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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Frustrating stretch of winter weather may continue thorugh part of next week

This has officially evolved into the kind of weather pattern I just outright despise. We have a bunch of warm days and a substantial amount of rain over the next few days. Yes colder weather does follow but the forecast data seems hellbent on creating an over-amplified negative PNA pattern which is fantastic if you ski in the west but not so much for the east.

Vermont managed to get a 36 hour reprieve from the thaw but temperatures have moved past the freezing mark as of midday Tuesday and for much of the rest of the week they will stay there. Specifically speaking,  Wednesday is primarily dry though cloudy with temperatures rising from near the freezing mark to near 40, Thursday we should expect to see more clouds with temperatures hovering near 40 and Friday the mild air will get an additional northward push and that process will allow for more clouds and some potential rain. Saturday appears to be a potential blowtorch with a sizable weather system tracking well into Quebec. Temperatures will soar into the 50's and a period heavier rain, even potentially a thunderstorm could impact parts of the state.

The forecast discussed in the previous forecast is certainly disappointing but not that surprising. We more or less knew this was going to be a rough stretch, we were simply hoping to merely minimize the bad. The most frustrating part of the outlook going forward lies beyond Saturday. Over the weekend and in spite of our rain, the jet stream in the Pacific will weaken quite substantially and by early next week, a large ridge and quite possibly even a blocking feature will develop in the Bering Sea. This should allow arctic air to move south toward much of middle latitude North America and it will, but much of it will attack the western United States as a storm is expected to amplify across the Rocky Mountains and bring widespread amounts of snow to western ski areas. This allows an upper level ridge in the western Atlantic Ocean to have a negative influence on our winter weather. The storm in the Rockies will move out over plains by around Tuesday and head toward New England. There will be a supply of cold air but an over amplified system in the plains will make it difficult to retain any of this cold. Snow and mixed precipitation would give way to move above-freezing temperatures and rain in such a scenario. We have to hope that the system doesn't consolidate across the west as is the current indication. It this happens the outlook for next week would improve dramatically.

Beyond the middle part of next week and into the early part of March, the negative EPO will continue to allow arctic air to have an influence over the region. But all of the major ensembles also continue to show repeated jet amplifications over the west and this is illustrated by the PNA outlook which is negative from day 5 to day 14. This is great news for the west as we head toward March but the bigger the storms are out in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, the worse our forecast will turn out to be. If some of these potential storms turn out to be weaker and a bit more disorganized, our forecast will get better.


eda said...

Alright. Throwing the towel on winter now. Lets work on the mountain biked and get them ready.

TJ said...

I should have taken off all of last week!

While this weekend might be an opportunity to start prepping and even using our non-snow recreational equipment... I don't think we we are not done just yet.

Either way, thank you Josh for your, time, insight and for sharing your weather knowledge.

Colin Gilbert said...

Hey Josh,
This stinks. A big group of my pals are heading up to Sugarbush March 9-12. We were obviously hoping for some powder turns, but in light of the weather forecast, have re-branded the long weekend to "softball spring training." Not sure if you like to swing the bat, but we'd be happy to have you and the MRG softball team (does such a thing exist?) up for a game. Loser buys wings and Toppers. 7 innings slow pitch. No runners. Deal?

Bill Helene said...

Looks like I signed up for a wet blowtorch at Whiteface this weekend. Thanks as usual for your coherent yet sometimes disappointing assessments, Josh.

Charlie Hohn said...

good bye towel!

billski said...

"It ain't over till it's over"
Yogi Berra

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