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Sunday, February 26, 2017

More rain in the days ahead but March 2nd - March 14th look mostly wintry

I owe the SCWB community a bit of a"Mea Culpa" for the "heated" meltdown we just experienced. Yes, yes, I predicted both some mild weather and some rain but certainly did not expect such a historic run of temperatures. We saw plenty of sunshine when more clouds were expected and the mild breezes effectively mixed down some of the excessive atmospheric warmth that many of the models had suggested would remain aloft. 4 consecutive days of 50-plus temperatures is astonishing in late February for the Mad River Valley and would probably be more so were it not for the fact that we experienced a similar run of temperatures in early March last year and an even more anomalous stretch of weather in March of 2012. I hesitate to use the word "unprecedented" because our recorded history is very short relative to a span of geological time but a few generations of data was blown out of the water across the entire eastern seaboard including Vermont.

All that is over for the time being but an event as anomalous as that is apparently worthy of an "aftershock" and we will get one during the middle of this week. Clouds will advance into the region Monday night and though the region might see a brief period of snow very early Tuesday, most of the day will feature gradually rising temperatures which will set the stage for multiple periods of rain. One which should hit Tuesday night with temperatures in the high 30's and another milder rain later on Wednesday with temperatures well into the 40's. This system is a strong one and is expected to continue to strengthen as it moves off into the Canadian Maritimes. A wave of low pressure along the storms associated cold front is the feature that might bring snow to the mountain very early Thursday. Models have been waffling around regarding snow amounts from this particular feature and the overall prevalence of this feature. For the time being, I am still willing to suggest that 6 or more inches of snow is possible early Thursday but models have moved away from this scenario as of late Sunday.

Although we are experiencing delays in the long expected return of winter, a return is still expected. Some decent, though not overwhelming fundamentals should also ensure that it should remain in place for a period of at least 10 days beginning March 2nd.  We should see some fresh snow from a clipper-type system during the first weekend in March but a more significant weather system should impact the region during the March 6th -7th time frame. This system is a product of some of the intense storminess that is expected late this week and over the weekend over British Columbia. If the system in question over-amplifies in the middle of the country it could suck some mild air into the region but unlike the recent stretch of weather, we have some available cold air and a somewhat negative NAO. These ingredients could provide some fireworks and even a less than ideal scenario could result in some significant new snow. Beyond March 7th, I think we can expect at least another week of wintry-like conditions. I understand that the damage to the mountain has been rather substantial and that it will take substantial snows to restore conditions to prime form. Its possible for sure but we do need to catch a few breaks which may be asking a lot at this point in the season.


Jim Pettine said...

Hey Josh .. They say a little knowledge can be dangerous and with all the data points available on web, my friends and I are often (pretty much always) guilty of jumping to our own "weather guesses". No surprise were like 1/10. Many thanks for your efforts and updates ... "luv your game", Jim

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