant storm system. It will begin to take shape in the Central Plains on Saturday and advance toward New York State Sunday, intensifying as it does so. By Monday, several models, including successive runs of the European are showing "bombs-away" in the Gulf of Maine. The track of this storm has not yet been completely fine-tuned as of yet and I would like to see one more round of upper air data confirm the "bombs away" scenario. That said, what a scenario it would be. Substantial snow would develop during the day Sunday and would continue into Monday accompanied by strong winds. The snow would be of the 1-2 foot variety and produce some epic albeit wind-blown powder. So yes, get yourself excited, but temper that enthusiasm for another 24 hours or so and let all the data confirm or not confirm the potential results.
Any snow moves out by Tuesday leaving us with average temperatures. As the week progresses though the pattern will prepare for another amplification that could involve the merging of a clipper system and one sub-tropical system. It is also possible that no such merging occurs and models continue to suggest a bunch of different outcomes. The clipper system itself is capable of delivering some additional snowfall Wednesday and this is followed by colder weather and a period where terrain enhanced snowfall is likely Thursday into Friday.
In the longer range, solutions continue to oscillate somewhat. There certainly appears to be a troubling period 2-3 day period that is emerging which begins around the President's Day holiday and ends during the middle of the week. This happens as the EPO turns more favorable for us but the Pacific jet energy responsible for the brief EPO surge will push the jet northward across eastern North America briefly. Interestingly, both major ensembles indicate a massive weather system which will have little cold air support initially but will ultimately result in a major pattern amplification that could eventually result in substantial snowfall in many places even if these "many places" see rain initially. This is way out on the forecast timeline around time frame of February 22, 23 and 24th so I am sure we will see prognostications change a few times before a solution is ironed out.
For now lets hope for big things from Sunday/Monday. It looks increasingly good and I think we are one good round of model data away from "game-on" mode.